Archive for Legal Cases

Morning Links: Victim’s family calls for compassion as hit-and-run driver gets time served; bike thief faces 27 years

Sometimes, compassion wins.

Especially when it comes from the family of the victim, for a driver who didn’t show any himself.

On Friday, commercial truck driver Filemon Reynaga was sentenced to time served for the hit-and-run death of 19-year-old Manuel Rodriguez as he rode his bike to work in Anaheim nearly two and a half years ago.

Reynaga was convicted last August for running a stop sign and right hooking Rodriguez, dragging him and his bike several yards — by some accounts, up to 150 feet — before finally stopping his truck. He got out, walked back to look at the young man lying badly injured the street, then simply got back on his truck and drove away to continue his deliveries.

At least one driver manage to avoid striking Rodriguez as he lay on the dark street before he was hit by another car, whose driver had the decency to stay at the scene.

It’s impossible to say which vehicle struck the fatal blow.

Reynaga faced up to four well-deserved years in prison, even though the judge planned to sentence him to two.

But that changed when Rodriguez’ relatives urged him to show leniency — not because they felt sorry for Reynaga, but out of sympathy for his family, because they didn’t want them to suffer the loss of a loved one like they did.

Moved by their remarkable compassion, the judge ordered Reynaga released, while imposing $16,000 restitution to help pay for Rodriguez’ burial in Mexico, along with three years probation; if he violates probation, he could be sentenced to serve the full four years.

Let’s hope he justifies their kindness.

Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling and Ann for the heads-up.

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A homeless man faces 27 years in prison — yes, 27 — for stealing a specialized three-wheeled bicycle belonging to a Burbank boy suffering from cerebral palsy.

The $5000 tricycle was found on the side of a road in Silver Lake several days later after the alleged thief dumped it when media coverage made it too hard to sell.

So let’s get this straight.

A hit-and-run driver who left a man to die in the street gets off with a little more than a year in jail, while someone who stole a bike faces nearly three decades behind bars.

Even with the bike thief’s long list of priors, something is seriously wrong here.

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A California appeals court overturned the murder conviction of the substance abuse counselor who got loaded, got behind the wheel and smashed into a Torrance pedestrian so hard she knocked his pants off — then drove two miles with his underwear-clad body embedded in her windshield.

The court ruled that the jury might have been prejudiced because they were shown her entire rap sheet — including previous convictions for possession, prostitution and burglary.

At least they let her conviction for hit-and-run stand.

But the 55-years to life sentence she originally received is out the window, pending a likely retrial. Or more likely, a plea for a dramatically reduced sentence.

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This is what a distracted driver looks like on the road, as a cellphone-using SUV driver repeatedly drifts towards a bike lane before right crossing the rider.

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Local

More than 200 people ride for love and unity in Watts.

Assuming the Santa Monica city council says yes on Tuesday, the city’s Breeze bikeshare will expand outside the SaMo for the first time with five new stations in Venice.

Mark your calendar for the return of CICLE’s Tweed Ride in Pasadena on March 13th.

A writer for the San Gabriel Tribune calls a proposed Class 1 bike path on Garvey Ave in Rosemead a game changer because people are more likely to ride their bikes if they feel safe. And credits advocacy group Bike SGV for many of the bicycle improvements in the area.

 

State

A San Diego cyclist is suing the city after suffering serious injuries when he hit a pothole so big it could be seen in a satellite view taken months before.

The Coyote’s Bicycle, a new book from a San Diego journalist, follows Central American migrants making their way illegally across the border by bicycle.

The feds aren’t the only ones having issues with Apple; bicyclists in Cupertino have suffered serious injuries on wet pavement at the construction site for the new Apple headquarters.

A San Francisco cab driver insists it’s okay for him to break traffic laws because he’s a professional and knows what he’s doing. So bike messengers, pro cyclists and delivery people should be able to break the law with abandon, right?

Sonoma County bicyclists hold a Tour de Trash, riding the back roads of Petaluma on Saturday to locate trash, then coming back in trucks on Sunday to remove it.

 

National

Country music star Clay Walker credits riding 25 to 40 miles a day with his band with helping him manage the effects of MS.

Truck side guards could save the lives of countless people on foot and bikes, but the federal government has failed to take action.

Austin TX agrees to stripe a bike lane by narrowing traffic lanes from a dangerously capacious 14 feet to a more realistic 11 feet — but only after a kid riding his bike on the sidewalk is hit by a car.

Not surprisingly, Arkansas cyclists would rather have a driver cross a double yellow line to pass than follow behind until they get to a passing lane. I agree; in my experience, drivers who follow behind a bike instead of passing usually do it too closely and impatiently.

When a carfree Little Rock AK man called police to report the bicycle he used as his only form of transportation had been stolen, the cop who responded promptly walked into a pawn shop, pulled out his own credit card and bought him a new one.

The Cincinnati paper says it’s time to embrace the bicycle and fully commit to bike-friendly infrastructure and education.

Tennessee proposes legislation forbidding funding bike and pedestrian projects with gas taxes. In that case, they should also prohibit general tax funds paid by bicyclists and pedestrians from being used for highway projects.

Evidently, they take drunk driving seriously in Pennsylvania, as a woman who killed a cyclist while driving under the influence gets up to 13 years behind bars.

DC is planning to trade traffic lanes for bike lanes in four key spots. Something that would probably lead to rioting in Los Angeles. Or endless attempts to undo it.

Four North Carolina cyclists were seriously injured when a driver tried to pass in an unsafe place, and cut over into them when she saw a car coming in the opposite direction. That’s the caveat in crossing the yellow line to pass a cyclist; the driver has to have enough sense to do it only when it’s safe.

 

International

A San Francisco travel writer rides through the heartland of Cuba.

A Newfoundland bike rider says once you go fat bike, you’ll never go back; the rider who just finished a Yukon dog sled race on one would probably agree.

Irish track cycling gold medalist Martyn Irvine talks about walking away from the sport after losing his love for riding.

Apparently, it’s open season on pro cyclists, as two riders for the Belgian Lotto team became just latest racers to be hit by a car while they were training in Spain; fortunately, their injuries seem to be limited to bruises and abrasions.

Nothing suspicious here. The former executive director of the Russian anti-doping agency was planning to write a tell-all book about the country’s doping program before his sudden and unexpected death. Let the probably well-founded conspiracy theories begin.

ESPN profiles the only woman on the Rwandan National Cycling Team.

The transportation minister for Australia’s New South Wales is standing firm on dramatically higher fines for bicyclists, despite fears that they will force people back into their cars; remarkably, the department insists the heavy-handed measures will actually encourage more people to ride.

Sounds familiar. When a Singaporean ad man lost his major client, he switched careers, becoming a cycling coach and setting up a new bike school. Which is sort of how this site was born, too. Although it wasn’t the dog that crapped on my best work, it was usually my clients.

A Malaysian bank funds a twice monthly two-hour ciclovía in Kuala Lumpur, including offering free loan of one hundred bicycles and ten tandems for the event.

 

Finally…

Who cares about a lousy separated bike lane when you could have valet parking for Saks? Seriously, train seats are for people, people, not bikes.

And always read the legal disclaimers warning about possible injury or death before you install a bike bell.

Yes, a bike bell.

 

Morning Links: Glendale bike rider attacked by SUV driver, and guilty plea in 100 mph Orange County DUI case

It’s happened again.

A woman riding her bike in Glendale is the latest bike rider to be the victim of an apparent intentional assault by the road raging driver of a motor vehicle.

The 29-year old woman, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding on San Fernando Road near Magnolia Ave around 4:40 pm last Friday when the driver of an SUV allegedly pulled up next to her and swerved into her bike, striking her ankle.

After the victim yelled that she’d been hit, the driver yelled something back and swerved into her again, nearly crushing the rider between the SUV and a parked car after she turned her bike to avoid getting hit.

Police arrested 53-year old Glendale resident Nazik Ghazarian on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon; she was taken into custody after another driver blocked her car while bystanders called police.

Meanwhile her legally blind husband, who was riding with her in the SUV, told police Ghazarian did nothing to “agitate” the cyclist.

The victim reported pain in her ankle, but declined treatment at the scene.

After all, who would get agitated over a little thing like multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon?

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The OC Register reports 20-year old Dominic Devin Carratt faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to the DUI death of cyclist Haitham Gamal as the victim was riding home from work in April, 2014.

In a horrifying detail that wasn’t reported at the time, Carratt was going over 100 mph when he slammed into Gamal’s bike; he had a BAC nearly twice the legal limit, despite being just 19-years old at the time of the wreck.

According to the paper, he pled to a long list of charges.

Carratt pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit causing bodily injury and he admitted a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury.

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Pro cycling’s governing body considers testing team bikes before each race to prevent motor doping. They should also stop the practice of allowing riders to switch bikes mid-race, which is the easiest way to get, and hide, a tampered bike.

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Local

The LA City Council Transportation Committee will consider a motion directing LADOT to report on the implementation of the bicycle infrastructure in the City at this afternoon’s meeting. Based on recent progress, that could be a very short report.

Several dozen protesters associated with T.R.U.S.T. South Los Angeles gathered on Central Ave to fight a proposal from Councilmember Curren Price to remove the street from the Mobility Plan. Someone should tell Price not to judge a bikeway by what he’d be comfortable using; not everyone is looking for a quiet place to ride with their grandkids.

The maker of Lucky Brand jeans offers their own private bikeshare system for employees of their offices in DTLA.

High-end British bikewear maker Rapha pops up on Abbot Kinney for the next two months.

Caltrans presents alternatives to replace the Trancas Creek bridge on PCH in the ‘Bu; both versions include a wider shoulder to make room for bikes and pedestrians.

A Pasadena bike rider is in serious condition after he was hit head-on by a driver who veered onto the wrong side of the road.

Temple City will select a final design for Las Tunas Road at the city council meeting on Thursday; make your voice heard to ensure they choose the safest option for cyclists and pedestrians.

 

State

A group of Olympic cyclists and hopefuls, including the great Kristin Armstrong, urged middle school students in El Cajon to believe in themselves. And have fun.

A Berkeley OpEd says the city needs to work to provide greater safety for bicyclists.

More bad news from Sacramento, as a second bike rider has been killed in a collision this week.

 

National

A Portland study says a good bikeway network helps riders avoid dirty air.

Las Vegas’ coming bikeshare system will be just part of a new transportation innovation district in the downtown area.

Wyoming considers creating a committee to study a network of bike and pedestrian paths crossing the state. Having crisscrossed the state many times, safe bikeways through the mountains and prairies of the state would be absolutely amazing; you haven’t lived until you’ve ridden with a herd of wild antelope running alongside you.

The Kentucky state senate approves a three-foot passing bill, including a provision allowing drivers to cross the center line to pass cyclists, even in no passing zones, similar to the one vetoed by Governor Brown a few years ago.

Residents of Hoboken would rather double park than make room for bike lanes.

Jimmy Fallen is one of us, as he cruises sans skid lid through the Hamptons on a $6,000 fat bike.

A Savannah GA writer credits recent bike lanes with the city’s jump in bike commuting rates, but fears they’ve reached peak bike with no more bikeways on the agenda.

 

International

Road.cc offers a roundup of a number of new bikes from top makers, including a Look time trial bike that would be perfect for your morning commute.

If you build it, they will come. A Toronto study shows bicycling is up 300% on one street since a separated bike lane was installed; 38% of those riders didn’t use the street before the bike lane was built.

An exceptionally compassionate Canadian family urges the court to sentence a hit-and-run driver to probation instead of jail for the death of a bike rider.

A candidate for mayor of London says bicycling in the city is quite safe, even though he won’t let his own teenage daughters do it.

Social media blows up when an English rail station operator suggests a traveler and his family should just leave their bikes at home.

Britain’s leading bike retailer is accused of sexism for saying a men’s bike is great for riding on pavement or trails, while the women’s version is good for visiting Auntie Doris.

A South African cyclist is visiting all 19 of the country’s national parks, riding over 3,700 miles in 80 days to raise funds for orphaned rhinos. Meanwhile, a Durban DJ learns the hard way not to make fun of fallen cyclists on Facebook.

A 24-year old Chinese man who once walked across the US is planning to bike from San Francisco to China on a pilgrimage to “explore the ecological and spiritual awakening in the 21st century and the cultural landscape and the political economy of the global village, through the lens of China’s interconnectedness with the world.” Oh, well if that’s all.

 

Finally…

Bashing people and cars is not the correct use for a cable bike lock; then again, neither is locking your bike with one for more than a few minutes. Seriously, don’t stab someone if you think he stole your bike; at least that’s better than how they treat bike thieves in Bali, though.

And British police appear to be looking for a maniacal bike-borne pedestrian pusher with multiple personalities.

 

Morning Links: Beach bike path closed, slap on wrist in Glendale hit-and-run, and six years for drunken OC driver

Last Sunday’s storm wreaked havoc on the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path.

According to the LA County Department of Public Works, the winds drifted sand up to two feet deep on the path, resulting in its closure along Venice Beach, as well as from Ballona Creek south to Torrance Beach.

Work began on clearing the path on Tuesday, but it’s not expected to open until Friday. Just in time for what’s expected to be a warm and sunny weekend.

The Daily Breeze offers photos of riders trudging through the sand with their bikes.

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This is why people continue to die on our streets.

A Glendale man gets just 360 days — less than a full year — after pleading no contest in the hit-and-run death of a four-year old girl.

A slap on the wrist for leaving a little girl to die in the street in front of her own family. If that.

And to top the outrage, the judge ordered his driver’s license suspended for just six months after his release.

Six whole months.

Never mind that he violated one of the most basic rules of driving, let alone human decency, by failing to stop at the scene of a collision and render aid as the law requires.

The law has to be changed. Now.

Let’s write our state representatives, and demand that any driver who leaves the scene of a collision should have his or her license automatically revoked. Not suspended.

And not for a limited period, but permanently.

Make them appear before a judge, after any sentence has been completed, to explain their actions and beg for the chance to apply for a new one.

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There’s finally been justice in the case of fallen cyclist Matthew Liechty.

If you can call it that.

Michael Liechty reports that Antonio Magdaleno Jr. accepted a plea on Friday, nearly two years after he fled on three wheels from the DUI collision that killed Liechty’s brother while he was riding in a Newport Beach bike lane.

Magdaleno was originally charged with felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, fleeing the scene of a collision and hit-and-run with permanent and seriously injury; he had a BAC nearly two times the legal limit at the time of his arrest.

He received a six-year sentence after pleading to two felony counts, and was immediately taken into custody to begin serving his time behind bars. However, the DA handling the case reportedly said he can expect to serve just half that.

This is yet another case of California’s weak traffic laws allowing drivers back out on the streets after just a brief sentence, despite taking a human life with depraved indifference. And despite the best efforts of the Orange County DA’s office, which is one of the few in Southern California that actually takes traffic crimes seriously.

Liechty suggests that the law should be changed to mandate a charge of second degree murder for killing someone while driving under the influence.

I couldn’t agree more.

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Make your reservations for March 1st, when Metro is hosting their 2016 Active Transportation Summit.

2016 Active Transportation Summit Flyer

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Cyclelicious has created a real-time map of California bike collisions based on CHP dispatches. Which means that it includes reports that come into the CHP’s 911 dispatchers, but may not include those handled by local jurisdictions.

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Once again, a cyclist celebrates prematurely, thinking he’s won the world U-23 ‘cross title even though there’s still a lap to go.

And the father and brother of that Dutch rider who figuratively gave the cycling world the bird by motor doping are charged with literally stealing a few.

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Local

LAist explains why LA is a great city for bikeshare.

Tomorrow KPCC will feature the results of a rush hour race from Union Station to the Santa Monica pier by bike, transit and motor vehicle, to determine if the car is still king on the streets of LA. Here’s betting it isn’t.

A writer for the Daily Bruin calls for more dedicated bus — and bike — lanes prior to a possible 2024 LA Olympics, despite blowback from groups like the Westwood Neighborhood Council.

Facebook is expanding into new creative space in Playa Vista, complete with bike racks. Seriously? A development that large should be required to install a bike hub as part of the permitting process to encourage workers to leave their cars at home.

An OpEd in the Santa Monica Mirror says give the new Expo Line a chance. And put lights on your bike if you’ll be riding home from the station after dark.

A former bank building will be demolished to widen Newport Blvd in Newport Beach and make room to extend the bike lanes two blocks south to 32nd street.

The Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition invites you to Ride Around Pomona this Saturday, and the first Saturday of every month.

 

State

Cyclists and government officials met with officials from Miramar to discuss why the Marines are confiscating bikes from trespassing riders. The official version is they don’t want you to get shot or blown up, and that warning signs on the trails get torn down as soon as they go up.

Someone stole a $2,000, three-wheeled pedicab from a Vietnamese community group in San Diego, who consider it a priceless cultural artwork.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A San Francisco woman planted herself in front of a van after a road rage assault, refusing to move until the police showed up. But all the police did was ticket the driver for violating the three-foot passing law, and ignored the threats and assault from the car’s passenger, who bravely ran away before the cops came.

A Berkeley bicyclist is in critical condition after being hit and dragged by a car.

A city planning consultant presents a bold vision for Oakland, suggesting it tear down a freeway that represents a “great gash” through the city, and replace it with a grand boulevard for walkers, cyclists and cars. Maybe someday we’ll see that kind of thinking here.

 

National

A Denver driver faces up to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty for the DUI death of a cyclist; he was two and a half times the legal alcohol limit when he crossed the double yellow line to pass at least two cars on a blind curve, hitting the 38-year old father head-on.

A Cincinnati cyclist says the city needs to take its bike plan off the shelf and stop treating bicycle safety like a line item in the budget.

Unlike LA, where too many neighborhood groups fight bike lanes tooth and nail, a New York community board approves taking away a traffic lane to install a protected bike lane on Amsterdam Ave; Streetsblog explains why arguments against it don’t hold up.

Philadelphia gets its first Complete Streets Commissioner.

Sounds like fun. Washington DC plans a massive 17-mile ride around the city’s many monuments this May.

A former New Orleans police recruit is charged with second degree murder for firing his gun six times as he chased a bike thief down the street, eventually shooting him in the back of the head; his lawyer says he somehow felt threatened by the man who ran away after attempting to take his bike. Listen, I hate bike thieves as much as anyone, but seriously, don’t kill them.

 

International

Caught on video: A rear view camera catches a driver speeding up to deliberately run down a cyclist before fleeing the scene; despite clear video evidence, the authorities declined to prosecute, saying they can’t prove who was behind the wheel.

Scottish stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill takes to the snow.

Afghanistan’s women cycling federation has been nominated for the Nobel Peace prize. You know it sucks in a country when just having the courage to ride a bike is enough to win international recognition.

After his son was killed when he hit a pothole while riding a bike, a Mumbai man takes it upon himself to fill potholes on the city’s streets. And yes, it was probably a motorbike, but that doesn’t lessen what the father is doing to keep it from happening to anyone else.

A writer says Malta is dangerously trapped in the auto-centric ‘50s, instead of emulating other cities where bicycling is as natural as walking.

 

Finally…

Some of our bike lanes may be useless, but at least they’re more than six feet long. People find lots of things while riding their bikes; like a human skull, for instance.

And now you can pedal away the pounds with your very own sitNcycle for just $19.95, including shipping and handling.

No, really.

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One last note.

When I announced the winner of our bike contest giveaway, I lamented that we only had one bike to give away, despite two very deserving people.

So I’m happy to report that a very generous anonymous donor has volunteered to buy a bicycle for the second place finisher, and that she’s in the process of picking out her new bike.

Which makes this a win/win in the best possible sense.

 

Morning Links: Improving bike safety on Bouquet Canyon, less liability on bike paths, and doping gets mechanical

Anyone who has ridden Bouquet Canyon through the Santa Clarita Valley — or driven it, for that matter — knows it’s a fun ride, but far from safe.

Especially at the speed too many drivers take it.

Following the death of a teenage motorist on the roadway last month, the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition has written an open letter to LA County Supervisor Michael Antonovich urging safety improvements on Bouquet Canyon Road. Especially in light of its inclusion as a Class III bike route in the new county bike plan.

Their suggestions include better signage warning drivers of the possible presence of bicyclists, reducing the speed limit, and installing a rideable shoulder the full length of the road.

You can read the full letter here.

Let’s hope Antonovich does, too. Then actually does something about it.

And no, it’s not just drivers who have lost their lives there.

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A California appeals court strengthens the concept of trail immunity, which holds that land owners and government bodies aren’t responsible for dangerous conditions on trails used for recreational purposes, including bike paths.

In Teresa Burgueno, et al. v. The Regents of the University of California, the 6th Court of Appeal ruled that bike paths that are used for both recreational and transportation riding are still considered recreational trails under the law.

Which means that if you’re injured due to dangerous condition on an off-road bike path, you can’t hold anyone legally responsible for your injuries. Even if they knew about it in advance, and failed to do anything about it.

And even if it’s used by people riding to school or work, in addition to people riding for fitness or enjoyment.

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Caught on video: There is something seriously wrong with a driver who’d back up just to run a group of cyclists off the road; the incident occurred near Perth, Australia.

And yes, it’s been reported to the police.

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After years of rumors, there’s finally been a confirmed case of motor doping.

A Dutch rider competing in the women’s Under 23 Cyclocross Worlds was forced to withdraw after race authorities found an electric motor hidden inside her bike.

Naturally, she claims it wasn’t her bike and she knew nothing about it.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay calls it perhaps the goofiest scandal ever, while Bike Hugger accuses the cycling world of a Motor Omertà.

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Local

A bike rider in his 40s had to be rescued from rising waters in the LA River near Fourth Street due to Sunday’s rain. Which should serve as a reminder to avoid rivers and streams during and after a heavy rain, even if the path isn’t closed. And seriously, don’t go around the gate if it is.

You have just over a week to legally walk your bike across the Mariposa Street Bridge over the LA River; at the urging of horse riders, Burbank is scheduled to vote on the 9th to ban the mere possession of a bike on the bridge. Hopefully, they’ll listen to the Burbank Leader, which says they got it wrong.

Now here’s a good cause. The East Side Riders Bike Club has started a gofundme account to get a mobile bike shop. Their goal is to get kids hooked on bicycling, instead of something more dangerous.

 

State

A Highland man has his bike stolen after fleeing a man with a gun following an altercation.

There’s a special place in hell for someone who’d steal a bike from a legally blind former Marine in Eureka; prior to the theft, he was still able to ride using his peripheral vision.

 

National

A new study has shown what many of us already know. Riding harder doesn’t necessarily mean burning more calories or losing more weight, since metabolism tends to plateau at a certain level.

A Seattle writer places the blame for the failure of the city’s bikeshare system on a disconnected bike lane network, a lack of stations in popular places, and their bike helmet requirement.

Portland has now made protected lanes the default design for bike lanes; if city engineers recommend an unprotected lane, they have to be able to justify it.

Who knew sharrows were born in the Mile High City? No offense to my home state, but in most cases, they can keep them.

A Texas jury awards a cyclist injured by a distracted driver over $850,000, even without a finding of gross negligence. The victim and his wife hope this will inspire change in the state; remarkably, Texas still has not banned hand-held cell phone use while driving. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

This is why you don’t chase after bike thieves. After an Ohio woman tries to use her car to chase down the man stealing her bike, he steals her car. And runs over her with it.

Any film or journalism school graduates want to move to PA? Bicycling Magazine is looking for a video producer.

Once again, a bicyclist rides to the rescue, as a Florida man rolls his truck and an anonymous man on a bike helps pull him and his brother to safety.

 

International

Evidently, drivers are no better in Canada than they are here. And it’s about time someone pointed out it’s often the people behind the wheel who act entitled, rather than those on two wheels.

A Brit Olympic legend says scandal-plagued international athletics should follow cycling’s anti-doping example. Like placing tiny motors in runners’ shoes and springs in the vaulting poles, perhaps?

A Philippine filmmaker worries that her new movie, which promotes a love of biking, fitness and nature, may put riders at risk by encouraging them to take to the country’s streets.

 

Finally…

Repeat after me: Don’t ride drunk with nearly two ounces on dope in your backpack. How about a rousing game of match the celebrity to the bike?

And that’s what I call a cargo bike. At least, China’s People’s Daily swears there’s a tricycle under there somewhere.

……..

Come back later today, when we’ll announce the winner of our first-ever bicycle giveaway, courtesy of Beachbikes.net.

 

Morning Links: Glendale driver brake-checks cyclists; Newport Beach legal settlement could fix deadly intersection

In case you haven’t seen it already, the big story of the day was a driver assaulting two cyclists riding in Glendale.

CiclaValley broke the story, reporting that the incident happened sometime last week as friends of his were riding on Chevy Chase Drive.

In the video, you can clearly hear an impatient driver honking from behind as the cyclists ride just outside the door zone, even though the bike computer visible at the bottom of the screen appears to show they’re traveling at 27 mph.

The driver then buzzes them at an unsafe distance, in clear violation of the three-foot passing law, before slamming on his brakes and brake-checking the riders, nearly forcing one off the road while the other has to swerve dangerously out into traffic to avoid rear-ending the car.

Yet even though this is an obvious case of assault with a deadly weapon — in fact, Dr. Christopher Thompson got five years for a similar incident — CiclaValley implies the Glendale police have been slow to act, at best.

Using a car in a violent manner should be no different under the law than if the driver had taken out a gun and shot at the riders. And should be taken just as seriously, especially since there’s video evidence of the assault.

The one problem with using video like this to press charges, according to officers at the last meeting of the LAPD bike liaisons, is that it’s difficult to prove who was behind the wheel.

Yet even that is not a factor here, since KNBC-4 tracked down the driver, who freely admits he was the driver in the video.

According to his version of events, he honked as he passed — for reasons he failed to explain, just as he failed to explain the apparent punishment pass — then slammed on his brakes after he heard something hit his car, suggesting that one of the riders hit it as he passed.

Yet the video clearly shows that never happened.

There’s no sound of a smack against a car, which should have been clearly audible. And there’s no wobble of the bike, which would have been inevitable if the rider had reached out and hit a hard object as it zoomed by.

The unidentified man, who says he’s a former cyclist himself, portrays himself as the victim in this incident, and says he was just trying to get away from those scary men who were attacking him.

Even though he was the one who honked for no apparent reason. And he was the one who passed dangerously close, even though he was legally required to be well out of their reach. And he was the one who slammed on his brakes directly in front of the two bike riders.

KNBC is no doubt patting themselves on the back for tracking the driver down and getting an exclusive interview with him. But they should be hanging their heads in shame for failing to confront him about the obvious holes in his story, accepting at face value an excuse that is both implausible and demonstratively false.

As should the Glendale police for failing to take action to protect people who are using the streets in a safe and legal manner.

They will most likely claim this is a case of he said/she said, and try to wash their hands of the matter.

But the evidence is right there on the video. All they have to do is look at it.

This just in: CiclaValley breaks down the driver’s statement in great detail, and doesn’t find a lot of truth to it. Or any, for that matter.

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

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After the authorities refused to press charges, Philadelphia bicyclist posted video of a confrontation with a road raging hearse driver who hit him with the van’s mirror, and threatened him for the crime of kicking over a traffic cone.

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Most legal settlements involving cyclists include a payment to the victim to help recover his or her loses.

It’s not often one tries to keep it from happening again.

Torrance law firm AgnewBrusavich announced a settlement with Caltrans and the City of Newport Beach over the death of 58-year old cyclist Debra Deem in 2013.

According to the settlement, Caltrans will pay $450,000, while Newport Beach will kick in another $225,000. But more importantly, both agreed to help fix the deadly intersection where it happened.

Deem had been riding north on PCH in Newport Beach around 4:30 pm on August 27th when she approached the intersection at Newport Coast Drive, where a freeway-style exit lane allows drivers to turn right without slowing down, and forces riders to cross high-speed traffic in order to go straight.

She was hit from behind by an 84-year old driver exiting PCH, and died the next day.

According to the lawsuit, Newport Beach was well aware of the dangers to cyclists at that intersection; in fact, a 2009 Bike Safety Task Force identified it as the intersection most in need of safety improvements.

Now that may finally happen.

The settlement negotiated by attorney Bruce Brusavich requires the city to cooperate with traffic safety experts selected by him and Deem’s husband, Cycle Werks owner Paul Deem, to design improvements to the intersection. And Caltrans will be legally required to consider those improvements in good faith.

Though evidently, not required to implement them.

It’s too late to help Debra Deem. But maybe this settlement can keep it from happening to someone else.

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More bad news from the world of bike racing, as Claudio Clarindo, the world’s 12th ranked ultra-distance cyclist, was killed in a collision while training in Brazil, and his riding partner severely injured. Clarindo was a five-time finisher in the Race Across America, aka RAAM.

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Local

Continuing the theme of angry drivers, a Santa Monica cyclist encounters a driver who apparently wasn’t pleased with where he was riding. Maybe the fumes from that Porter Ranch gas leak is making drivers crazy; twice in the last week I’ve had drivers get out of their cars to physically threaten me while I’ve been walking.

LACBC board member and BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass explains the new state laws affecting bike riders.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with bike advocate Wes Reutimann, executive director of Bike SGV, about the proposed bike park at the former Puente Hills Landfill; you can sign the petition to support it here.

 

State

California is finally getting rid of the outdated LOS (Level of Service) requirement for environmental rules; the previous rules meant that removing bike lanes didn’t require an environmental review, while installing them often did.

The inventor of the cardboard-based Kranium bike helmet is suing a consortium of investors in San Diego, alleging they lied about contacts with retailers and failed to pay what they promised.

A new $5 million development in San Diego’s Imperial Beach will cater to bike riders and pedestrians with cafes, a bike shop and water station.

Police in El Centro say they don’t have enough evidence to get a warrant to look for a bike tourist’s stolen bike, even though they tracked the bike’s GPS to a house; when no one answered the door, they apparently gave up. Seriously, you’d think a GPS reading saying the bike was inside would be enough for a search warrant, but what the hell do I know.

 

National

The City Metric website asks if road diets are the next big thing for American cities, then suggests car culture may be too deeply entrenched for that to happen.

Vancouver WA gets its first green lanes.

A proposed Nebraska bill would repeal the state’s outdated must-use law requiring cyclists to use a bike path if one runs parallel to the roadway, although it may have a difficult time moving forward in the legislature.

A Dallas writer says cyclists and runners need to work together to make roads safer in the face of their common enemy, the motorist.

Nice program from a Connecticut school, allowing students to earn credit towards buying a refurbished bicycle, as well as establishing a bike club and teaching them to fix bikes.

A New York study shows that split-phase traffic signals that allow cyclists and pedestrians to cross an intersection before motor vehicles are twice as effective in reducing injuries as the more common mixing zones that send everyone through at once.

 

International

C is for Coffee, D is for Drafting, as Cycling Weekly offers the A to Z of bike riding.

A British letter writer complains about bicyclists blocking the sidewalk by chaining their bikes to posts and railings. If bike riders are locking their bikes up wherever they can, maybe it’s a sign that there’s not enough safe bike parking in the area.

If you can afford an electric car, you can now silently sneak up on cyclists in British bus lanes, where bike riders previously only had to contend with noisy buses and cabs.

Drivers usually get a slap on the wrist for killing a bicyclist; a UK German Shepard just won a three-year battle to overturn his death sentence for biting one.

Cyclelicious looks at a crowdsourced, lock-free bike parking solution in Latvia. And one that could easily work here.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have an 18-speed front wheel drive, although pedaling while turning may be just a tad awkward. Getting out on your bike could improve your sex life.

And screw OKCupid and Tinder; all you need to find true love is Strava.

 

Weekend Links: 15 to life for heroin-fueled hit-and-run, and Northvale Gap Expo Line bikeway meeting

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover today, so grab your coffee and settle in.

And don’t forget, just three more days to nominate someone to win a new bicycle in our first-ever bike giveaway. So take a moment to tell us who you think deserves to win a free bike from Beachbikes.net today!

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For once, the punishment fits the crime.

And not surprisingly, it comes from Orange County, where the DA and courts take traffic crime seriously, especially when it involves the loss of an innocent life.

Neil Storm Stephany, who killed 30-year old Fountain Valley cyclist Shaun Eagleson in a heroin-fueled 2014 Newport Beach hit-and-run, was sentenced Friday to 15-years to life behind bars.

Yes, life.

Despite signing a statement following a 2011 DUI conviction that he could face a murder charge if he killed someone while driving under the influence, Eagleson shot up with heroin before getting behind the wheel with two additional drugs in his system that may have amplified the effects of the illegal narcotic.

Witnesses reported seeing him weaving dangerously along PCH. But before police could respond, he plowed into Eagleson’s bike, leaving him to die in the street as he drove on; Stephany’s lawyer claimed he was too high to comprehend what had happened.

He also says the self-described substance abuse counselor had planned to enter rehab the next day, too late for everyone concerned.

Stephany’s actions, piled atop a long string of priors, left Eagleson’s wife without a husband, and dashed their plans to have a child together after she had long been told she would never be able to. And left his mother grieving a son taken away too soon, and hoping his killer never again sees the light of day.

As the judge put it in handing out his sentence,

Shooting heroin and getting into a car after being through several rehabs and after being warned of the consequences is mind blowing,” the judge said.

“Yes, Mr. Stephany (you) did not set out to kill again that day, but when you act with such disregard for the safety of others, this can happen.

The sad fact is that two lives were ended that day, and two families shattered. One life lost on the side of the road, through no fault of his own, and the other lost behind bars through his own actions, his parents left to grieve a son lost to drugs.

Despite the possible life term, it’s likely that Stephany will get out of prison one day. Whether he will come out a better man is highly debatable.

Thanks to Louis, Edward M. Rubinstein and our anonymous OC source for the heads-up.

Neil-Stephany-sentence

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Streetsblog’s Joe Linton provides a full report on Wednesday’s meeting on closing the Northvale Gap in the new Expo Line bike path.

In a case of major irony, two of the proposals would run on Northvale Road, directly in front of the homeowners who fought to keep the bike path from running behind their homes. Although the street has a steep hill that could cause many riders to seek an alternate route.

It’s also ironic that the price tag to complete the .7 mile gap runs between $13 million and $52 million.

It was only six years ago that some cyclists rose up to oppose a $30 million plan to extend the beachfront bike path two miles from Will Rogers State Beach nearly to Malibu, bypassing the narrow section of PCH where riders are currently forced to take the lane in front of often speeding traffic.

At $15 million per mile, it would actually have been cheaper than the least expensive option for closing the Northvale Gap.

The obvious choice, given the hill on Northvale, is to place the bike path next to the train line, precisely where the small group of homeowners fought to prevent it.

But where the $52 million to pay for it will come from is a very good question.

As is whether building the most expensive sub-one-mile of bikeway in the city is the best use for funds that could build many more miles somewhere else.

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Let’s help a guy out. And possibly help ourselves in the process.

Former San Francisco Bicycle Coalition staffer and current Bike the Vote LA volunteer Marc Caswell is conducting a study of the many Peak Hour Lanes throughout the City of Los Angeles to determine if they affect safety.

For my Masters in Urban Planning, I’m trying to determine if LA’s Peak Hour Tow Away Zones (PHTAZ) have an impact on street safety.

We know that the city has implemented these policies with no attention to safety — but simply to move cars. And they automatically preclude a street from the ability to have a bike lane (since the curb lane becomes traffic) — or from having pedestrian bulb-outs.  So, they are inherently prohibiting safety improvements.

But — I want to know if these unexpected, temporary, and erratic parking restrictions are creating driver confusion and/or increasing the rates of crashes — for all modes.

When I chose this project, I planned to map the crashes to the streets and assumed that the LADOT would have a map of all these zones — but they don’t.  They don’t even have a list.  I’ve had to use Google Street View and my own knowledge to find the 211 miles I’ve found so far…

But, now I need to open it up to the rest of the region and crowdsource the information.  So, I’ve published the map — and am calling on the public to help me identify the blocks I may have missed.

I have a public Google map here — with all the details and instructions.

Take a look. And if you see one missing, add it to the map.

The results could make a real difference in how our streets look in the future.

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Recently, we featured a guest post from Harv describing his ride through the streets of NELA for some pre-Christmas shopping.

Today he offers his first attempt at a bike-building video, capturing what he calls a typical (for him) project, taking a vintage lugged steel road bike frame and making it into an urban bike to navigate the busy streets of LA.

And here’s the finished product.

ral assembled 2_003

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In the USA Network’s new show Colony, the people of Los Angeles travel by bicycle following an occupation by invading aliens. Except for the bad guys, who travel in massive SUVs.

Sounds about right.

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Local

The LACBC’s Eric Bruins explains why Metro needs to dedicate 10% of a possible Measure R sequel to funding active transportation.

The bike-themed Wheelhouse coffee shop is now open in Downtown’s Arts District.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton will talk parking, CicLAvia, Vision Zero, rail construction, bike lanes, bike-share, speed, safety, trade-offs and more on Sunday morning when he’s interviewed on classic rock station The Sound at 100.3 FM.

A podcast from Streetsblog USA offers a tourist guide on how to visit Los Angeles without a car and where to go if you do.

Calbike VP and former Long Beach bike guru Charlie Gandy discusses the power of asking.

 

State

Anaheim cyclists are invited to participate in a series of workshops for the city’s draft bicycle master plan starting this Tuesday.

An Oxnard bike rider was wacked in the back with a stick by two men, knocking her off her bike so they could steal her backpack.

California restores funding for a bike and pedestrian path needed to get Castroville students over a dangerous set of train tracks.

Horrible news from San Jose, as a bike rider was killed by a hit-and-run driver who hit him, then backed over him again in what police describe as an intentional act. That should result in at least a second degree murder charge once they find the bastard.

 

National

It’s six years behind bars for a Seattle man in the drunken death of a bicyclist; the driver admitted to downing four beers and an Adderall before driving. Meanwhile, a Delaware driver gets eight years for the drunken hit-and-run death of a bike rider — with his three kids in the car, no less — after downing as many as seven drinks before getting behind the wheel.

LA will soon get its first pro football team in decades. But how many of them will ride their bikes and drive beat up cars like the pro players in DC?

Savannah GA cyclists turn out to fight a proposed ban on bikes in a park used as a popular riding route.

 

International

The good news is, bicycling isn’t the world’s dirtiest sport; the bad news is, it seems like almost every sport has a drug problem. Even curling.

A cyclist travels Bolivia’s Death Road and lives to tell the tale.

Life is cheap in Toronto, where the death of a bike rider barely merits a weak caress on the wrist.

Bike commuting rates appear to be dropping in most English cities, with a handful of notable exceptions.

The crowdfunding campaign to buy Britain’s bike-riding Labour Party leader a new bike is now up to £5,745 — the equivalent of nearly $8200 — which is just a tad over the £475 goal. Cycling Weekly looks at five bikes he could buy with that.

A British Good Samaritan ran to help a cyclist who was hit from behind by a van, only to discover he was colleague from her work at a local hospital.

Fat bikes come to the Swiss Alps.

An Arizona man takes his first bike ride in 30 years, a three-day, 87-mile trip through the Champagne region of France just 16 weeks after surgery for prostate cancer.

A new Berlin-based bike registry offers near-impossible to remove titanium micro-tags to identify your bike if it’s stolen.

Great piece from a British woman who left her London flat last July to bike to, and through, the Middle East in order to better understand it. One key point in our refugee-fearing times — she says she hasn’t met a single Muslim with the slightest sympathy for ISIS on her travels.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t body check a security guard just because he asks you to rack your bike. Climb hills and drop your friends the easy way, while still passing your urine test.

And did someone lose a giant plastic orange?

 

Morning Links: Alleged drunk hit-and-run driver faces charges, and Che Garcetti leads urban streets revolution

Unfortunately, I was tied up in a meeting last night, and didn’t have time to write the usual daily bike news roundup. But there are too many good stories to skip entirely, so let’s call this Morning Links Lite.

And come back later today, when we’ll have a different take on Describe Your Ride.

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Don’t forget, there’s less than one week to nominate someone you know to win a new bicycle in our first-ever bike giveaway. So take a moment to tell us who you think deserves to win a free bike from Beachbikes.net today!

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Twenty-five-year old Glendora resident Presley Rodriguez pled not guilty to a felony count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, along with special enhancement for fleeing the scene, in the alleged drunken hit-and-run death of Jose De Jesus Ruiz-Villanueva as he rode his bike to work last fall.

A police officer heard the collision, and stopped Rodriguez after seeing the damaged car speed away; a second officer found Ruiz-Villanueva lying dead at the scene.

She faces a well-deserved 15 year behind bars if she’s convicted, though the DA will most likely plead the case out for far less.

………

Newsweek calls LA Mayor Eric Garcetti the Che Guevara of SoCal infrastructure as he leads an urban revolution that, if successful, could spread across the country.

However, the story also relies on the old misleading stat that only 1% of Angelenos commute by bike, which fails to include other transportation riders such as students, shoppers or anyone who uses a bike for just part of their commute.

And it neglects to mention the huge jump in Santa Monica ridership after the city built a complete bike network, which should serve as a model for LA, and prove that people here will ride if they’re just given a share of the streets.

………

Speaking of remaking our streets — and the inevitable blowback cited in the Newsweek story — a petition on Change.org calls for the removal of bike lanes on York Blvd, claiming they cause major congestion at rush hour, overflow traffic on side streets and lost sales for local businesses.

Meanwhile, a counter petition says au contraire, most people want keep the bike lanes right where they are. Sign the latter if you live, work or ride in the area.

………

On top of all the other bad news yesterday, a man was murdered while riding his bike in Carson Tuesday evening. Police are looking for two suspects who ran away after shooting him; motive is unknown.

………

Police bust a career petty thief living in Leisure World in Seal Beach; the area saw a jump in stolen bicycles after he moved into the community following his latest release from jail.

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A gofundme account has been started to raise funds for a memorial for Stephen Craig Ortiz, the Loma Linda rider killed recently when he was left crossed by a 92-year old driver.

But in a very generous gesture, his family has requested that any further donations go the Inland Empire Biking Alliance, even though the fund has raised only $305 of the $2,000 goal.

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A San Francisco bike rider was pepper sprayed by a driver who had just buzzed her when she knocked on the car’s window at a red light to complain.

Something similar happened to a cyclist right here in LA recently; we should have the story soon.

………

Also in the Bagdad by the Bay, a bike deliveryman says he was brutally beaten by a cop, apparently for using his cellphone while cycling, which isn’t illegal.

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After Utah firefighters save the life of a college student who was nearly killed in a collision, they take up a collection to buy him a new bike.

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Cyclelicious reports that a proposed law in Missouri would require all bike riders to have a 15-foot tall orange fluorescent flag attached to their bicycles, apparently to protect riders from low-flying aircraft.

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Look mom, no handlebars!

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Edinburgh police are on the lookout for a “scruffy” bike rider with dark circles around his eyes who allegedly kicked a toddler as he rode by on his mountain bike.

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We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry crashing into a sheep on a high speed descent.

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An Aussie motorcycle cop rode up next to a moving bicyclist and pushed him off his bike in the middle of a busy intersection, allegedly for the crime of riding through a red light and not wearing a helmet.

Police claim the rider had refused to stop when the cop tried to pull him over, but witnesses told a different story.

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And don’t try this at home. A Barcelona bicyclist drafts just inches behind a bus at 50 mph.

Morning Links: Serious sentence for a serious crime, memorial for 9-year old victim, and blame drivers, not bikes

They continue to take traffic crime seriously in Orange County.

An unlicensed drunk driver got 18 years — yes, years, not months — for fleeing the scene after killing an elderly woman and injuring her blind grandson as they stood in a Santa Ana bike lane to observe fireworks on the 4th of July in 2013.

When she was arrested two hours later, Kelly Michele Wolfe had a blood alcohol level of .31, nearly four times the legal limit.

Now she’s going to have a very long time to sober up.

Maybe someone should tell the LA DA this is what can happen when you don’t bargain away all the serious charges.

Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling for the heads-up.

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Hundreds of mourners turned out on Sunday to remember the nine-year old boy killed while riding his bike in Irvine on Sunday.

He was a recent Chinese immigrant whose parents had come here looking for a better life.

Instead, they lost a son to this country’s deadly streets.

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Great piece from Boyonabike, who says we should “tell car companies to take cynical marketing gimmicks like ‘Volvo Life Paint’ and shove it where the sun don’t shine.”

Because, he says, the real problem is dangerous and distracted drivers, a lack of safe infrastructure, and a “car culture that sells cars on TV by overt appeals to fantasies of speed and danger”

Seriously, read it, already.

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Local

The LACBC’s Eric Bruins examines the investment priorities for a proposed transportation ballet measure.

The editor of USC’s Daily Trojan says bikeshare has the potential to revolutionize transit in Los Angeles if anyone actually uses it, while a writer for the Los Angeles News Group questions if people will pay $3.50 a trip to ride a bike.

Western Avenue in Palos Verdes could trade street parking for buffered bike lanes; for a change, the primary concern of local residents isn’t over the loss of parking spaces.

Writing for Orange 20 Bikes, Rick Risemberg offers advice on how to winterize your riding to prepare for El Niño and what passes for winter in the City of Angels.

Santa Clarita wants your opinion on the city’s off-street biking trails.

People for Bikes looks at Burbank’s own Pure Fix Cycles.

 

State

A San Jose cyclist is killed in a collision after allegedly bicycling under the influence; no word on why police think he’d been drinking.

San Francisco completes its 24th Vision Zero bike and pedestrian safety project three months ahead of schedule. Which puts it about 23 ahead of LA.

 

National

Great news from Arizona, as former US Representative Gabby Giffords takes her recumbent on a 40 mile ride less than five years after her near-fatal shooting.

Evidently, a Colorado letter writer really hates bike lanes; he condemns any government official who puts more than 20 cents into bike lane construction to suffer an eternity of spilling hot coffee in their laps while driving.

A Colorado mountain biker relates the frightening story of how he got lost for nearly two days after falling into a river during a recent Costa Rican race.

A discussion of installing crosstown bike lanes in New York’s Upper East Side draws little opposition, even if one community board member says bicyclists’ lawlessness has resulted in a “complete and total Armageddon.” Not to exaggerate or anything.

A Philadelphia magazine explores the challenges of being African American in white suburbia, including a troubling story of black teenagers just out for a bike ride.

The World Championships didn’t turn out to be the financial windfall for the Richmond area that had been promised.

 

International

London’s Cycling Commissioner says banning large trucks during rush hour won’t save as many lives as making trucks safer and building protected bike lanes. He also called a reporter a liar over claims bike riders weren’t using one of the city’s new cycle superhighways.

London plans to close a busy and dangerous junction in the heart of the city to motor vehicles for at least five years to improve safety and “all round congeniality,” while making more room for bikes and pedestrians.

A UK publication says leave the car at home if you don’t want to die young.

Two Brit bike thieves have been jailed for a long running con; they’d leave a laptop bag as security for taking a bike for a test ride, which turned out to hold nothing but books when they didn’t return. They’d gotten away with 23 bikes worth $93,000 before they were caught.

A British woman is left with a broken hip after a collision with a sidewalk-riding bicyclist. But if he just rode off without stopping, how do they know he had a foreign accent?

Forty Americans biked the length of Israel to show support for the Israeli military.

An 18-year old South African man designed and built his own very cool custom bike from scratch.

An Aussie website says it may be time to rethink the country’s bike helmet requirement.

A Kiwi earthmoving company has installed cameras with a dashboard monitor in their trucks to eliminate blind spots that put cyclists and pedestrians at risk.

A five-year old Chinese boy is able to ride his bike again after getting a 3D-printed hand.

Japanese police are looking for a man who smacked a woman in the head with a blunt object after her clothes somehow got caught in his bike when he rode up behind her.

 

Finally…

Evidently, it’s okay to steal a bike from a celebrity restaurant as long as you’re a hunk with washboard abs. If you’re going to use a bike as your getaway vehicle after robbing a bank, wearing a cycling cap sets the right stylistic tone.

And who says beautiful bikes don’t grow on trees?

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Thanks to Wes High and Matthew Robertson for their donations to support this site. Thanks to their generosity, the first ever Biking in LA Holiday Fund Drive is now up to, uh, three contributions!

Morning Links: Sentence in Fiesta Island crash, red light-running SaMo driver, and a long list of bike events

Nineteen years.

That’s the sentence given to Teresa Owens in San Diego on Thursday, for the meth-fueled wrong way collision that injured a dozen cyclists on Fiesta Island last year, leaving one paralyzed from the chest down.

According to the Union-Tribune,

Owens, 50, was at Fiesta Island to try to catch her boyfriend cheating on her. She admitted doing “a small line of methamphetamine” 12 hours beforehand. She was also driving on a suspended license, and she was fresh off a previous DUI arrest.

She drove the wrong way on the one-way road around the island and slammed into a group of cyclists on a training ride coming around a corner. Several flew onto her car or smashed into her windshield.

After her arrest, she was also found with a bag of meth hidden in her snatch.

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While making a legal left turn on the yellow, bike rider Wes High was nearly hit by a Santa Monica driver who swerved into the bike lane to get around a stopped car and blow through the light long after it had turned red.

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A new study is quick to blame the victims after 40% of teenagers report being hit or nearly hit by cars while walking. Never mind that careless or distracted drivers may have had something to do with it. And no, walking after dark is not an unsafe habit; that’s what human beings have done since we first stood upright.

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Nice project from CicLAvia, as they want to give back to the community — as if they don’t already give enough — by donating 30 new bikes, helmets and lights to LA County kids who can’t afford them. They want your help to nominate a kid who deserves one; nominations close on December 2nd.

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We’ve got a long list of bike events coming up in the next few weeks.

Today: If you can still make it, Caltrans District 7 Bicycle Advisory Committee is meeting at 9:30 this morning at Caltrans headquarters in DTLA; they want your input on two separate closures on the LA River Bike Path (see below under Local for more information on one of the closures). Thanks to LADOT Bike Program for the heads-up.

Today: Walk Bike Burbank will offer free bike valet at the annual Holiday in the Park festival sponsored by the Magnolia Park Merchants Association.

Saturday: The LACBC will participate in Path Hack at the Spoke Café on the Elysian Valley Pedestrian and Bike Path, a series of free art workshops designed to create a slow zone on the pathway.

CICLE MacArthur Park rideSaturday: Join CICLE and Equitas Academy for a family friendly Bikes and Batidos Ride around the MacArthur Park neighborhood, sponsored by Metro’s Safe Routes to Schools Pilot Program.

Saturday & Sunday: Professional cyclocross comes to El Dorado Park in Long Beach this Saturday and Sunday with the UCI CXLA Weekend.

Sunday: Celebrate the UCI CXLA cyclocross race by joining the Palms to Pines Ride along the San Gabriel River Trail, or take a shorter ride along the beach; proceeds benefit the LACBC and Bike SGV.

Some of the biggest names in international, national, and local cyclocross racing are coming to Long Beach’s El Dorado Park on November 21st and 22nd. As part of this weekend of racing, SoCalCross is offering a Palms to Pines community ride (Ride with GPS route is can be found here.) The ride, along the San Gabriel River Trail, will take riders from the palm trees and sand in Seal Beach all the way north to the pine trees at Azusa River Wilderness Park at the start of the San Gabriel Mountains, before returning to El Dorado Park in plenty of time to watch an afternoon of exciting racing action, enjoy food and beverages at the races, and visit the event’s sponsor Expo. The ride is 77 miles long, but you can ride as much or as little as you like. A shorter Ocean Breeze ride goes to the beach and back. Both are 100 percent on protected bike paths with no car traffic (only 3 street crossings). Registration is $45 ($55 day-of), less for the short ride, and includes an event t-shirt, lunch, pit stops, and a donation to LACBC and other local bicycle advocacy groups.

For more information and to register, go to SoCalCross.com

November 29th: The Encino Velodrome hosts the Encino Omnium track cycling race, sponsored by Burbank’s own Pure Fix Cycles.

November 29th: The SoCalCross Prestige Series: Turkey Trot Cross comes to Glendale’s Verdugo Park.

December 3rd: The LACBC hosts their annual open house, with drinks from Angel City Brewery; admission is free for LACBC members, so consider joining at the door.

December 3rd: Stan’s Bike Shop invites you to dress up in a holiday theme and join them as they ride in the Monrovia Christmas Parade.

December 3rd – 15th: Metro will be holding a second round of workshops to discuss their Active Transportation Strategic Plan, starting with North Hollywood and ending in Santa Clarita.

December 4th: The highly praised documentary Bikes vs Cars opens at the Laemmle NoHo 7.

December 5th: Ride your bike down to Long Beach for the Belmont Shore Christmas Parade, featuring hundreds of festively dressed marching Corgis.

December 12th: Calbike is hosting a special Bikeways to Everywhere donor party in Los Angeles.

December 27th: Finish the Ride comes to the San Fernando Valley for the first time to combat hit-and-run and help create safer streets for everyone.

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Local

A USC student marketing group conducts guerilla marketing campaigns to promote bike safety and security, along with alcohol awareness and combating sexual assault.

The Eastsider reports a one-mile stretch of the LA River bike path along Griffith Park has temporarily reopened after being closed for three days in advance of a projected year-long closure; Zoo Drive and Western Heritage Way are reportedly being “enhanced” in anticipation of the detour.

Santa Monica gets a $300,000 grant to improve traffic safety and help make “streets a more pleasant experience for everyone.” Meanwhile, Seal Beach gets a $140,000 traffic safety grant of their own.

The BBC looks at the Venice Beach Electric Light Parade, as bicyclists light their rides with hundreds of LED lights.

Santa Clarita celebrates its Bronze level Bicycle Friendly Communities award.

 

State

A memorial will be held today for John Pavlisin, Sr., the 89-year old owner of the Orange Cycle bike shops in Orange and Santa Ana.

A Saratoga driver is being sought by police for intentionally swerving into a bike lane in an attempt to hit a bicyclist. Somehow, that doesn’t merit more than a couple lines in the police blotter, though.

Menlo Park plans to add buffers to an existing bike lane, along with pedestrian-activated crossing lights, to improve safety along a preferred school route.

Palo Alto plans to extend the nation’s first bike boulevard three decades after it was first installed.

Napa police arrest a man claiming to be a wolf who speaks 13 languages for stealing a bike at knifepoint. No word on whether one of the languages is Lupine.

 

National

Bicycling offers a cute look at eight ways having a baby changes your cycling.

No bikes involved, just another example of the mass insanity on our roads, as an allegedly drunk driver killed 38 sheep in a Colorado hit-and-run.

There’s a special place in hell for someone who would steal a custom–made bike from a Texas girl with cerebral palsy; fortunately, a kindhearted stranger has offered to replace it.

The Guardian looks at how Oklahoma City has overturned car culture and what can happen when cities kick the car habit.

A South Dakota business owner and bike advocate says forcing everyone into cars isn’t the solution to bike safety.

A New York radio station explores six things they’ve learned about biking in the city by studying over 3,000 photos of blocked bike lanes.

Forget all those cars, evidently the greatest danger New york bicyclists face comes from other riders. Seriously, that’s what she said; you can stop laughing now.

Not only is Pennsylvania’s Genesis Bicycles planning to close for Black Friday, the shop’s employees will donate that day’s salaries to a local charity.

Evidently, it’s legal to kill a cyclist in your sleep in Maryland, as a dozing Bethesda driver got off with just $690 in fines for negligent driving.

 

International

Toronto cyclists says just because a bike looks old or unmaintained, that doesn’t mean it’s been abandoned.

Caught on video: London’s mayor Boris is greeted with angry words and gestures as he opens the city’s first segregated cycle superhighway. The best part is his friendly wave in response to a one-fingered salute from a bike rider. Thanks to Sam Kurutz for the tip.

A London exhibition will display nine of the Cannibal’s racing jerseys; the jerseys, worn by five-time Tour de France winner and multiple world champion Eddy Merckx, are worth an estimated $304,000.

The Guardian looks at a dozen designs that revolutionized bicycling, from Brooks Saddles to fixies and 3D printing.

A coldhearted Brit writer says he only feels sympathy for the “poor car driver who will have the death of the blithering idiot on their conscience” if a ninja cyclist is killed.

Caught on video: A British bike rider stands his ground while demanding that a driver who violated his right-of-way back up instead of going around him.

A new UK company has developed a circular bike parking garage that stores bikes vertically, above or below ground. Can we have a few of those here? Or maybe a few dozen?

A Jewish woman rides a Vélib’ bike across Paris to visit a friend just days after the terrorist attacks.

Emirates and Dubai royalty join in the mourning the death of a champion cyclist and triathlete just a week before his wedding.

Islamic State, the group behind last week’s Paris terrorist attacks, has claimed responsibility for shooting a bike-riding Italian priest in Bangladesh.

A 20-year old South African student gets 13 years for fatally stabbing a man to steal his bicycle.

An Aussie driver with a provisional license apologizes on social media after the cyclist she nearly killed leaves a very polite note saying she looks too nice for prison.

 

Finally…

Evidently, doping predates the invention of the bicycle by a few millennia.

If you’ve been very good, maybe Santa or Hanukkah Harry will bring you a $75,000, platinum and diamond encrusted racing bike for your next club ride. Or you could sell it and by the world’s first bicycle/scooter hybrid for 115 of your closest friends.

And caught on video: Chinese cyclists crash head-on at the end of a Gran Fondo when the lead group somehow takes a wrong turn and sprints to the finish from the wrong direction.

Morning Links: Swift justice in Highland Park DUI hit-and-run case, and protected bike lanes spread across US

That was fast.

Less than five months after 33-year old Jose Luna was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding in a Highland Park crosswalk, the man responsible has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

Alexis Virto was reportedly driving at least 60 mph on North Figueroa Blvd and never braked before he slammed into Luna, severing his leg and carrying him the length of two football fields on the hood of his car as he fled the scene.

He was found bed with his girlfriend a few hours later, still drunk, with glass from the shattered windshield still in his hair.

Virto accepted a plea deal last month, entering a plea of no contest to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in exchange for prosecutors dropping a host of other charges.

Even if he served his full sentence — which is highly unlikely — the 21-year old driver would be just 30 years old when he gets out.

But he’ll have the rest of his life to live with what he did after getting drunk and getting behind the wheel.

Meanwhile, North Figueroa remains one of the city’s deadliest streets, over a year after CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo arbitrarily killed a planned road diet while somehow citing safety as the reason to halt the safety project.

………

Today’s theme seems to be protected bike lanes.

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Local

UCLA cites 13 improvements that helped the campus jump up to silver-level Bicycle Friendly University status, placing it in the top third of bike-friendly colleges nationwide; however, UC Santa Barbara ranks a notch higher with gold status. Needless to say, USC is nowhere to be found on the list.

The LACBC offers highlights from last week’s successful Firefly Ball.

Pasadena’s Open Road bike shop is a one man operation with no employees to help run the 10,000 square foot store; owner Steve Lubanski’s business model focuses on selling accessories rather than bicycles.

BikeSGV is looking for a full-time Active Transportation Data Coordinator to collect, analyze and report information on bicycling and walking in the San Gabriel Valley.

The Santa Monica Bike Center is selling some of their used bikes, including this nifty kid-friendly ride that transforms into stroller. If only it came in a Corgi-compatible model, and I had an extra grand tucked under the mattress.

El Segundo police are looking for the thief who cut a cable lock to steal an $1,800 bicycle. Anyone who thinks $1,800 is a high-end bike hasn’t priced them lately.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Authority warns that a quarter of Orange County bicycling fatalities occur between 6 pm and 10 pm. Which means that three-quarters don’t.

Irvine-based Pedego introduces their first e-powered mountain bike. Whether it can legally be ridden off-road is highly questionable, though.

Laguna Beach cyclists will take a free tour of local backyard chicken coops with the third annual Tour de Coop.

Lake Forest considers a plan to put bike lanes on Saddleback Ranch Road after residents rose up in protest of earlier plans.

Santa Ana will host it’s second annual ciclovía this Sunday, with a belated Day of the Dead theme.

Thousand Oaks’ first ciclovía drew just 2,000 people, most of whom went home as the day grew on.

A Thousand Oaks driver didn’t bother to stop after hitting a deer, but a cyclist who witnessed it did; rider Todd Banks comforted the badly injured animal until help came, while other riders and motorists stopped to call for help and direct traffic.

A lightless Redding bike rider suffered significant head and leg injuries when he reportedly rode out in front of an 88-year old driver.

 

National

The Bike League reports those proposed anti-bike amendments to the federal transportation bill went down in flames.

A loophole in Lance’s lifetime ban means he’ll be eligible to compete in triathlons starting next year. When you look at the photo accompanying that story, just remember you can’t spell Speedo without EPO.

A writer for Health Magazine asks if the un-helmeted people who ride New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare bikes have a death wish. Actually, as of last year, no one had been killed riding a bikeshare bike anywhere in the US. But I guess they don’t have Google at the magazine.

Colorado’s governor touts the benefits of bicycling; the bike-friendly state has the lowest obesity rate in the US.

The Grand Rapids newspaper calls the removal of a bike lane in front of a church attended by a city commissioner an abuse of power, and an exercise in how not to run a city.

Feel free to write your own punch line, as a Massachusetts bike rider somehow mistook a Trump for President campaign sign for a bomb.

 

International

If you want to meet actual Cubans instead of tourists, just hop on a bike.

Vancouver unanimously rejects a proposal to license cyclists, which means even the counselor who proposed it ended up voting against it.

Calgary police shoot a hit-and-run suspect who deliberately ran down a cyclist, then circled back and drove at officers when they tried to stop him.

A Canadian researcher says mandatory helmet laws may increase bike helmet use, but they do absolutely nothing to improve safety.

Now that’s more like it. A UK cop is fined and given “management advice” for parking in a bike lane, forcing riders out into rush hour traffic.

Evidently, fleeing the scene after hitting a cyclist isn’t enough to take away a Brit cab driver’s license.

Historical photos show how Amsterdam slowly transformed itself from a car-choked city to a bicyclists’ paradise, suggesting other cities can do it, too. Like Los Angeles, for instance.

Not surprisingly, the director of the Tour de France says the Dutch bill for unpaid expenses from the first two stages of last year’s race is baseless and absurdly high.

Take a bike tour of Croatia to visit island vistas and ancient sites, including the birthplace of Marco Polo.

 

Finally…

Bombing down a trail in a state park is one thing; finding a WWII hand grenade on the trail is another. Your next high-end bike could be made of plastic.

And what’s the point of striping a new bike lane if you’re just going to plop a Yield to Bikes sign in the middle of it?

 

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