Archive for Legal Cases

Morning Links: Stephany convicted of 2nd degree murder, KCRW can’t find bike riders to discuss Mobility Plan

No surprise here.

An Orange County jury has found Neil Storm Stephany guilty of second degree murder in the heroin and Ativan-fueled hit-and-run death of cyclist Shaun Eagleson as he rode on the East Coast Highway just over a year ago.

And despite his attorney’s bizarre argument that Stephany can’t be held responsible because he was so high he had no idea what he was doing behind the wheel.

Stephany had been warned following a previous DUI conviction that he could face a murder charge if he killed someone while driving under the influence. Instead he shot up, got behind wheel and did exactly that; he was reportedly found incoherent with fresh needle marks at the time of his arrest.

He faces 15 years to life in prison when he’s sentenced on January 15th.

Despite one juror’s hope that this is a wake-up call for Stephany, it’s a little too late for that.

And for the man he killed.

Neil-Stephany-conviction-reduced

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

………

Hats off to REI.

While other retailers are forcing their employees leave their families and work on Thanksgiving Day, the Seattle-based co-op will not only be closed on Thanksgiving, but will be shutting their doors on the following day, aka Black Friday. And telling their employees to go outdoors and enjoy themselves.

With pay.

………

A reader forwards this moving piece from a former bike racer suffering from an incurable, untreatable and progressively degenerative kidney disease, and her first tentative step back into cyclocross racing just for fun.

Definitely worth taking a few moments from your day to read.

………

Local

KCRW’s Which Way LA looks at the reactions to LA’s Mobility Plan 2035 in South LA and around Rowena Ave in Silver Lake, but can’t seem to find any bike riders to discuss it with.

A trio of USC students are working on a Bluetooth-enabled bike lock that will be permanently mounted on your bike, and lock by clamping around the rear wheel.

The LA Explorers Club is hosting an LA Noir Bicycle Tour this Sunday, taking riders back to the classic Los Angeles of the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s.

 

State

A group of Santa Ana kids are recognized for their work in bike advocacy at the California Bicycle Summit, while the city is set to receive $11.5 million in bikeway funding.

Bike Newport Beach discusses the need to teach young bike racers how to ride safely on the streets.

A La Jolla mountain bike rider was the victim of a brutal assault while visiting New Orleans, leaving him paralyzed from the shoulders down. And neither the police or the Big Easy press seem to give a damn. When I lived down that way, it too often seemed that rather than the City That Care Forgot, it was the city that forgot to care.

San Diego will begin work on the next link in the Bayshore Bikeway around the first of the year, the first of $200 million in new bike projects in the region over the next decade.

Coronado police warn that the annual grace period for student bike violations is ending. Note to CPD: Riding a bike in a crosswalk is legal under California law.

A Redlands bike rider was injured in a shooting as he rode past two men walking in the street.

Sad news from Sacramento, as a man dies eight days after he was hit by a car while riding his bike.

Apparently, bike friendly Davis has a bike parking problem.

 

National

Despite the recent bike boom, visits to bike shops declined 17% from 2012 to 2014.

Uber’s new Uber Rush delivery service is using a fleet of bike messengers to make deliveries in New York City, San Francisco and Chicago in an hour or less.

An engineering professor proposes a bikeshare system for the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Maybe he didn’t want to miss his favorite show. An Iowa rider loses three teeth when he was mugged by a group of men who wanted the TV he was carrying on his bike.

A St. Louis writer says bicycling can be bliss in the city originally built for horses and trolleys.

Science takes a backseat to football at the University of North Carolina, where bikes are banned from parking in front of the Genome Science building on game days.

Key West cyclists team up for the annual four-mile Zombie Bike Ride.

 

International

Go ahead and have that drink. A new study shows that while a third of injured cyclists have been drinking, drunk riders are less likely to get in wrecks and are no more likely to be injured than sober riders.

A Montreal bike messenger poetically says the key to survival is to float like a ghost into the spaces no one else is occupying.

The former head of Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service says the country’s legal system has failed cyclists, and calls for a change in the way bike cases are handled. Meanwhile, the head of roads policing for the British National Police Chiefs’ Council says it’s too risky to commute by bike in London.

The Scottish town of Dumfries puts it’s bikeshare system on hold following complaints that it’s too difficult to use. The story quotes my favorite Scot bike blogger as she helps raise the rabble.

Just as women’s cycling is starting to take off again, Switzerland is dropping their women’s team due to financial losses.

A leftwing German political party wants to encourage biking and walking by eliminating fines for red light violations in the law-abiding country.

The BBC looks at the legal loophole that allows Syrian refugees to cross the Russian border into Finland only if they are on a bike, and the absurd trade in flimsy children’s bikes it has spawned. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

A Rwandan cyclist was killed in a mid-race collision after he dropped off the back of the peloton.

Seriously? South Australian officials warn that allowing bikes on sidewalks will result in huge costs to local government, as well as lawsuits against cyclists. And Aussie Liberals seem misnamed as they threaten to roll back the state’s 1-meter passing law.

Philippine cyclists flaunt the country’s Carmegeddon to advocate for a piece of the road. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying 64 tabs of Lorazepam, aka Ativan, on your bike, put a damn light on it and stay off the sidewalk. Talk about casting a big shadow; a little ingenuity and elbow grease, and you, too can frighten the neighbors into thinking a rogue elephant is on the loose.

And this is what happens when you don’t have any women — or men capable of thinking with the larger head — in your marketing department.

Colnago-tweet

Morning Links: Amgen ToC route announced, Stephany trial goes to jury, and the state of cycling in Santa Ana

Looks like they’re going backwards.

Reversing their usual north to south route, next year’s Amgen Tour of California will start in San Diego and end in Sacramento; the race will also include four women’s stages as part of the UCI WorldTour this year. Other SoCal legs include South Pasadena to Santa Clarita, and Thousand Oaks to Santa Barbara.

Word has it bike riding former UCLA and NBA star Bill Walton is particularly stoked about the San Diego start.

………

Our anonymous Orange County correspondent reports the Stephany DUI murder trial went to the jury today, but no word on whether they reached a verdict; if not, deliberations will resume next week.

She adds,

In closing, Stephany’s lawyer was adamant and clearly believed his own words, but his argument just wasn’t very compelling. Plus I think Juror #11 wanted to smack him.

………

She also offers a few uncensored thought on the state of bicycling in Santa Ana.

Civic Center Drive has fresh new stripes for, I suppose, a buffered bike lane. The “buffer” is skinny and there are no bike graphics yet, and the placement of the dashed lines is so random I don’t even know if it can possibly conform to the MUTCD.

Also, a fucktard swooping into the semicircular driveway in front of the courthouse and CUT ME OFF and when I yelped, he was all, “What? I didn’t hit you!” Well, true, and the ONLY reason he didn’t hit me while he was failing to yield, failing to signal, and failing to make a proper right turn from the correct lane position is because I have three separate braking mechanisms, all of which I immediately engaged so that his criminal maneuver wouldn’t put me on a goddamn gurney. Maybe all the new visual clutter induced vertigo in his head?

During the 2-hour lunch recess, I rode around and despaired at the wobbly sharrowed path on 3rd Street. And the complete absence of sharrows on, say, narrow-laned Broadway, or anyplace they’d actually be useful on. And the insufficient bike racks. (Ya wanna rack in front of, or at least anywhere near, City Hall? Well, TOO BAD FOR YOU, PAL).

It’s like Santa Ana is just slapping bike & ped infrastructure down wherever it happens to fit, whether it will be functional or not. Kinda like the way God slapped together the platypus from leftover spare parts He had lying around, except that critter works just fine, whereas the hodgepodge of bike stuff in Santa Ana is nothing but frustration.

Downtown Santa Ana makes downtown LA look like a dream world.

………

More big hearts out there.

A Texas boy gets a new bicycle from a local bike shop after his was destroyed in a collision; $1,000 that was raised to replace his bike will now be given to the crossing guard who was injured saving his life.

And police chip in to buy a Charlotte NC boy a new bike after he was injured in a crash.

………

Just a day after lamenting that Timbuk2’s new MuttMover messenger bag was too small for the Corgi, the company tweeted back that they have a bag large enough to carry a 40 pound dog.

Or more precisely, had one, since it’s no longer listed on their website.

Looks like the Corgi will have to keep waiting for her first bike ride, dammit. Then again, I’m not sure how well I could ride with 30 pounds of doggie ADD on my back, anyway.

………

Local

CiclaValley reminds us about next Thursday’s Firefly Ball to benefit the LACBC. You are going, right?

LADOT Bike Blog looks at the Mobility Hubs planned for the LA Area, with 13 primary hubs at major transit stations in Hollywood, DTLA and Long Beach, and 85 satellite in the same areas. Now what we need are safe routes to ride to and from those hubs.

A Calabasas teenager starts a mountain bike team to encourage other local students to get out and ride.

 

State

Writing for Streetsblog CA, Roger Rudick says judges and prosecutors should be shown the door if they refuse to treat murder by car like murder, and cites Hayward judge Michael Gaffey and Los Angeles DA Jackie Lacey as prime examples. Couldn’t agree more.

Cyclelicious offers recent bike photos in the news.

A San Diego county supervisor discusses his vision for a barrio to barrio bike path due to open next year that will connect to another new bikeway circling San Diego’s South Bay.

A Carlsbad writer questions whether the city went too far in installing 100 bike racks in the downtown area. Chances are, he didn’t raise the same question when car parking went in.

Both people suffered major injuries when someone on a motorized bike hit a pedestrian in Desert Hot Springs Thursday evening.

An ad campaign from Airbnb urging San Francisco to spend hotel taxes on bike lanes, among other things, to fight a local ordinance limiting hotel taxes appears to have blown up in their faces.

Marin County firefighters are calling for bike donations to assist victims of the Valley Fire in Lake County.

Tour de France vet Andrew Talansky will lead a two-day fundraising ride for the Napa County Bicycle Coalition.

A new Modesto road diet and bike lanes are nearly complete and already being used.

Twenty children will get recycled bicycles as part of a giveaway program to encourage cycling in bike-friendly Davis.

 

National

Turns out using hands-free devices is even more distracting than we thought; it takes as long as 27 seconds for a driver to turn his concentration back to the road after sending a text using voice commands.

Mashable says e-bikes are the solution to a sweaty commute. Or you could, you know, just ride slower.

A man sets off on a cross-country bike ride after being diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, just two months after he participated in the ALS Challenge. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Caught on video: A Portland bike rider is accused of plowing into a pedestrian after riding through a bike signal.

Phoenix calls on drivers to look twice for bikes. Forget twice; it would make a huge difference in safety if every driver just looked at least once.

Construction begins on the final link in an off-road bike path along I-70 from Denver to Glenwood Springs, 160 spectacular miles away through the Colorado Rockies.

A St Louis woman says even though she’s been riding a bike for 10 years, she’s still terrified to ride to work.

A Michigan bike rider was found partially submerged in a ditch after a witness had earlier seen him walking his bike bleeding from a head wound, though the rider assured him he was okay.

It’s a sad commentary on today’s world when a Minneapolis Krav Maga studio feels the need to offer a three-hour course in bicycle self-defense to ward off attackers. Even sadder that I want to take it.

 

International

An Ontario writer argues against allowing cyclists to ride abreast, citing studies showing cyclists are more aggressive in groups. Note to the clueless: human beings are more aggressive in groups, whether they’re riding bikes, driving cars, or watching a football game. And it’s still possible to ride in a group without riding abreast.

An Irish writer says Dublin cyclists are lawless to the point of sheer arrogance. Except for her, of course.

Oslo, Norway announces plans to be the first city to ban cars entirely from the city center.

A New Zealand professor says lower speed limits won’t solve everything, but they will improve safety, while also increasing livability and encouraging people to walk and bike. Lets hope our local officials are listening.

 

Finally…

For all you doubters out there, here’s proof Lance didn’t have to dope to win races; he admitted under oath that he won a $1 million bonus after the Coors Light team was paid off to let him win in 1993. This is not what Twitter is for, as a Florida driver tweets that he just killed a man after hitting a 16-year old pedestrian — complete with a photo of the body.

And caught on video: Ride across the Brooklyn Bridge with the world’s angriest cyclist, complete with endless rants about effing morons; not even a bride escapes his ire.

Morning Links: Daily News finally gets it, and possibly the next-to-last report on the Stephany DUI murder case

I’ve never been a fan of the LA Daily News editorial department.

Remember the laughable Summer of Cycling?

But a new editorial about the dangers of walking in the City of Angels shows they finally get it, at least when it comes to travel on two feet.

Virtually everything they write also applies to riding a bike, so let’s hope this marks a permanent change in attitude towards everyone not encased in tons of metal, as they put it.

………

Our anonymous Orange County correspondent offers what promises to be the penultimate report on the murder case of self-described drug counselor Neil Storm Stephany in the heroin-fueled DUI death of cyclist Shaun Eagleson.

Courtroom C37 (Stephany case) was jurorless today as the attorneys wrangled over striking some testimony from the record. Whatever the outcome, both sides expect to present closing arguments tomorrow morning. Stephany waived his right to be present. I think he’s bored with the whole thing.

Yesterday, the People played a video of Stephany’s interrogation in which he admitted he’d gone to the court-ordered First Offender Program after his first DUI. When asked what he’d learned, he replied, “Nothin’, they really don’t teach you anything.” He also opined that the classes were just a “racket” for the government to make money. A few minutes later, when asked directly, “Did they say it’s dangerous?” Stephany answered, “Yeah.” Subsequent similar yes or no questions were all answered in the affirmative.

The video began with the phlebotomist’s difficulty in finding a usable vein to draw blood for a tox exam; she eventually has to return with a smaller needle. An officer then brings in paperwork for Stephany’s 30 day temporary license for the DMV! (Which, of course, the suspect ended up not needing.)

Several tests were off camera, in the hallway. The DRE (Drug Recognition Expert) administering the tests can be heard issuing the typical instructions and telling Stephany to stay upright. During the Romberg test, he fell asleep standing up, and failed to find his nose in ten attempts. The DRE terminated testing for Stephany’s own safety; he’d nearly fallen through an open doorway into the police supervisor’s office.

Stephany clearly remembers a collision, but repeatedly stated that he didn’t know what he had hit. When prodded, he said he thought he’d hit a car. He had stopped his pick-up very briefly, but then punched the gas when he saw people running toward him. (This corresponds to the descriptions provided by the horrified witnesses.) When asked why he hadn’t stayed at the scene, he admitted that he knew it was a probation violation and he would be in trouble.

When asked “What does it feel like when you do heroin?” Stephany began crying, and answered honestly through the sobs. In the courtroom, Eagleson’s family appeared unmoved.

After the officer left the tiny room at the conclusion of the interview, Stephany rustled through his empty pockets, perhaps trying to find his confiscated Suboxone.

………

Celebrate the grand opening of the San Gabriel Valley Education Center this Sunday with a spooky Halloween Pet and Costume Bike Train.

………

Bike SGV sends word that the City of Duarte is hosting a public meeting to get input from people who live or bike in the city on their new draft bike plan, next Wednesday from 6:30-7:30 pm at the Community Center at 1600 Huntington Drive.

………

Wesley Reutimann sends word that anyone who lives or works in South Pasadena is invited to volunteer with the local organizing committee for next year’s Amgen Tour of California start in the city. If you’re interested, email Samuel Zneimer of the City Manager’s office at SZneimer@SouthPasadenaCA.gov.

Next year’s race could also make it down to San Diego for the first time since 2013.

………

Local

Richard Risemberg takes issue with the recent private meeting between the LACBC’s Tamika Butler and CD1 City Councilmember Gil Cedillo, calling for Butler to release the full details of the discussion to ensure transparency. Of course, if she did, she’d never get another meeting with him, or any other elected official.

CiclaValley visits North Figueroa, where Cedillo’s continued intransigence has helped keep the street deadly.

County Supervisor Hilda Solis announced plans to convert Rosemead Blvd near the Whittier Narrows into a Complete Street to improve safety for everyone.

The Eastside Bike Club will offer their annual El Sereno Día de Los Muertos altar to honor bicyclists who have died in the last year.

UCLA’s Be a Green Commuter offers up eleven awesome bike costumes for Halloween.

A student was hit by a minivan while riding on the campus of Loyola Marymount University.

The new Ted Baker London store will be the only place in the US where you can buy the Brit designer’s rose-hued bespoke Quella bike.

 

State

A Fullerton cyclist suffered head trauma when he was hit by a car Wednesday morning; fortunately, he’s expected to survive. Note to Fullerton police: Why the hell would it matter if the victim was in the crosswalk? Bike riders are allowed to cross the street, crosswalk or not. Thanks to Kathi Bloom, who came upon the scene shortly after the wreck, for the heads-up.

Also in Fullerton, a former gang member was shot with a pellet gun while riding his bike in a park; he continued riding to a hospital to get help.

The California Bike Summit starts in three days in sunny San Diego. Having attended the first one in LA, I strongly recommend going if you can make it.

A man was shot by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer after he allegedly got off his bicycle and approached the officer with a knife. For some reason, the LA Times — which usually knows better — identifies the victim only as a bicyclist in the headline, rather than, say, a man, as every other source seems to do. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the link.

A former Lompoc competitive cyclist and newly minted BMX racer suggests yoga to take the pain out of bicycling.

A Salinas cyclist was fatally shot after he was chased by two men, apparently in front of multiple witnesses.

Oh, the poor cars! Menlo Park votes to remove parking spaces to make room for bike lanes.

A San Francisco cyclist was right hooked by a driver who fled the scene; it will be hard to find the suspect since the car didn’t have any plates. That’s a major problem these days; too many cars travel California streets with no plates thanks to loopholes in the law and lax enforcement.

Los Altos cracks down on “reckless” riders after two cyclists are injured in solo falls. Note to the other LA: It’s not speeding unless the bike riders are going faster than the posted limit.

Next City looks at Davis, where a remarkable 23% of the population bikes to work; UC Davis has banned cars from the campus for 48 years.

Sad news from Redding, as a bike rider was killed in a left cross when a driver failed to yield while making a left turn.

 

National

Universal Sports, the channel that broadcasts the Tour de France, Amgen Tour of California and the USA Pro Challenge, will cease to exist next month. No word on what NBC, which owns Universal, will do with the rights to those races.

Bicycling reviews Timbuk2’s new Muttmover messenger bag, which is designed to do exactly what the name implies. Unfortunately, it’s about 10 pounds too small for the Corgi.

Bicycling also offers advice to cyclists planning their first tattoo. Which pretty much applies to anyone considering tatts, whether or not they’ve ever been on a bike.

Despite panicking press reports, construction of a new protected bike lane in Denver has not snarled traffic.

A previously convicted flasher was arrested in Iowa for riding a bike with his genitals hanging out of his shorts; he tucked them back in when an officer stopped him, which was taken as evidence that he was doing it on purpose.

That cyclist riding cross-country on one of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare bike was punched in the face for no apparent reason by a bike-hating Oklahoma driver.

The University of Illinois student newspaper takes a he said/she said look at the conflict between bicyclists and pedestrians on campus.

Tragic news from New York, as a police officer was fatally shot while chasing a bike thief; the killer was arrested several blocks later with a gunshot wound to his leg.

 

International

A Montreal university study says bikes are the best way to arrive at work alert and on time.

A new survey shows 75% of Brits support investing more money in bicycling; even people who never ride a bike think funding should be increased.

One more reason to ride a bike: A researcher in the UK says diesel fumes are messing with bees ability to smell flowers.

A British solicitor says commercial drivers shouldn’t hesitate to blame the victim in a collision with a cyclist.

Caught on video: Get a handlebar-view look at what it’s like to ride a bike at rush hour in Dublin.

New Delhi held its first car-free day today, while encouraging people to take to their bikes to lower pollution.

Bicycling is gaining in popularity in running-obsessed Kenya.

A writer for the Australian says South Australia’s new equivalent to the three-foot passing law will make the roads more dangerous, even though that hasn’t happened anywhere else. He also says he gets bicycles, then proceeds to prove he doesn’t.

Now you, too, can tour Antarctica by bike for a mere $75,000.

 

Finally…

No matter how much a student driver angers you, don’t bust out a window with your U-lock and shower a three-month old baby with glass. The Internet is lighting up in response to video of a boy knocking a girl off her bike with a basketball after she tells him to fuck off. Remarkably — or maybe not, given the nature of online comments — some actually say she deserved it.

And yes, blame those damned green-loving, environmentally friendly, non-driving Millennials for the sad state of our roads.

Not the people in massive, multi-ton trucks and SUVs.

Or even the bee-killing Volkswagen drivers.

 

Morning Links: New LACBC film, updates on Orange Line bike path closure and Stephany murder trial

Just a brief update today, since last night was lost in IRS hell getting my wife’s taxes ready in time for today’s final extension deadline.

On the other hand, mine were easy; it doesn’t take long when you don’t make any money.

………

Let’s start with a new LACBC video prepared for last week’s New Urbanism Film Festival, as Executive Director Tamika Butler discusses her journey to bike advocacy and the coalition’s vision for the future of Los Angeles.

………

Speaking of the LACBC, former board member and current LA Bicycle Advisory Committee member Kent Strumpell is leaving Friday on an extended solo bike tour to raise money for the California Bicycle Coalition and the Citizen’s Climate Lobby.

………

We’ve had a few updates recently from danger d regarding the unannounced closure of the Orange Line bike path in the San Fernando Valley. Yesterday he went straight to the source to find out what’s going on.

At least it’s good news from the Orange Line bike path construction. Workers on site say they expect the fenced off section to be closed for 6 weeks, so they can build a new path on the other side of the trees in order to build the new flyaway bus stop and comply with ADA standards. The detour is set up but there is room to walk around the fencing on Victory and get back to the path. Workers say this is the only section that will be fenced off.

20151014_133846

20151014_134841

20151014_133921

………

Our anonymous Orange County correspondent offers a brief update from the murder trial of Neal Storm Stephany, who was allegedly high on heroin and anti-addiction meds when he ran cyclist Shaun Eagleson down from behind on the coast highway in Newport Beach last year.

Today, Eagleson’s widow held it together as long as she could, but when the prosecution brought out photos from the crime scene again after lunch recess, she whimpered at the images of the gouges left in the asphalt by her husband’s bike, and then broke down so completely at the photo of Shaun’s shredded clothing that her family (& the extraordinary victim services specialist) escorted her out of the courtroom.

She didn’t return.

Court recessed early, and will continue next Tuesday.

Despite the heat, I wanted to go down to PCH. The gouges are still there. And despite the repeated use of the term “bike lane” by NBPD Sgt. Little on the stand and the prosecution, no designated bike lane exists at that location.

No word on whether the jury has gotten a glimpse of Stephany’s reputed “fuck the police” and swastika tatts under his new haircut.

She also adds a few thoughts about the Santa Ana courthouse, where the trial is being held.

I think Civic Center Drive (on the north side of the Santa Ana courthouse there) has preliminary markings for a buffered bike lane. (Or maybe upcoming sewer work, dunno.) New sensors were installed very recently, including a bike sensor, but it’s not marked yet.

Bike racks at the courthouse would be f’ing nice.

………

State Assemblymember Chris Holden is holdin’ a meeting to discuss Southern California Transportation issues at 10 am today in Pasadena; if you can’t make it there on short notice, you should be able to view the session online at his website. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

A few other key stories.

LADOT Bike Blog introduces the city’s first Complete Streets design committee.

Joel Epstein looks at transit envy and other thoughts on making LA the city it can be, including the need to embrace the mobility plan and bike infrastructure the way other cities have.

Streetsblog offers highlights from Wednesday’s meeting of the City Council Transportation Committee, which encouraged LADOT and the LAPD to find ways to reduce speeding in support of Vision Zero, and maybe even legalize the practice of locking your bike to a parking meter, which is currently banned in LA.

A San Francisco columnist calls on residents of a nearby town to stop their two-decade old guerilla tack war on cyclists.

A Chicago cyclist knocked on the window of a car that drifted into the bike lane he was riding in, and ended up under arrest when the driver turned out to be an off-duty cop.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 85-year old man biked from Sacramento to Lake Forest IL to visit his alma mater.

Brooklyn cops commit an act of vandalism by painting parking spot numbers on a bike lane to illegally convert it to their use.

A DC church is fighting a planned bike lane because they claim it would infringe on their constitutional rights of religious freedom. No, seriously.

Georgia police apologize after one of their officers is caught on video buzzing a group of cyclists, and nearly hitting one.

A Florida driver won’t face charges for the hit-and-run collision that killed a cyclist because — get this — prosecutors say there’s no proof he knew he killed a human being, after the driver claimed he thought he’d hit a wild hog. That’s basically a Get Out of Jail Free card for every hit-and-run driver, everywhere.

A London cyclist is caught on video taking his anger out on the rider he just cut off after running a red light and making an illegal left turn. Actually, if you just cut someone off, it is their business.

Finally, just what every cyclist needs, a bike trailer with a built-in grill. But do we really need bike and pedestrian lanes inside an apartment building?

………

Thanks to John Hall for his generous donation to support this site. If you’d like to join him in supporting the work we do here at BikinginLA, just click here

 

Morning Links: Map of closed Orange Line bike path, dangerous Rowena, and Stephany too high to be responsible

Here’s the latest update on the unannounced closure of the Orange Line bike path.

Reader danger d maps the closed portion of the path, indicating that only the area near Woodley Ave is actually fenced off, although several blocks leading up to it are marked with detour signs.

Red marks fenced off area, orange is marked with detour signs, and green denotes the detour route around the construction

Red marks fenced off area, orange is marked with detour signs, and green denotes the detour route around the construction zone

Meanwhile, he keeps getting bounced from one agency to another in his attempts to determine who’s responsible for the closure, and why.

The county denied having anything to do with it, and referred him to the City of LA; he’s still waiting for a response from the LADOT Bikeways Section.

………

Despite the recent controversy over the Rowena road diet, the street remains dangerous, as a pedestrian was struck trying to cross the street Sunday night.

………

As we mentioned on Monday, trial began on Tuesday in the murder case against Neil Storm Stephany for the DUI hit-and-run death of cyclist Shaun Eagleson in Newport Beach last year.

Stephany’s defense attorney actually claimed his client was so high on a combination of heroin and two anti-addiction drugs than he had no idea he’d hit a human being.

Evidently, being so stoned that he didn’t have a clue what the hell he was doing behind the wheel is supposed to absolve him of any responsibility.

………

The seemingly endless helmet debate rages on, as the Wall Street Journal asks if helmet laws do more harm than good, while the Guardian compares lessons on the subject from Seattle and Amsterdam.

Meanwhile, a Seattle writer says scrapping the city’s helmet law could improve bike safety.

But at least police in this country don’t usually assault cyclists for not wearing a helmet, then falsely accuse them of assaulting an officer.

And a Seattle writer says he’s seen the largely helmet-free future bike activists are trying to build, and we’re going to hate it

………

The date has been announced for this year’s edition of Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer.

The oddly named event takes riders up 10 of LA’s steepest hills, and is recognized by those in the know as one of the nation’s toughest hill climb events.

If you think you’re up for the challenge, mark your calendar for November 8th at Sunset Triangle Plaza. And leave your entry fee and attitude at home.

………

The Orange County Bicycle Coalition is hosting a Cycling Savvy: Safe and Legal Cycling class this Friday from 6 to 9 pm, and Saturday from 8 am to 3 pm at Jax Bicycle Center in Irvine; cost is $75 for the course.

………

Local

Two hundred injured vets will set off from Palo Alto this Saturday on their way to the Los Angeles VA Medical Center in Westwood on the UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge.

Westwood officials propose turning the northern end of Broxton Ave into a pedestrian plaza. It’s a small step in the right direction; what’s really needed to revive the dying district is to do the same with Westwood Blvd through the Village. That’s not likely while Paul Koretz is the area’s councilmember, though, since he’s promised local businesses that he won’t even allow bike lanes on the street that could bring them more customers.

CiclaValley reports Mulholland Drive will be closed west of Beverly Glen for construction of a water project this weekend from 8 am to 5 pm, Friday through Sunday.

If you don’t want to ride your bike at Sunday’s CicLAvia, you can always WalkLAvia.

Get ready for CicLAvia with a free bike safety check and adjustments at the Burbank Farmer’s Market this Saturday, courtesy of LACBC neighborhood chapter Walk Bike Burbank.

South Pasadena Police will also be offering free bike safety checks at a bike rodeo on Saturday.

Streaming service Hulu is the new title sponsor for the Santa Monica Breeze bikeshare system.

Long Beach police receive a $340,000 grant to combat an “alarming” increase in pedestrian and bicycle fatalities, as well as distracted and drug-impaired driving.

Long Beach bike advocate Brian Addison will be honored with Calbike’s inaugural Bicycle Dreamer Award on November 2nd. Brian was one of the most consistently reliable and insightful writers when I was guest editing Streetsblog LA.

 

State

Those electric skateboards and hoverboards that zoom past you in the bike lane will now be doing so legally.

A Huntington Beach bike rider was critically injured when a driver suddenly veered into a bike lane on Warner Ave, striking the cyclist.

SoCal Cross’ annual Spookycross Weekend moves down to Santiago Canyon in Orange County on the 24th and 25th.

Oakland considers installing a road diet and bike lanes to improve safety for bike riders on one of the city’s most popular and dangerous streets for cyclists.

Sad news from Stockton, as an 82-year old bike rider was killed in a collision.

After answering an online ad, Santa Rosa police bust a bike thief and recover an $8,000 Specialized.

 

National

People for Bikes reports that not every pro football player drives a massive SUV or high-powered sports car to work; at least one even rides a single speed.

Bicycling offers seven tips that you may be overdoing it. In my case, it was when riding a bike stopped being fun and started to feel like an addiction.

Treehugger says it’s time to stop blaming cyclists for ignoring stop signs, and make our roads work for everyone, instead.

The Path Less Pedaled wants your help in passing out some “do good” bike merit badges.

A federal judge rules a pair of Seattle-area cops can be tried for tasering a non-resisting black bike rider.

Salt Lake City’s new protected bike lanes are already boosting bike ridership and have the support of local businesses.

More proof cyclists are tough: A Lawrence KS man apparently rode his bike to the hospital after he suffered serious injuries in a stabbing.

Nice story about Oklahoma City’s unexpected attempt to redesign itself around people rather than cars, after being named one of America’s most obese cities.

Not something you see everyday, as a Dallas cyclist stumbled on a former college football star hacking a jogger to death with a machete.

A Chicago writer says unequal distribution of protected bike lanes and bikeshare stations are dividing the city into the rich and the poor. Which is exactly what it’s been for at least the last 50 or 60 years.

A British cyclist compares riding in New York and London, after getting hooked on bicycling in an unnamed SoCal college town.

Fifty representatives of the fresh produce industry will ride 300 miles from North Carolina to Atlanta to raise money for school salad bars.

 

International

A new product promises to make you more aero by putting a hump on your back. By that standard, the Hunchback of Notre Dame could have won the Tour de France if they’d just invented the bike a little sooner.

Two Polish brothers are attempting to bike the full length of the Amazon River, starting at the headwaters at Mount Mismi, Peru. Speaking of Peru, Lima will build an elevated boardwalk to give bike riders and pedestrians access to the beach.

Caught on video: A British Columbia bike rider gets doored by a car passenger when the driver fails to pull over to the right before letting her out.

Halifax, Nova Scotia police don’t seem to get it, as they blame a cyclist for apparently getting right hooked by a propane truck. But at least they’re ticketing drivers who park in a bike lane.

British police repeat the warning that social media apps may be responsible for an increase in high-end bike thefts.

Probably not the best idea to kick a car and slam your bike into it, like a Brit bicyclist did after a collision.

A Bollywood star says she got her bikini body for her latest film by riding a bike on location.

A 13-year old Israeli boy was stabbed as he rode his bike through East Jerusalem.

If you need a reason not to participate in Australia’s Ride2Work Day, getting your bike stolen is one of the best. Especially if it’s a custom-made bike worth the equivalent of $16,000 US.

An Aussie website says more people will bike when everyone accepts cyclists’ right to the road.

Eight lessons in letting go and having fun from a British adventurer who rode around the world, as he discusses his journey through Asia.

 

Finally…

Of all the things that can make you fall off your bike, stumbling onto Miss Bikini Ireland doing a topless photo shoot for breast cancer awareness is one of the better ones. Apparently bus bike racks aren’t just a place to store your ride, they also make a dandy perch for short fare-free ride.

And it’s not his fault if your bike-riding nephew jumps off his new bike to give you a hug, and breaks your wrist in the process. But it is your fault if you’re jerk enough to sue him for it.

 

Morning Links: Unannounced Orange Line bike path closure, Go Human in the wild, and still more legal cases

Grab some java and get comfortable. We’ve got a lot to catch up on today.

………

Your tax dollars at work.

Frequent contributor danger d sends word that the Orange Line bike path has been closed with no advance warning. And at one of the most inconvenient, if not dangerous, points.

Here’s the complaint he filed with the county, which seems to be responsible for the unannounced closure, since Metro denied having anything to do with it.

The bike path on Victory Blvd. From Woodley Ave to the 405 is fenced off. There was no notice of closure and traffic is rerouted to the street. Very Unsafe. NOT VISION ZERO. THIS IS THE ONLY WAY UNDER THE 405 FREEWAY THAT IS OFF STREET.

When will this reopen? Why is this path closed?

He hasn’t gotten a response yet; we’ll let you know if he does. And there’s no mention of it on the county map of bike path closures as of Sunday night.

Then again, there’s no mention of any of the other closures shown on their map, either.

………

We mentioned recently that SCAG, aka the Southern California Association of Governments, has developed a new ad campaign urging people to Go Human.

Now Spencer forwards a first look at one of the ads in the wild, with a message we can hope drivers take to heart.

Go Human Bus End

………

Seems like we just can’t get away from court cases.

Twenty-four-year old Neil Storm Stephany will go on trial for murder Tuesday in the hit-and-run death of Shaun Eagleson last October.

According to the Orange County Register, the self-described drug counselor was high on heroin when he plowed his truck into Eagleson as he rode in a Newport Beach bike lane. Stephany hit a guard rail as attempted to flee the scene, before being arrested later that day.

Following a previous DUI in 2011, Stephany had signed a legal advisement stating that he understood he could face a murder charge if he killed someone while driving under the influence any time in the future.

Which, sadly, is exactly what happened just three years later.

He also amassed an extensive criminal record in his 24 years, including convictions for felony assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, and possession with intent to sell. In addition, he is also facing a separate domestic violence charge.

Stephany faces 15 years to life if he’s convicted.

A source in Orange County tells me he has grown his hair just long enough to cover the “fuck the police” tattoo on his forehead and the swastika tattooed on the back of his head, most likely on the advice of his lawyer.

I’m also told Eagleson was a regular reader of this site.

Let’s hope his family gets the justice they deserve. And that we can get a dangerous driver off the road for a very long time.

………

In an exceptionally generous offer, the judge in the case of fallen OC cyclist John Colvin offered hit-and-run driver Dylan Thomas Randluby a reduced one-year sentence in county jail; remarkably, his attorney wants to think it over.

If the case goes to trial, he faces four years in state prison.

………

Evidently, life is cheap in the Bay Area.

Even though he had already been convicted and sentenced for felony hit-and-run, an Alameda County judge retroactively reduced all the charges against the driver who killed a bike-riding Chinese tourist to misdemeanors, and sentenced him to just 30 days in jail, calling it an unfortunate accident.

Since when is driving drunk and fleeing the scene of a fatal collision an accident? Judges who refuse to take traffic crimes seriously are why people continue to die on our streets. Let’s hope voters remember this case when he’s up for re-election.

………

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Craig Buck is fighting for his life at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after suffering severe head trauma in a Santa Barbara bicycling collision.

CHP investigators blame him for riding on the wrong side of the road, even though the truck that hit him has allegedly been used in a prior road rage incident involving cyclists.

Facebook page has been established to give him a thumbs-up.

………

Here’s an interesting new Kickstarter project.

The TurnCycle gesture-controlled wireless bike light promises to follow your hand gestures, and convert them to LED signals to indicate turns or stops; MSN picked it as one of the best Kickstarter inventions of the month.

It has a long way to go in the next 16 days for funding, however.

Thanks to John Jancsek for the heads-up.

………

Several of the top women’s cyclists have teamed together to launch Strongher, The Stage for Women Who Ride, a website and app to connect women riders with one another.

And when a pro team director went to pick up an injured cyclist at an Abu Dhabi hospital, they sent him to a psychiatrist. Although the story’s really about the kindness shown the rider by those who helped him get back to his team.

………

Local

Sign up for a free 30-minute tour of the LA Times’ historic Globe Lobby during Sunday’s CicLAvia.

There is a special place in hell for someone who would punch a Pasadena nine-year old in the face to rob him as he rode his bike to school. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Huh? A Hermosa Beach resident opposes a bike lane on Monterey Blvd because he’s sick of fiestas and volleyball tournaments, as well as bars and their patrons. And besides, most of the people who ride bikes in the city don’t live there, in his estimation. Which is kind of like saying don’t build a freeway because people who’ll drive on it are just passing through.

 

State

Santa Ana continues to become one of Orange County’s most bike and pedestrian friendly cities; all three of the active transportation projects approved for state funding in the county were in the city, out of 55 applications. Thanks to Nick Gerda for the heads-up.

The Examiner finally notices that former Corona del Mar bike advocate Frank Peters has moved to Portland, and meets with him to discuss his reasons for moving. They could have found out six months earlier by reading this site.

Firefighters rescued a mountain biker suffering from unspecified injuries from OC’s Barton Canyon on Sunday afternoon.

The San Diego Association of Governments has approved a $200 billion transportation plan that promises to continue the region’s reliance on cars.

San Diego will host Calbike’s annual California Bike Summit at the end of this month.

A woman rode 100 miles on Saturday as part of Oceanside’s sixth annual Bike the Coast just two years after having a heart transplant.

The Desert Sun endorses an environmental review of multiple routes for the Coachella Valley’s proposed 50-mile CV Link bike and pedestrian pathway. And says if Rancho Mirage still isn’t on board when the path is ready to build, then build it right up to the city’s borders on either side. I like the way they think.

Palo Alto is installing cameras to get an accurate count of how many kids are biking and walking to school.

More senseless tragedy, as a Richmond bicyclist was killed in a collision with a train after slipping through the crossing arms. And a San Francisco cyclist died after somehow getting caught between two Muni buses.

 

National

A new instagraphic from People for Bikes rebuts seven top myths about people who ride bikes. Memorize this one. It’ll come in handy when the bike haters bust out the torches and pitchforks at the next public meeting.

One sign bikes are gaining greater acceptance: There are now over 1,050 bike-friendly businesses in the US.

Bicycling offers advice on what to do when you crash your bike.

GQ provides suggestions on how to dial in your bike fit and ride the right way, as well as tips on how to get a six pack by riding your bike. Actually, that one’s easy. Step one, get on our bike. Step two, ride to the market. Step three, buy a six pack. Step four, ride home and drink it.

Seattle radio hosts say it’s pointless for the city to take over the nonprofit bikeshare system because the city is hilly. And it rains.

A Denver columnist says the city’s plan to make bicycling safer is vehicle-hostile, while laying sole claim to the streets for those on four wheels.

Chicago reaches 100 miles of protected bike lanes — or maybe not. Meanwhile, advocates call for more and better bike lanes in the city.

Memphis’ bicycle and pedestrian program manager will be honored by the White House as part of the Champions of Change program; crashes are down and ridership is up with 200 miles of bikeways in the city, and another 130 miles of bike paths on the way.

Maine cyclists call for greater enforcement of traffic laws, including ticketing other cyclists. Because it’s always other cyclists who break the law, right?

Vermont police continue to blame the victim in the death of bicycling physician, saying he was under the influence of three different antidepressants — even though police claim the driver, who was drunk and on Xanax, was passing the cyclist safely on the wrong side of the road when he suddenly made a U-turn directly in front of her. Sure, that sounds credible.

A Connecticut cyclist takes on the hills. And a green Lamborghini.

Hoboken NJ becomes the latest city to get bikeshare before Los Angeles. Yes, Hoboken.

There’s something wrong when even a Charlotte NC ghost bike isn’t safe from a reckless driver.

Nice story, as a Florida cyclist tracks down the pregnant army reservist who saved his life after a hit-and-run.

 

International

Bike Radar offers five reasons to bike to work.

A Canadian columnist is appalled by the loss of 48 rarely used parking spaces to make way for bike lanes.

Vancouver votes to move forward with what may be North America’s first bike lift. Meanwhile, more evidence there’s two sides to every story, as a Vancouver cyclist accused of a road rage assault on a pregnant woman says he was just trying to talk to her.

Caught on video: A Calgary driver honks at the cyclist ahead of him for a full 40 seconds, just for the crime of waiting for the light to change. People get pissed off when cyclists don’t stop at red lights, and more pissed off when we do.

A profile of London’s bike riding, very conservative and self-effacing mayor, who may be angling to be the next prime minister.

About 150 Amnesty International supporters rode around Brussels to protest the death penalty, visiting the embassies of the handful of countries that still allow it, including the USA.

A Helsinki driver gets four and a half years for intentionally brake-checking a cyclist in front of multiple witnesses; the rider was killed when he flew over his handlebars after hitting the back of the car, landing head-first on the pavement.

You know the bike boom is a worldwide phenomenon when the prime minister of Swaziland is calling for more bike lanes.

A South African farmer is under arrest for shooting a man on a bicycle following an argument over a first aid kit, a pillow, cap and shoe allegedly stolen from his home. Yes, he killed a man over a shoe and a pillow.

A South Korean cyclist won a 1 million won judgment against a woman after he was injured falling off his bike to avoid her dog in a bike lane. Which sounds impressive until you realize that’s the equivalent of $871.

 

Finally…

Caught on video, partly: Don’t slap a pedestrian standing in the street as you pass by on your bike, or he may get in his car and run you down. Bad enough Florida cyclists have to deal with drunk drivers, worse when the driver’s dog can’t manage to keep the car on the road.

And now you, too, can make your bike sound like a trotting horse.

But why stop there?

 

Morning Links: Guilty in North Fig hit-and-run and meth-fueled Fiesta Island crash, & still more Coronado madness

It’s been a busy few weeks for courtroom drama.

In the latest case, 21-year old Alexis Virto has pled guilty in the horrifying hit-and-run death of bike rider Jose Luna.

Luna was crossing North Figueroa in a marked crosswalk with another rider last June when Virto’s car smashed into him at an estimated 60 to 80 mph, then sped away with his victim still on the hood of his car, carrying Luna’s body 200 yards from the crash site.

Police found his abandoned car, which led them to arrest Virto as he slept with his girlfriend just six blocks from where the collision occurred; still drunk, with windshield glass glittering in his hair.

EGP News reports he plead guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated as part of a plea deal; prosecutors are expected to drop additional counts of driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage causing injury, driving with a 0.08 percent blood-alcohol content causing injury, and hit-and-run resulting in death or serious injury to another person.

He’s due for sentencing on November 5th; the story does not say what sentence he faces as a result of the plea.

North Figueroa had been scheduled for a road diet intended to improve safety and slow speeding drivers. Had it not been summarily cancelled by Councilmember Gil Cedillo, it would have been completed long before this collision, though there’s no way to know if it would have made a difference in this case.

………

Not surprisingly, the meth-infused wrong way driver who plowed into a group of cyclists on San Diego’s Fiesta Island has been found guilty.

Despite her lawyer’s bizarre claim that she wasn’t impaired by the meth in her system. Or the meth hidden in her privates.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Theresa Owens was found guilty of felony DUI causing injury, as well as causing permanent paralysis to one victim and great bodily injury to three others.

She was also convicted on a misdemeanor possession count for the .15 grams of methamphetamine stashed in her vagina.

She now faces up to 18 years in prison.

Let’s hope wherever she ends up, it has a good rehab program.

………

More madness from Coronado, as a resident uses Google to discover various Vehicular Cycling websites, and cites them as proof that bike lanes don’t belong in the crazy little burgh.

Meanwhile, the San Diego Bicycle Coalition offers a more rational voice.

And the Coronado insanity neatly sums up this piece touting the craziest things that have been said about bike lanes.

………

A new study from the University of Arizona shows that wearing a bike helmet reduced the risk of severe traumatic brain injury in a collision by 58%, and the risk of death by 59%. The authors also note helmet use reduced the risk of facial fractures by 29%.

………

Evidently, the reward for winning the world champion’s rainbow jersey is the chance to play waterboy for your teammates in your next race.

………

Local

Outside Magazine looks at Madmen producer Tom Smut’s recent ride to the Emmys, and says what bicycling needs is the perfect A-list champion of bikes. The problem isn’t finding celebrities who ride bikes, it’s getting the world to pay attention. Unless maybe Russell Crowe, Katy Perry and Beyonce aren’t big enough, just to name a few.

South Pasadena students take part in Wednesday’s National Walk to School Day on foot and by bike; KPCC says Walk to School Day raises important safety issues.

Los Angeles Magazine looks at Culver City’s new bike friendly restaurant, The Cannibal.

Bike SGV invites you to attend the Grand Opening of their new Bicycle Education Center on the 25th, complete with Halloween Pet and Costume Bike Train.

 

State

San Diego advocates insist that transit lines and bike and pedestrian projects must move to the head of the line, as the San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, prepares to vote on a $204 billion transportation plan.

UC Riverside is the latest campus to combat bike theft using GPS bait bikes; so far, they’ve been stolen 17 times, leading to 13 convictions.

Bicycling says Marin County Mountain Bike Hall of Famer Charlie Cunningham needs your help after suffering a life-threatening subdural hematoma in a riding accident that forced him to crawl two miles out of the woods; a gofundme account has be established to help pay medical expenses.

Hollister police haven’t issued a single ticket for violating California’s helmet law for riders under 18 since 2011. Nor should they; a simple warning should be sufficient in cases like that.

A NorCal website explains the difference between Ordinary and Safety bicycles, in case you happen to find yourself in need of a ride in 1880s London.

 

National

Kevin McCarthy’s withdrawal from the race for Speaker of the House means the next leader of the US House of Representatives won’t be a California bike rider.

The Feds propose scrapping regulations that make it difficult to build Complete Streets.

Montana is the latest state to ditch the requirement that cyclists ride as far to the right as practicable; now riders will be allowed to ride as far to the right as they feel safety allows. Are you listening Calbike and CABO? This should be the next big change to California bike law. And while we’re at it, let’s ditch the must-use requirement for bike lanes and bike paths; different types of riders have different needs, and one lane does not fit all.

Bicycling is booming just about everywhere. Except Iowa, evidently.

A Nebraska man is biking the trail the Native American Ponca people were forced to march to their Oklahoma reservation.

Yet another bighearted cop, as a Texas police lieutenant replaces a man’s stolen bike.

One week after a Wisconsin boy finished building his custom BMX bike, a group of teenagers shoved a gun in his face and stole it.

The Wall Street Journal says bike lanes make riding in New York less challenging, but cyclists still face a number of obstacles, from bike lanes blocked by vehicles to lanes that stop and start without warning.

A Brooklyn councilman says the city’s Transportation Committee is more concerned about parking than the safety of bicyclists.

A Staten Island website says with a price tag of $300 to $400 million to add bike and pedestrian access to New York’s Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, just forget about it.

Bike New York offers advice on autumn cycling.

DC’s Metro system blames the city’s successful bikeshare system for their loss in ridership. The brilliance of LA Metro’s planned bikeshare system is that it is designed to be integrated into the transit system, not compete with it.

An OpEd in the Charlotte Observer calls for a Vision Zero there to end the cycling carnage on city streets.

 

International

Three successful women designers discuss women’s bike style beyond the usual shrink it and pink it approach.

A Toronto writer calls the so-called war on cars a mythical fabrication, and says cyclists deserve bike lanes that will allow them to ride in safety.

Two Lycra-clad British bike thieves walk into a bike shop and calmly walk out with a pair of bikes worth $6,600.

SF Gate takes a bike tour along the rugged coast of Ireland.

An Irish cyclist was fined the equivalent of $283 after he was convicted of careless driving for crashing into the back of a parked car.

The bike-riding mayor of Rome has been forced out over an expense scandal; he had won admirers for refusing to stop riding his bike despite mafia threats.

South Australia bicyclists will now enjoy the equivalent of a three-foot passing law and be allowed to ride on the sidewalk, while drivers will be allowed to cross over a double center line to pass cyclists when they have a clear view of approaching traffic and can safely do so. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation that would have allowed drivers to do the same thing here.

Instead of improving safety, the mayor of Melbourne wants to tell riders to just avoid certain streets.

 

Finally…

There’s nothing unusual about a car chase in Los Angeles; on the LA River bike path, not so much. Caught on video: Once again, a Brit rider has been smacked by a crossing bar while trying to beat a train.

And Donald Trump seems to have forgotten about that little bike race he once held.

 

Morning Links: DUI killer gets off with 5 years probation, community service at the urging of the victim’s family

The ghost bike for James Rapley on Temescal Canyon

The ghost bike for James Rapley on Temescal Canyon

Sometimes the generosity of people astounds me.

Like the family and girlfriend of fallen cyclist James Rapley, and plea deal they requested for the driver who killed him.

As you may recall, Rapley was just visiting our city on an extended layover at LAX in December of 2013, leaving his girlfriend behind in Chicago to visit his family in Australia.

He never got there.

His love of bicycling inspired him to rent a bike and ride up the coast on a sunny winter morning, just days before Christmas.

Maybe he wanted more of a challenge, or a more sweeping view of the coast. We’ll never know why he left the beach to ride up the steep hill on Temescal Canyon.

Because that’s where he was run down from behind as he rode in the bike lane at 9 am on a Sunday morning, by Mohammed Kadri, then 19-year old and still high from the night before. Rapley died there, a visitor to our city, thousands of miles from the people he loved.

Kadri could have faced significant jail time if the case went to trial, although as a first-time offender in a county cramped for jail space, that was unlikely. Even though an OC lawyer got four years for an almost identical crime earlier this year.

Yet despite their obvious grief, Rapley’s loved ones saw no good in sending a young man to jail. Instead, they pushed for significant community service in the hopes that Kadri could turn his life around and be a benefit to others.

Last Friday, they got their wish, as Karen Scott, James Rapley’s long-time girlfriend who moved with him from Australia, explains.

Kadri pleaded no contest to the felony charge of vehicular manslaughter. “No contest” is legally equivalent to guilty however they don’t say the words “guilty”. No contest means they are admitting guilt because they believe it is in their best interest to do so.

• 5 years probation which cannot be reduced in length (the max probation period). 8 days credit from time served in prison (I wasn’t aware that’s he’d served time in jail)

• 150 days community service, 30 days per year min for duration of the probation.

• Proof of enrollment in community service to be submitted to the court by Dec 1st.

• He can’t ever carry a firearm and will be considered more harshly on any future criminal acts due to the felony charge.

• He was registered on probation straight after the hearing and it all goes into place straight away.

Myself and James family believed that community service was the best outcome as James would have wanted this and also there is some good that may come from this for the community and hopefully Kadri will grow from the work he does. I can’t see how anyone who will be doing community service every week (or once a fortnight) for 5 years couldn’t come out of this a better person. 150 days is one of the highest number anyone had seen for court mandated community service, usually its 100 days or less. If we had decided to go down the jail route, as he didn’t have a history, he would probably have been given a maximum of 16 months in jail, but because the jails in LA are so full, he’d only serve half that, at 8 months. And with jail that is it, he wouldn’t do anything in the community and we just didn’t see that outcome being what James would want. We did want to make sure however that he plead guilty to the felony charge as we wanted it to be on his record and clear that he take responsibility for his actions.

Scott also gave me permission to post the Victim Impact Statement she read to the court.

It is a beautiful, loving and heartbreaking document, and one that is difficult to read. But it offers a clear picture of harm caused by traffic violence and driving the influence. And the enormity of the loss she suffered, along with his family.

Over the course of this case, I’ve come to know Karen Scott, through emails and finally, meeting in person when she came to LA for a hearing.

She is a petite, charming and generous woman, with a gentle accent that belies her origins Down Under; her love for James still evident nearly two years later. Yet she has born the incredible weight of this case on her small shoulders, bearing witness for his family when they could not bear to set foot in the city where their son died.

I can’t say I would have made the same choices they did. I would have pushed for jail, and the revocation of Kadri’s license.

But I admire their charity, for lack of a better word. And, if not forgiveness, a willingness to release the need for revenge and craft a punishment designed to make the killer of the man they loved whole again.

They also have me wondering, not for the first time, if there might not be a better way to punish those who kill behind the wheel.

………

After winning the Vuelta, Italian rider Fabian Aru could get the green light to lead the Astana team in the 2016 Tour de France.

A 20-year old Indian track cyclist becomes the first from her country to medal in the women’s elite category, taking five medals at the Taiwan Cup Track International Classic.

The new head of USA Cycling takes pride in being one of the few ex-pros who didn’t dope, saying his instinct is to throw dopers under the bus. There are exceptions, of course, but for the most part, there seems to be two kinds of pro cyclists from the past decade — those who doped, and those who didn’t get caught.

Speaking of which, banned doper doctor Michele Ferrari sues to halt distribution of Lance bio The Program.

………

Local

Streetsblog says Vancouver is a bicycling city with lessons for Los Angeles.

Explore site-specific art installations on the LA River bike path this Saturday with TEN FEET: Art Meets The River.

LAist looks forward to CicLAvia’s fifth anniversary on Sunday the 18th with a return to the Heart of LA route, where it all started on 10-10-10. And yes, I still have the T-shirt.

A writer for the Daily Trojan says bikes are an important part of campus life at USC, but the university needs to be made more bike friendly.

South Pasadena considers hosting a stage for next year’s the Amgen Tour of California. The anticipated $7,800 cost seems like a bargain; it should bring in far more than that in tax receipts from the additional sales local businesses will see.

Speaking of South Pas, a meeting will be held on October 20th to discuss traffic calming on Arroyo Drive. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

State

Jerry Brown signed AB 1096 clarifying the rules for e-bikes. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the tip.

The lawyer for a San Diego driver charged with driving head-on into a group of cyclists says yes, she had meth in her system but she wasn’t impaired by it. So evidently, she just drove the wrong way and crashed into them for fun.

The residents of Coronado react in the comments to the justified ridicule they received from the Late Late Show’s James Corden. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

A bike rider in her 60s suffered major injuries in a Palm Desert collision Tuesday evening; the second major collision involving a cyclist in that town in just three days.

The Capitola city council will decide whether the safety of bike-riding school children is worth removing 99 parking spaces.

Sad news from Hayward, as the body of a missing mountain biker was found 150 feet down a park hillside.

A Contra Costa writer looks at the arrival of bicycles in California in the 1800s, 20 years after they swept the rest of the country.

Six miles of San Jose streets will go car-free for the city’s first ciclovía.

There won’t be any tolls charged for bicyclists or pedestrians to cross the Golden Gate Bridge, for the next five years, anyway.

 

National

Bicycling offers tips on how to keep your makeup flawless on a ride. Which is apparently the biggest problem women riders face.

Yakima WA releases a draft $6 million bike plan in hopes of getting off the list of the country’s 10 fattest cities.

Grist tells the ghost bike origin story, tracing them back to a 2003 St. Louis art project.

Loss of parking rears its ugly head in Ithaca NY, as residents and councilmembers want to reopen discussion of bike lanes on a major street, even though it’s too late to stop the project.

The Department of DIY strikes in NYC, as someone created their own protected bike lane by placing orange cones and flowers along an existing bike lane; it took four people less than 20 minutes and $516 to install. Are you thinking what I’m thinking, LA?

Norfolk VA unveils a draft bike and pedestrian plan designed to improve 12 critical corridors.

Atlanta cyclists hope the city’s new CBO — that’s Chief Bicycling Officer — can lead it back to two-wheeled glory.

The parents of a Palm Beach boy will receive a $12 million check from a condominium association, four years after their son was killed while riding his bike by an elderly resident who couldn’t see over the building’s untrimmed hedges.

 

International

A review website compares the new SitGo e-bike foldie to a Transformer. Although it looks more like a Star Wars droid to me.

Canada’s Halifax cycling Coalition calls for protective side guards on trucks to keep bike riders and pedestrians from falling underneath. Actually, those should be required everywhere. Now.

The Guardian tries out anti-pollution masks to protect bike riders from bad air.

A cute new magnetic, 80-decible bike bell is detachable and small enough to carry in your pocket. No word on whether it will be available in the US.

A 75-year old British bicyclist now teaches CPR with the 37-year old woman who saved his life when he suffered a heart attack while riding six years earlier.

A Swedish cyclist who “technically” had the right-of-way engaged in a 10 minute stand-off with a truck driver coming in the opposite direction.

Aussie cyclists say upgrading roads without installing bike lanes will only mean more congestion.

An Australian website accuses Melbourne of unveiling a radical plan to make the city bike friendly, including — gasp! — reduced speeds and separating bikes from pedestrians along a popular promenade.

 

Finally…

Seriously? Solve a Rubik’s Cube while riding a bikeshare bike through a London park with a 5 mph speed limit, and get reported to the police for endangering the safety of others. Your next ride could be on a 3D printed open sourced bike.

And no matter how mad you are at the driver who honked at you, don’t bash his car — and him — with your U-lock.

Just… don’t.

 

Morning Links: One year in jail for killer of OC cyclist Vinh Tran, LASD searching for Cudahy hit-and-run driver

Case closed.

Over the weekend, I received this email from a source in Orange County.

At 9:30am on Saturday, December 27th, 2014, William Joseph Klein was driving under the influence of prescription drugs when he killed Vinh Tran.

Friday morning, he pleaded guilty to one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. He was sentenced to a year in jail and 3 years of formal probation. His driver’s license was suspended for three years. He must pay a whopping $390.00 in fines, plus unspecified restitution. Despite long-term abuse of drugs, he is required to attend a First Offender Alcohol Program. He is also required to “donate” an amount to the county’s Victim Witness Emergency Fund.

His victim remains dead.

Incidentally, Klein also pleaded guilty to a second set of charges against him, resulting from a drunken bar fight last summer. For disturbing the peace and resisting arrest, he was sentenced to 72 days in jail.

He is currently in custody.

………

Talk about late breaking — and inaccurate — news.

Sheriff’s investigators just now got around to releasing news that a Huntington Park cyclist was injured in a hit-and-run in Cudahy on September 20th. However, the report on KTLA-5 says the 20th was a Wednesday, even though it was Sunday.

So that date may or may not be accurate.

It also gives the time of the collision as about 9:02, but fails to indicate if it was AM or PM.

The victim was riding east on Ardine Street when he was struck by an SUV traveling north on Salt Lake Avenue. The driver reportedly stopped after traveling a half block north of the impact site, then drove away without calling 911 or attempting to help the victim.

He remained hospitalized as of this past Thursday, though his condition was unknown.

Deputies are looking for middle-aged Asian woman with wavy black hair, average height and weight. The vehicle was described as a newer white or light-colored SUV with a tinted rear window and possible damage to the front grille and right quarter-panel.

Anyone with information is urged to call the East L.A. Traffic Investigation Unit at 323/981-5020.

………

The first black African to wear the polka dot jersey in the Tour de France predicts a black African will win the tour in 5 to 10 years; impressively, he didn’t start riding until he was 14, after being orphaned at 10.

The new head of USA cycling vows to keep fighting doping, even though he says it will always be with us; he compares the effort to an alcoholic’s struggle to stay sober.

………

Local

A bike rider in his 70s was critically injured when he fell off his bike in Pacific Palisades.

It’s not the bike lanes we were promised, but LA’s 6th street will soon see traffic calming measures at Irving Blvd. Although in this case, it really does appear to be the least they can do; thanks to Richard Risemberg for the heads-up.

Burbank rejects a plan requiring two new bridges to build a new bike path, despite the opposition of local homeowners to the alternate route that would run near their homes.

A Pasadena resident calls for a driver’s bill of rights to take back the streets and keep traffic moving faster. Note to the clueless: The only way to make traffic move faster is to have less of it.

A 17-year old Long Beach boy was shot while riding his bike Saturday night; he was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

The free Santa Monica Bike Expo returns to the pier this weekend.

 

State

A teenage bike rider was killed, and his companion grazed in a Santa Ana gang shooting.

A San Diego cyclist is in critical condition after being hit by a car in the city’s Pacific Beach neighborhood; he reportedly was crossing illegally near a freeway off ramp. Note to San Diego police and media: even if the victim had been wearing a helmet, it would not have prevented his broken back and arm.

A San Diego TV station gets it, saying cars take up a lot of space and creating alternatives can free up public space for the public.

An OpEd by a member of the Palm Desert city council says cities in the Coachella Valley should drop their opposition to the planned 50-mile CV link bikeway for the health of its residents.

A Palo Alto duathlon champ makes a comeback to the world championships at age 54, after surviving a near fatal collision with a pickup while riding his bike.

It’s been a rough weekend for cyclists in Northern California.

 

National

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske says lights are required after dark and in other low light situations. And they’re insurance against getting screwed — my words, not his — by insurance companies.

A Portland cyclist gets his bike back nine months after it was stolen, in part by registering it with the free BikeIndex stolen bike listings.

Seattle plans to take over and expand the city’s less-than-successful bikeshare system, while adding e-bikes to address the many hills in the area. Although if they really want it to succeed, they should consider repealing the city’s mandatory helmet law.

A South Dakota county commissioner is in a panic over bike lanes cropping up on the streets of Sioux Falls, and blames a small cabal of officials that he says are making the streets more dangerous by painting stripes on them. Sounds like he has relatives in Catalina. And maybe he should read this piece from the author of Bike Battles: A History of Sharing the American Road, who says bike lanes don’t encroach on space reserved for cars, but return our roads to shared spaces.

A Wisconsin rider completes a 180 day, 11,750 mile journey to watch a baseball game in each of the major league stadiums.

A New York father whose three-year old daughter was killed while walking hand-in-hand with her grandmother — with the right-of-way, no less — says stop calling her death a car accident. And explains the meaning behind the #CrashNotAccident campaign.

NPR looks at DC’s second grade bike education classes.

More on the battle over a nearly 10-year old bike lane in Baton Rouge LA, which boils down to a fight over parking, as usual. Then again, many people who insist on the right to park for free on the street have garages too full of other crap to pull a car into.

A proposed 76-mile bike path through the Everglades draws a wide range of opponents. None of whom seem to object to the highway it would run next to, though.

 

International

Canadian adventure Ben Shillington plans to ride a fat tire Salsa bike 60 miles to the South Pole, before leading 30 riders through the Antarctic tundra next year.

A British cyclist explains why he kept going on a round-the-world ride, despite the death of his wife in a Bolivian collision; he’s traveled 27,050 miles, with 12,000 to go to get to Alaska.

The UK’s new bike-riding but fashion challenged Labour Party leader goes for a spin with his wife.

Britain’s cycling minister — yes, they have one — explains why he doesn’t wear a helmet while riding in London.

London cyclists win a fight with Ronald McDonald, after the company wanted drive-through access across one of the city’s vaunted cycling superhighways.

An outer London borough plans to install protected bike lanes and dramatically reduce private car access in an attempt to revitalize the town center.

A pair of Welsh cyclists jump into a canal to help save the life of a 65-year old man who’d fallen in with his mobility scooter.

A Scottish advocacy group says insurance companies are anti-cyclist. Actually, insurance companies are anti-settlement, regardless of mode of travel; they make their money by denying claims and settling for as little as possible.

The recent car-free day in Paris proved so successful in cutting noise and pollution that the mayor may recommend doing it every month.

A 17-year old Indian girl shares her passion for bicycling by collecting new and repaired bikes to give to underprivileged children. Meanwhile, an Indian cyclist inspired a bicycle club whose 40 members ride daily in search of a warm cup of tea.

London’s Independent rides with the Iraqi women’s cycling team just 25 miles from ISIS territory, on some of the world’s most dangerous roads. And despite the country’s conservative society.

New Zealand riders join other international cycling teams in condemning the BMX track for the Rio Olympics, saying it’s too dangerous.

Australia’s New South Wales state is considering requiring licenses and insurance to ride a bike. Bicycling is already depressed Down Under due to the country’s mandatory helmet law, so they might as well do what they can to kill it entirely, right?

 

Finally…

A UK paper bizarrely says a man attacked two boys who laughed at him when he fell off his bike — but then describes him getting off his bike to attack the kids after accusing them of lying, instead. It looks like pedestrians are starting to fight back, as a New York man shoots a driver who came too close while making a U-turn.

And apparently, if you ride with your dog on your bike, you’re a bad, bad person.

 

Weekend Links: Getting buzzed in DTLA, life is cheap in OC and Alameda courts, and more bighearted strangers

Nothing like getting buzzed by an impatient jerk to ruin a ride on a beautiful day.

Richard Bidmead forwards video of what happens when a bike lane ends, and riders are forced to take to the traffic lane. Especially when you’re being followed by someone in a Corvette who knows how to use his horn, but can’t figure out how to change lanes to go around.

………

Evidently, life is cheap in Orange County.

Following his conviction in the hit-and-run death of bike rider Manual Morales Rodriguez two years ago, truck driver Filemon Reynaga faced up to four years in state prison.

Instead, My News LA reports Reynaga will serve just one year in county jail, thanks to a very generous judge.

Even though a witness saw him get out of his semi after hitting Rodriguez, look at the victim lying in the roadway, then drive off, leaving him unprotected in the darkness, only to be hit by another car a few moments later.

No one will ever know if Rodriguez might have been saved if Reynaga hadn’t shown such a callous indifference to human life.

Despite that, the judge indicated that he will sentence Reynaga to just two years, and put off sentencing until next January to allow him to serve his time in county lockup. And he’ll end up doing just one year behind bars.

One lousy year for intentionally leaving a man to die in the street.

………

Apparently, life isn’t worth any more in Alameda County, as a San Francisco attorney could serve just 30 days behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a Chinese tourist.

Bo Hu was walking his bike when a car driven by Spencer Freeman Smith slammed into him from behind, and fled the scene without ever applying the brakes. Prosecutors were prevented from introducing evidence that he had been drinking that night.

Once again, despite a callous indifference to human life, Smith was sentenced to just five years probation and one year in county jail; he can apply to finish his sentence in home detention after serving just one month.

Talk about hard time.

Let’s just hope he’s not scarred for life by being forced to watch the Giants and 49s on his flat screen from the comfort of his own den.

………

Yet another bighearted cop replaces a stolen bike, this time for an Indiana girl whose bike was apparently taken by neighborhood bullies just one day after she got it for her eighth birthday.

Evidently, cops aren’t the only ones in Indiana with big hearts. A tattoo artist raised $1,800 to buy a new bike for an Indiana boy who was hit by a car outside his shop.

And a stranger bought a new bike for a Tampa Bay girl after she collided with a car driven by an elderly woman; the driver asked if she was okay, gave her $20 and drove away.

………

Looks like the US is building a women’s cycling dynasty, as Chloe Dygert and Emma White take first and second in the under-23 road race; they finished in the same order in the U23 time trial earlier this week.

The US is favored to podium in the elite women’s road race on Saturday, while VeloNews says three-time world cyclocross champ Zdenek Stybar should be a favorite in the men’s race.

They must have made a good impression. A British pro cycling team signs three riders off the New Zealand U23 team from the world championships.

Africa’s first and only pro cycling team to compete in the Tour de France will now be known as Team Dimension Data.

And the head of pro cycling’s governing body says they’ve made great strides to restore credibility in the post-Armstrong era, despite the continuing drumbeat of cyclists banned for doping.

………

Local

Writing for Streetsblog, Richard Risemberg explains what a fair road use fee would be, suggesting that car-free bike riders should get a $250 rebate. And Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports on Thursday’s Vision Zero forum.

Bike friendly UCLA gets even friendlier with a new traffic light and a bike lane on the uphill side of Charles E. Young Drive North.

Boyonabike looks at transit developments and bike parking in the San Gabriel Valley, and finds the bike racks at the Monrovia Metro station both artsy and impractical.

A San Pedro letter writer complains about a road diet and bike lanes on Pacific Avenue, saying no one bikes in that part of town.

Long Beach gets $23 million in grants for bike, pedestrian and transit improvements, including a bikeway over the LA River connecting with the bike path on the coming replacement for the Desmond Thomas Bridge.

Just one more week to take Metro’s active transportation survey.

The SoCal cyclocross season kicks off this Sunday at Glendale’s Verdugo Park.

There will be a press conference at 11 am Monday at City Hall to support AB8, aka the Hit-and-Run Yellow Alert Bill, currently awaiting Governor Brown’s signature after he vetoed a similar bill last year.

 

State

No bias here. The auto-centric CHP concludes that bicyclists are at fault in 61% of collisions, and drivers only at fault in 20%. Which says more about the department’s lack of training in bike law and a bias towards those on four wheels than it does about bike riders. As does the lack of enforcement of the state’s three-foot passing law.

The Port of San Diego stands in the way of completing a 24-mile bikeway around the bay.

Coronado is having its 15 minutes of fame — or maybe infamy — as the mass anti-bike insanity threatens to go viral.

A 13-year old boy is under arrest for attacking an 84-year old La Quinta Walmart employee as he tried to walk out with two bicycles.

Things were calmer in Bagdad by the Bay this month, as riders in the San Francisco Critical Mass were on their best behavior, and no one beat on cars with U-locks.

San Francisco’s SF Gate looks at how they roll in bike-friendly Davis CA, where everyone is issued a bike in the hospital at birth. Or so they say.

Truckee is punching a hole in a rock wall to make a tunnel for a paved pedestrian/bike path.

 

National

Bicycling magazine talks to the man riding one of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare bicycles across the US; so far he’s traveled 1,000 miles and incurred the maximum $1,200 late fee.

Bicycling continues to boom in Portland.

Las Vegas decides maybe it’s time to start enforcing Nevada’s three-foot passing law, including putting plain clothes cops on bikes to catch drivers passing too close.

A blogger in my hometown offers up three things cyclists wish motorists understood. I could come up with a lot more than that.

Wichita KS moves to eliminate fines for riding a bike after dark without a headlight, giving out 1,200 free bike lights instead.

An Iowa judge rules it’s okay to buzz bike riders and roll coal in their faces from a diesel pickup.

The bikeway network in Dallas TX grows to 39 miles, a big improvement over the eight miles of on-street bike lanes just three years ago. Although 32 miles of that are sharrows.

A new Minnesota parking lot opens near a bike trail, allowing people to remove bikes from their cars without fear of getting hit by passing cars; the project fulfills the dream of a former Eagle Scout who was later killed in action in Afghanistan.

Sad news from Ohio, as a second bike rider has died as a result of a collision when an apparently driverless truck left crossed a group of five riders; thankfully, the other three have been released from the hospital. Update: The victim was identified as Jim Lambert, an alternate on the US cycling team for the ’84 Los Angeles Olympics.

An Arkansas rider is on track to beat the 76-year old record for riding the most miles in a single year; two other riders, one in England and the other in Australia, are also attempting the same thing this year.

Memphis is on track to get bikeshare next year.

A Philadelphia woman faces a host of charges, including vehicular homicide, for running down a high school football player as he was riding his bike, then removing her plates and hiding in her SUV in a failed attempt to avoid arrest.

Get your resumes ready. Key West FL will be hiring a full-time bicycle and pedestrian coordinator.

 

International

A Canadian bike rider faces charges after reaching into the car that hit him, grabbing the keys, and dropping them into a storm drain. Maybe we should take up a collection to pay his fines.

An Irish charity gives a recumbent hand-bike to a wheelchair-bound teenage boy suffering from a degenerative neuromuscular disease, to provide him with more independence.

Belfast will transform into a bicycle paradise for a whole three hours and 45 minutes when they hold their first ciclovía next weekend.

 

Finally…

Physicists try to figure out how far you can lean into a corner on a bike without falling. Based on personal experience, I’d say the answer is pretty damn far. Four years after LA’s Wolfpack Hustle beat a jet from Burbank to Long Beach, a New York rider races a helicopter across Manhattan. And wins.

And no. Just… no.

 

%d bloggers like this: