Tag Archive for bicycling injuries

Morning Links: Cyclist critically injured in Malibu, May’s Ride of Silence, and an in-depth Irish look at cycling

Bad news from the ‘Bu.

I had received reports of a cyclist down on PCH, but hadn’t been able to get any information over the weekend.

Tuesday, the answer came in the form of a gofundme account asking for donations to help defray the medical expenses for Steve Striver, who was hit by a car while riding in Malibu on Saturday.

Here’s what Edie Raff Pratt, author of the page, had to say.

After being airlifted to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Steve underwent 6 hours of surgery to begin to repair the damage. The surgery went well however Steve remains in critical condition in the Neuro ICU unit at the hospital.

Steve’s injuries are extensive and severe. Trauma and bleeding in his head, a bruised heart, a punctured lung, fractured ribs, left wrist fracture, right hip fracture, pelvis fracture, left femur fracture, scapula fracture, lower broken back, extensive wounds on his body and face from road rash.  Honestly, there is hardly an unbroken or contusion free area on his body.

Once Steve gets past the initial hurdles in the hospital, he will have extensive and challenging rehabilitation and a long road for recovery ahead.  We appreciate any prayers of healing you can provide for Steve as well as prayers of comfort for his wife Marianne and their four children Claire, Tim, Sam and Jeffrey.

Steve Shriver is a husband, father, son, brother, friend to many, artist, musician, cyclist, surfer, gentle soul and one of the best people to ever know.

As you can imagine, the medical bills ahead will be mounting.  This page and fundraiser is set up by friends of Steve & Marianne Shriver and family, so that we may raise money for the medical bills and expenses related to them. All monies will go directly to the Shriver family.

As of this writing, the fund has raised a little more that $15,000 of the $250,000 goal in the first 18 hours.

Thanks to Adam Ginsberg for the heads-up.

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We’re less than one month away from the annual Ride of Silence to remember bike riders who’ve lost their lives in the past year.

This year’s ride will take place on Wednesday, May 18th, the evening before LA’s Bike to Work Day.

The Pasadena ride around the Rose Bowl will be held as usual, while CiclaValley writes that he will be leading a first-time Ride of Silence through the San Fernando Valley.

And for the fifth year in a row, the Anthony Martinez Jr. Memorial Bike Ride will be held in Oxnard to remember victims of traffic violence. The ride is named for a six-year old boy who was tragically killed while riding his bike on Thanksgiving Day in 2011; his father is now a tireless advocate for bike safety.

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The Irish Times goes all in on bicycling, with a series of stories looking at riding from almost every conceivable angle.

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As long as we’re doing bullet points, let’s keep it going with a look at bikes in the news.

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Local

Not only will we be getting a protected bike lane on Los Angeles Street, it will also be LA’s first curb-protected bike lane. Maybe that will actually be enough to keep the LAPD from parking their patrol cars in it. We can hope, right?

Taylor Swift may be one of us, as she keeps what looks like a three-wheeled pedicab stashed outside her Beverly Hills home.

Santa Clarita is hosting an open house tonight to discuss the future of pedestrian and bicycle trails between Saugus and the Santa Clara River trail.

Long Beach photographer John Montich opens a new exhibit looking at unrideable bicycles.

Unbelievable. The multiple cities in southeast LA County that make up the Gateway Council of Governments propose spending exactly zero on active transportation projects if the planned transportation sales tax measure passes. Yes, nothing.

You’re invited to a costumed Tour de Phat People bike ride visiting some of their favorite Highland Park watering holes this Saturday.

 

State

So much for equity on our streets. Two bills in the California legislature calling for equity in transportation funding and accessibility for low-income communities die lonely deaths for lack of support.

A San Diego cyclist is injured in a collision with a homemade three-wheeled “Star Trike” motorcycle; the driver naturally puts all the blame on the bicyclist, even while an on-screen graphic notes the trike — and presumably, the man riding it — has been involved in eight previous wrecks.

Murrieta police bust three transients and recover several stolen bicycles after responding to a burglary at a bike shop and spotting a man ghost riding another bike.

Santa Barbara planners approve plans for a 2.6 mile bike path. Or maybe it’s a bike lane; the story isn’t clear.

A 19-year old Napa man is busted after being spotted riding a $9,000 stolen bike.

 

National

People for Bikes says protected bike lanes can actually reduce the cost of building new roadways by lowering the cost to manage storm runoff.

Chicago cyclists can finally take their bikes on commuter trains, though few turn out to take advantage of it.

Streetsblog says everyone loses in the ridiculous bikeshare fight between Hoboken and Jersey City.

Caught on video: A New York cyclist offers a high-speed look at his ride to work, catching nine traffic violations by motorists on a single 12-minute commute.

Aussie model Elyse Taylor is one of us, as she rides her retro-style bike through the streets of Gotham in her high-waisted jeans.

A DC church is hosting a bicycle blessing next month to try to mend fences between cyclists and churches that fought over bike lanes.

 

International

Turns out pro cycling’s Dr. Dope was caught up in the Panama Papers scandal, hiding over $1 million in offshore accounts.

The Oxford Mail asks if we’re all riding the wrong bike, except for maybe for roadies, closet and otherwise.

The Telegraph asks why British courts show remarkable leniency to drivers who kill bike riders.

A new British study says nearly half of all hit-and-run drivers wouldn’t have fled if they only knew it was illegal. To which I politely respond, bullshit.

Caught on video 2: A pair of Brit thugs wrench a bike from the arms of a 13-year old special needs kid the day before his bar mitzvah.

Caught on video 3: An Edinburgh cyclist posts video of the taxi driver who attacked him last year after they exchanged words following a too-close pass; the driver was fined after pleading guilty to careless driving and assault.

A new photo book captures the agony and the ecstasy of the Tour de France dating back to 1939; one of the photographers involved calls Lance an arrogant prick.

Former heavyweight champ and current mayor of Kiev is now one of us as he rides his folding bike to work, to the ambivalent reactions of his constituents.

Ride your ebike on the sidewalk in Tel Aviv, and face a $70 fine.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can build a better bicycling body by eating nothing but pizza every two hours. Not even the Dawgfather can block a planned bike lane whose time has come.

And if you put a statue of Johnny Cash next to a bike trail named for the late singer, tourists will park in your driveway.

No, really.

 

Morning Links: An in-depth look at PCH bike wrecks, helmets make you blow up balloons, and they’re onto us

Let’s take a look at one of Southern California’s most popular riding routes.

And one of the most dangerous.

Ed Ryder* has taken a remarkable look at bicycling collisions on the coast highway, sifting through 12 years of SWITRS data complied by the CHP from 2004 through September, 2015. And by whatever name it’s known as it winds through San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles Counties, whether Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), Highway 1, Route 1, Coast Highway or Route 101.

Although you’d think someone, somewhere, would have the good sense to pick one name and stick with it.

As Ryder is quick to point out, local police agencies report injury collisions to SWITRS on a voluntary basis, which means it’s likely that some collisions don’t get reported, and therefore aren’t included in the database. In addition, data is still coming in from the years 2013-2015.

So all of these stats should be read as “at least;” actual figures may be higher. And the quality of information is only as good as what was included in their report.

Types of collisions involved in Ryder’s study include

  • bike vs. car
  • bike vs. bike
  • bike vs. pedestrian
  • bike vs. fixed/movable object
  • bike vs. animal

PCH-Chart-1

So let’s take a look at some of the highlights.

The most common type of wrecks were

  1. broadside collision, 34%
  2. undefined “other,” 23%
  3. sideswipe, 11%
  4. rear end, 9%
  5. striking an object, 8%,
  6. overturned, 6%
  7. collision with a pedestrian, 3%
  8. not stated, 3%
  9. head-on, 3%

The relatively low ranking of the last one may be due in part to the divided design of the highway in many places. And as he notes, when “other” and “not stated” reflect a combined 26% of the totals, it makes it hard to come up with solutions to prevent them.

PCH-Chart-4

Surprisingly, Malibu isn’t the most dangerous city for cyclists on the highway; even when combined with Los Angeles, they only rank second to Newport Beach, which is far and away the riskiest place to ride a bike on the coast highway. Only one city from San Diego County made the top ten.

  1. Newport Beach, 27%
  2. Long Beach, 16%
  3. Huntington Beach, 15%
  4. Los Angeles, 10%
  5. Malibu, 8%
  6. Encinitas, 7%
  7. Laguna Beach, 5%
  8. Oceanside, 5%
  9. Seal Beach, 4%
  10. Redondo Beach, 3%

PCH-Chart-3

Not surprising, however, is who or what is hitting people on bikes, or vice versa. The only surprise is that trucks rank so low on the list.

  1. Moving cars, 74.6%
  2. Solo crashes, 12%
  3. Other riders, 5.7%
  4. Parked vehicle, 3%
  5. Motorcycles, 1.8%
  6. Pedestrians, 1.8%
  7. Trucks, 0.8%

PCH-Chart-4

The good thing is it seems to be getting a little better out there.

PCH-Chart-5

As you would expect based on the earlier chart, Orange County leads the way in bike-involved collisions on the highway, followed closely by Los Angeles County.

PCH-chat-1a

Where fault was assigned, drivers got most of the blame in OC, and cyclists in LA, which could reflect the long-assumed windshield bias of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. San Diego County found more bike riders at fault, but blame was more evenly distributed than in the other two counties.

PCH-Chart-County

And with just a few exceptions, bicyclists were most likely to get the blame, regardless of the type of collision; only in the case of sideswipes were drivers most likely to be found at fault.

PCH-Chart-6

On the other hand, you’re more likely to be the victim of a hit-and-run in LA County.

PCH-Chart-Hit-And-Run

There’s a lot more information in the report — 30 pages worth, in fact. All of it fascinating.

And all of it should be required reading for city and county officials, and anyone else concerned with improving bike safety on one of Southern California’s most scenic and vital riding routes.

You can download the full report here.

*Ed Ryder describes himself as just another bike rider who would like to help make our transportation infrastructure safer for the variety of people who use it, by providing decision makers quality quantitative information with which informed decisions can be made.

Update: An earlier version of this piece mistakenly relied on a previous draft of Ryder’s report, that has been updated to reflect the latest draft.

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A new study shows that if you wear a bike helmet, you’re more willing to over-inflate a balloon than if you wear a cycling cap. And somehow, extrapolates that to mean you’ll take more chances riding your bike, too.

Sure, let’s go with that.

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They’re on to us, comrade.

A writer with a severe case of windshield perspective in convinced bicycle riding is just a series of microaggressions stemming from our hatred automobiles and fossil fuels, and designed to physically obstruct traffic.

Never mind that most cyclists drive cars, as well.

All because bike riders in Minneapolis have called for lowering the speed limit a whole 5 mph in order to improve safety for everyone, including those behind the wheel.

Maybe he’d feel better if he got out of his car a little more.

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Local

A meeting will be held at 6 pm tonight at Venice High School to discuss LA’s Westside Mobility Plan. Show up to demand the bike lanes we were promised on Westwood Blvd, and other key routes in West LA.

LADOT Bike Blog offers a detour guide to get around the closures on the LA River bike path. If it looks complicated, don’t worry. It is.

The LACBC looks at how much bike and pedestrian funding is needed in a proposed transportation sales tax ballot measure, while Damien Newton talks with active transportation advocate Jessica Meaney about efforts to ensure the tax would be used to create stronger communities and address regional mobility needs.

West Hollywood moves forward with plans for putting bike lanes on Fairfax Ave between Fountain and Willoughby.

Better Bike reports the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills voted to make updating the city’s 1977 Bike Master Plan a priority for this year. The old plan, which was never implemented, called for routing bike riders through alleys in the downtown district.

Bike SGV is hosting a free two hour bike commuting and safety class this Saturday.

 

State

The Cal Health Report says, despite the Governor’s lofty rhetoric about climate change, his new budget focuses almost totally on cars and does virtually nothing to promote active transportation.

Family members remember Sidney Siemensma as someone who practically lived for bicycling, a day after his body was found on an Irvine bike path, the apparent victim of a homicide.

The madness continues in Coronado, where the city’s mayor refuses to do anything to improve safety on a dangerous street in apparent fear of self-multiplying traffic signals.

A Victorville bike shop lost nearly $13,000 of high-end bicycles in a burglary.

A judge rules 61 Santa Rosa homeowners have the right to ban bikes, but not pedestrians, from a pathway through their private development.

As expected, San Francisco’s mayor has vetoed the city’s proposed Idaho stop law; the SF Chronicle says it was the right move. Meanwhile, a state legislator tries to make running red lights more legal for motorists. Evidently, stop means stop only if you’re on a bike.

 

National

Bicycling says badass bike patches are back, and recommends five breeds of trail dogs for your next off-road excursion.

A new mountain bike advocacy group forms to fight for access to federal wilderness areas.

Good news from Colorado, as the USA Pro Challenge will go on as planned this year. Evidently, the Challenge refers to finding funding to support the popular, but money-losing race.

Boulder CO councilmembers demand more safety data before transportation officials install street treatments, only to remove them later.

Now that’s more like it. A bike shop in my hometown applies for a beer and wine license to serve suds to their customers.

People for Bikes says the Missouri proposal to require a 15-foot fluorescent flag on all bikes isn’t as funny as you think. I never thought it was funny, myself; idiotic, perhaps, but not funny.

A New York alternative transportation group says the city isn’t doing enough to stop traffic deaths, and at the current rate, won’t meet it’s Vision Zero goals until at least 2055.

A Baltimore letter writer says a recently painted bike lane won’t keep riders safe as long as it forces riders to switch lanes 15 times in 1.2 miles as it moves back and forth to accommodate parking.

 

International

Victoria BC merchants oppose bike lanes on a key street if it means the loss of parking spaces. Because as we all know, customers never, ever arrive on bicycles, and bike riders never spend money anywhere.

A Quebec coroner calls for side guards on trucks and more bike boxes, as well as making riders aware of the dangers of riding into a truck’s blind spot.

A writer for the Guardian wonders why Rapha is the brand so many riders love to hate. Meanwhile, another writer considers the propriety of wearing Lycra into the office following your commute.

Caught on video: Evidently running out of things to be offended by, the British press is shocked! shocked! when a bike courier goes on a profanity-laced tirade at the cab driver who ran over his bicycle — two months ago. As the owner of another currier service pointed out, while his reaction may have been over the top, the rider had a right to be upset since it could have been him under the van.

The former Governator plans to ride the streets of Edinburgh before attending a $2100 per plate black-tie dinner.

A tech website looks at Norway’s 450-foot long bike elevator.

 

Finally…

Your next bike shorts could tell you when you’re doing it wrong. You’re the reason they’re having trouble developing driverless cars.

And a Burbank burglary suspect kindly puts herself where bike thieves belong.

 

Morning Links: New study says bike injuries increasing, but without context; comedian rants riding through LA

Another study attempts to paint bicycling as a dangerous activity, especially for riders over 45.

The study from UC San Francisco shows that bicycling injuries have nearly doubled over a 15-year period ending in 2013, which they acknowledge coincides with the boom in bicycling.

Looking at it another way, the rate of injuries per 100,000 people has increased 28%, with the biggest increase coming among riders over 45, which jumped to 42% of reported injuries.

On the other hand, the number of people riding bikes has increased dramatically, rising as much as 32% in LA in a recent three year period, and 174% in Minneapolis in just five years, according to stats from People for Bikes.

And much of that increase has come from people over 45, as bicycling has become the new golf, as the press loves to tell us.

So it’s only natural to expect that both the rate and number of bicycling injuries would go up. It’s just as likely that the injury rate among cyclists, rather than the general population, may have gone down or stayed the same.

More troubling is the news that the most serious types of injuries have increased. According to the study, the rate of hospitalization due to bicycling injuries more than doubled, while the proportion of head injuries increased 60% over that period, and torso injuries jumped 21%.

That would imply that more bike riders are getting hit by cars, perhaps due to more people riding in an urban environment, as the author of the study suggests.

Which means the solution is not urging greater caution among older riders, or frightening them off their bikes, but improving safety for all cyclists in our cities.

But until someone takes the extra step of placing bike injuries in context with solid ridership stats, studies like this are interesting, but ultimately, meaningless.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

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This one’s worth checking out, as a bike riding comedian Mario Joyner captures his rants on GoPro while riding the streets of LA.

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Aussie rider Michael Rogers will get the Olympic bronze medal he didn’t win in Athens in 2004, after gold medalist Tyler Hamilton was stripped of his medal for doping three years ago.

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Local

Who says LA wasn’t a bike city? As this photo shows, they were the perfect way to get to a 1940s cowboy matinee. Looks like bike corrals are nothing new, either.

Bike SGV wants your support to help turn the massive Puente Hills landfill into LA County’s first bike park.

Examined Spoke questions why Milt Olin’s death has never been reported to California’s official SWITRS database. Why, indeed?

Vancouver’s Modacity will present Observations from an Emerging Bicycle Culture in Santa Monica and Echo Park next month.

 

State

The mayors of seven California cities, including LA and Lon Beach, call on the state to act now to fix our crumbling roads and bridges, including the need for comprehensive bike networks. Let’s not forget bad roads pose a greater risk to the safety of bicyclists than they do to motorists.

To no one’s surprise, Coronado’s NIMBYs have succeeded in killing a proposed bike path along the beach. The way residents reacted, you would have thought someone had suggested rerouting the 5 Freeway through their bucolic burgh.

Maybe bike collisions wouldn’t be rising so fast in Hanford if police would stop blaming the victims and focus on the people in the big, dangerous machines.

The LA Times provides more details on the San Francisco U-lock attack, in which a salmon cyclist breaking the rules of Critical Mass whacked a car with his lock after the driver bumped his bike.

A writer for the Sacramento Bee says a beautiful network of bike lanes will mean nothing if people are afraid to park their bikes out of fear of bike thieves. She’s right; LA’s efforts to encourage more people to ride instead of driving will be doomed if their bikes are gone when it’s time to ride back home.

 

National

Bicycling’s Joe Lindsey says our bike-riding president has done a lot to aid bicycling, but your voice is needed to ensure further progress. Meanwhile, the Feds tell risk averse traffic engineers to get off their ass and stop using them as an excuse.

Sarah Goodyear explains why we call crashes “accidents” and why we need to stop, while bike lawyer Bob Mionske explains what to do if you’re in one.

People for Bikes says protected bike lanes are seven times more likely to encourage people to ride.

Now that’s more like it. A Portland man apologizes for an ill-advised tweet, and says he doesn’t really believe anyone should run over people on bikes.

The cast of Breaking Away will reunite at Interbike in Las Vegas this month, including Dennis Christopher, Jackie Earle Haley, Paul Dooley and Dennis Quaid. If they can get Robyn Douglass to show up, I’m in.

In Houston, cycling concierges will deliver virtually anything you want directly to your door.

This is so wrong in so many ways. A Boston writer, who has evidently never met a bike rider, says bikes don’t belong on urban roads. Note to Jeff Jacoby: Like most bicyclists, I have a drivers license. And we pay the same taxes you do.

A New York bike website talks with the man riding a bikeshare bike from NYC to LA.

Washington DC will teach all second grade students how to ride a bike, which used to be standard practice for schools around the country. Growing up in Colorado, every kid received bike education in elementary school, ensuring that they all grew up knowing the rules of the road.

A South Carolina website gets it, saying motorists must respect the right of bicyclists to use the road on equal terms, but bike riders should assume most drivers don’t know that.

Alabama’s Tuskegee University has partnered with a local bank to give students a free bikeshare program.

A Birmingham AL grand jury will be convened to investigate the death of a prominent African American businessman killed when the driver of a pickup plowed into three riders with the Black People Run Bike and Swim group; the other two were airlifted to a local hospital. Traffic crimes don’t normally go to a grand jury; so the question is whether the DA is just covering his ass, or if there’s something they’re not telling us.

 

International

A British soccer player is banned from driving and gets a year of community service for DUI after plowing into three cyclists who stopped on the sidewalk to fix a broken chain. Yes, they were on the sidewalk when he hit them.

Famed Italian automotive designer Pininfarina has teamed with DeRosa to produce a lightweight, low-drag carbon racing bike.

Denmark will send its first astronaut into space today. To test bike parts, of course.

Syrian refugees are exploiting a legal loophole by bicycling across the border between Russia and Norway, which bans crossings by foot or car.

A South African website offers a photo essay on bicycling in Eritrea.

New Zealand is considering requiring a 1.5 meter passing distance for bicycles, the equivalent of nearly five feet.

 

Finally…

Now that’s a different looking bike, although it doesn’t look like something an Imperial storm trooper would ride. Your next water bottle could be a bike light; then again, your next foldie could be, too.

And you know you suck as a driver when even a car enthusiast website says you should lose your license for doing a massive burnout after an argument with a cyclist.

 

Morning Links: Good news on Mt. Hollywood Dr; Calabasas driver busted for DUI after injuring two cyclists

Good news regarding Mt. Hollywood Drive at the Griffith Park Advisory Board meeting Thursday night, as reader dangerd explains.

The board motion was passed for currently closed roads to remain closed to private cars as per the vision plan for Griffith Park.

Also Superintendent of Recreation and Parks Operations Joe Salaices stated officially to the board that the Department recommends keeping Mount Hollywood Drive closed also.

They also discussed but did not motion that they would like to find a way to have a shuttle service that would loop around the park on the open roads to places such as the zoo, observatory, Fernwood and Travel Town and possibly out to the local subway stations if they could in order to help mitigate traffic in the park (not on the closed roads). As most of the people visiting are tourists with a majority of them from outside the USA (Europeans, this was found out in the “study” when the road was opened) and as such are used to public transportation so they would be receptive to this kind of service.

Some board members mentioned also trying to guide the tourists to view the sign from the observatory instead of guiding them up the closed roads and trails as the observatory is where there are bathroom facilities etc.

Hopefully the City Council will take their recommendations.

Speaking of the City Council, or ex to be exact, Tom LaBonge stopped by and talked on end about a million of his ideas about the park but did state also that he was in favor of keeping the road closed also.

The Board is definitely headed in the right direction as far as the roads and traffic mitigation is concerned and should be commended for their work to make the park a better place with less traffic.

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Two cyclists were seriously injured when they were hit by a car on Mulholland Highway in Calabasas Thursday evening. The collision occurred just after 7 pm at the intersection with Old Topanga Canyon Road.

A street view shows bike lanes on Mulholland, with a 45 mph speed limit.

In a report that doesn’t appear to be online as of this writing, KNBC-4 reports that at least one of the victims became trapped under the car, and had to be extricated by emergency personnel.

The driver was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Update: Chris Willig sends word that the collision may have occurred southwest of Old Topanga Canyon, where there are no bike lanes.

image

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Romain Bardet soloed to victory in Thursday’s 18th stage of the Tour de France, as Chris Froome continues to cruise in the yellow jersey. Froome admits his rivals’ tactics are pushing him to the limit, even if he doesn’t seem to be breaking a sweat. Then again, maybe he did.

Teejay van Garderen says the hardest part of withdrawing from the Tour was looking his teammates in the eyes. One day after Teejay dropped out, fellow American Andrew Talansky leapt up to 12th; he has two more days in the Alps to make up over 16 minutes. It could happen, right?

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay looks at the seemingly endless rumors of motor doping, which Greg LeMond insists is already happening. Although that doesn’t include getting a tow from a support vehicle, even if Jakob Fuglsang did just get clipped by an official motorcycle.

And Ireland’s Nicholas Roche says pro cycling is cleaner than in Lance’s day. Which isn’t really saying much, is it? Most drug dens are cleaner than cycling used to be.

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Local

Metro decides that bikeshare interoperability is kind of important after all, but doesn’t commit to actually doing anything about it.

The inconvenience caused by tearing down the current 6th Street Viaduct may be worth it, as the replacement promises to have a protected bike lane.

In what reads like a Greek tragedy, Better Bike says say goodbye to bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd.

That stinky, often ugly flood control basin just off Washington Blvd by the bike path in Marina del Rey will finally get a much needed beautification makeover, including separate paths for cyclists and pedestrians.

The LA Times says you can fend off dementia by exercising, including riding your bike. After all, that same advice worked so well in helping me avoid diabetes, right?

Celebrate the first of LA’s planned Great Streets on the newly bicycle-friendly Reseda Blvd next Thursday.

 

State

San Diego has the nation’s eighth worst roads. Not surprisingly, LA streets are number two — in more ways than one.

BikeSD invites you on a conversationally paced 22-mile ride through San Diego’s Uptown and beach communities on the 1st.

Sometimes, you just can’t win. A Coronado senior citizen complains about bikes on the boardwalk, in the street, at the coffee shop and in the restrooms, as well as on bikeways that haven’t even been built yet.

A popular San Francisco bike route could get traffic circles instead of stop signs to calm motor vehicles without squeezing out bike riders.

 

National

The US Senate begins debate on the new transportation bill, which contains some good news for bike riders. The problem will be getting it past the rabidly anti-bike members of the House.

A new study says police crash report templates should be improved to collect better information from bicycle crashes. Something many of us have been long been advocating.

A writer for Slate says wait a minute, crashes really are accidents if they’re just the result of a momentary lapse in judgment. Sure, let’s go with that. No point in expecting people to actually pay attention in those big, dangerous machines.

An Oregon cyclist is suing the overly courteous driver who waived another motorist through to make a turn, directly into her bike.

A bike-riding Boise four-year old helps save a neighborhood home from fire.

The Department of DIY strikes again, as Michigan bike riders raise enough money to pay for their own four-foot wide bike lane.

New Jersey bicyclists call for a crackdown on double parking in bike lanes. Then again, you could substitute any other state in the Union and write the same story.

Queens NY is giving the Boulevard of Death a bike-friendly makeover.

It’s not always the pedestrians who get hurt in bike collisions; a New York salmon cyclist is critically injured when a man stepped into the street in front of him.

City Lab looks at what it’s really like to haul tourists around DC in a pedicab, while a DC writer says put the damn phone down when you ride.

 

International

I just can’t help being a fan of the Wheelies foldout tricycle mobile coffee bars, and evidently, I’m not alone; their latest version was 90% funded on Indiegogo after just 11 hours.

Caught on video: A Winnipeg cycling instructor gets Jerry Browned* by a honking bus driver passing on the wrong side.

In the last seven years, over half of all London bicycling deaths have involved large trucks; many, if not most, of those victims have been women. Meanwhile, hit-and-run is more than just an LA problem, as over 1000 London cyclists have been injured and two killed by fleeing drivers in just the last year alone.

Forget texting. One in five British drivers take selfies behind the wheel.

An Irish bike rider is fined for crashing his bike into the side of a car driven by his 75-year old parish priest. After all, a man of God couldn’t possibly have cut off the sidewalk-riding cyclist in the fog. Although I’d like to know how someone who’s just 23 could manage to rack up 30 previous traffic convictions.

Munich plans a network of 14 two-way, separated bike autobahns. Wouldn’t that be a radbahn?

 

Finally…

At least she managed to make it all the way across the country before her bike was stolen. If you’re going to bike under the influence, try not to ride into the side of a minivan; thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

And if you have to take a dump in the woods while riding your bike, try not to set the forest on fire.

 

*Passed at an unsafe distance, aka being buzzed. Named in honor of the California governor who twice vetoed safe passing legislation before finally signing a weakened three-foot passing law.

 

The Danger in Dog Day Afternoons

Jim Pocrass, Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP

Jim Pocrass, Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP

Bikes Have Rights™
By James L. Pocrass, Esq.
Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP 
 

Recently, at the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition Open House, JJ Hoffman was telling me a story about her daily encounter with dog a couple of years ago. JJ said every day when she was riding to work she’d meet up with this same woman who was walking her dog unleashed.

Every day the dog took after JJ, which set the woman off who would run yelling behind her dog. It got so bad that JJ had the pepper spray out before she got to the street where she’d meet up with the dog. All that dog wanted, JJ said, was a taste of her calf.

JJ really didn’t want to spray the dog, though spraying the owner was tempting, and, luckily for everybody, JJ never actually had to take action.

Like JJ, I really like dogs. The dogs are doing what their instincts tell them to do: to chase prey. Irresponsible dog owners are another matter. They put the cyclist, the dog, and especially themselves in danger.

Bitten by a Dog

In California, if you are bitten by a dog, the owner is at fault. It doesn’t matter if the dog is leashed or not. It doesn’t matter if the owner knew or didn’t know that the dog had a “vicious nature.” California holds owners to “strict liability.” If you are bitten, the owner is liable for your injuries. There is no “free bite” in California.

Collision with or because of a Dog

When a dog begins chasing a cyclist, most cyclists tend to try to outrun the dog. When that happens, the dog’s brain goes into get-the-fleeing-prey mode, and the race is on.

Whether or not you can really outrun the dog, the real danger is in possibly colliding with the dog or colliding with something else because you lose control of the bike or you hit a pot hole or even getting hit by a motor vehicle when swerving or not being able to stop at a light or an intersection.

If you suffer serious personal injuries or your bike is damaged, again, the dog owner can be held liable. Your bicycle accident attorney should be able to obtain compensation for your injuries.

Compensation for Dog-related Collisions or Bites

The dog owner may be held negligent for:

  • Ineffective control of the dog.
  • Violation of the leash law and other Animal Control Ordinances.
  • Inadequate supervision or management of the dog.
  • Putting the dog in a condition in which the owner could have seen that the dog could cause injury to somebody.

Individual cities also may have their own animal control ordinances. For instance, one city limits the number of dogs that can be walked by one person at a time and a number of cities consider it a misdemeanor if a dog is tied to a parking meter, sign or bus bench without food or water nearby.

Some cities have ordinances specific to a breed. In Santa Monica a pit bull on public property must be muzzled.

The dog owner may be held responsible for compensating you for:

  • Medical bills from doctors, emergency rooms, hospitals, therapists, plastic surgeons, and for prescriptions.
  • Future medical bills to remove scars or to repair disfigurements. If the money for medical care is not recovered at this time, your health insurance might not cover any future medical procedures you need later, calling them “cosmetic.”
  • Time you had to take off from work resulting in lost income.
  • Lost future earnings because of disfigurement or disabilities.
  • Emotional counseling.
  • Pain and suffering.

Of course you can only recover compensation for injuries you suffer and care you actually need.

Hesitations to Holding an Owner Liable

One of the major hesitations a cyclist who is bitten by a dog often has in reporting a dog bite is the fear that the dog will be destroyed. A dog that has no history of biting is rarely “put down.”

The court takes into account the severity of the bite and the number of times it has bitten. It may rule that a dog must be muzzled in public or restrained in a particular way, such as kept behind a certain type of fence of a certain height.

Self-Defense

We all have heard that we have the right to defend ourselves against an attack from another person. What few people realize is that the law says you can defend yourself as much as is necessary to foil the attack. Your defense must be proportionate to the attack, and when the danger is past, so is your right to defend yourself.

This is a common law concept, and there is no explicit statement in common law that this also applies in a dog attack. More and more dog owners are counter-suing for compensation when their dog has been injured either intentionally or through someone else’s negligence.

So if you are going to use self defense, be sure that it is proportionate to the attack and that once the attack is over you stop, similar to how you would defend yourself with a human. That is a legally defensible act, though you could still find yourself in a lawsuit with the dog owner.

Personally, I subscribe to the belief that it’s rare to find a bad dog, but bad owners are much too plentiful.

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Insurance Companies Are Not Your Friend

 

Jim Pocrass, Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP

Jim Pocrass, Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP

Bikes Have Rights™
By James L. Pocrass, Esq.
Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP 
 

Behind the warm and fuzzy jingles, the precocious animal mascots, and the deep-voiced spokespersons, insurance companies are faceless, heartless corporations whose one purpose is to increase premiums and to decrease payouts in order to make the biggest profits possible.

Simply put, THAT is why you need your own lawyer if you have a bike accident.

If insurance companies were “fair,” I’d be out of a job. I am pretty confident that unemployment due to insurance companies deciding to do the “right thing” is not something I have to worry about in my lifetime.

The reality is, after you have had a bike accident and the friendly insurance adjuster calls you, his (or her), goal is to come up with a reason not to pay you. If he can’t outright deny you compensation for your damages, he wants to diminish your case so the company has to pay you as little as possible.

Rest assured, everything you say to that nice insurance adjustor can and will be used against you in a court of law. That is why I – and every other personal injury lawyer – will tell you to refuse to speak to an insurance adjuster or insurance representative. Give the adjustor your lawyer’s name and phone number and hang up.

If you cooperate with the insurance adjuster and you are offered a settlement, it is likely that you are getting 10 cents on the dollar of the value of your case. I was once told by an adjuster that he received a bonus if he could settle a case within 48-hours.

Let me tell you about a case I handled. A client who had a Los Angeles bike accident injured his shoulder. He talked with the kindly insurance adjuster who sympathized and sent him to a doctor (an insurance company sending you to a doctor is a rare occurrence).

SURPRISE! The doctor recommended by the insurance company said my client’s shoulder was fine. The company offered my client $5,000 to settle his case.

My client’s shoulder really hurt. He finally engaged a lawyer (me), and I sent him to a doctor. The doctor I sent him to diagnosed a torn rotator cuff. He underwent surgery. We settled the case for $150,000.

Never forget that insurance companies have more knowledge than you do. They also employ an army of lawyers. They can throw more resources at your case than you even know exist. They have all the power, all the money, and the wherewithal to fight you when you are fighting alone.

You need an experienced personal injury lawyer to level the playing field. I have written here before about how to choose a lawyer, but it bears repeating to say you should look at how or where you got the referral, the lawyer’s experience in your type of case, and the results the lawyer has achieved.

Now go increase your uninsured motorist insurance to the maximum the insurance company will permit, and the next time you see an insurance company commercial, remember, they are not your friend.

*California Vehicle Code 21200: A person riding a bicycle or operating a pedicab upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle. . .

For more than 25 years, Jim Pocrass has represented people who were seriously injured, or families who lost a loved one in a wrongful death, due to the carelessness or negligence of another. Jim is repeatedly named to Best Lawyers of America and to Southern California Super Lawyers for the outstanding results he consistently achieves for his clients. Having represented hundreds of cyclists during his career, and Jim’s own interest in cycling, have resulted in him becoming a bicycle advocate. He is a board member of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. For a free, no-obligation consultation, contact Jim Pocrass at 310.550.9050 or at info@pocrass.com.

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BOLO for Mission Hills hit-and-run driver who seriously injured bike rider

This morning we linked to a brief item about a bike rider who was seriously injured in a Mission Hills hit-and-run on Sunday.

Now more details have been added to the story.

According to the Daily News, the victim, identified only as a 53-year old North Hollywood resident, was riding west on Devonshire around 9:44 am when he attempted to cross Sepulveda Blvd on the green light. A white car headed north on Sepulveda stopped briefly at the red light before accelerating and crashing into the rider directly in front of him.

The paper reports he rolled onto the hood, smashing into the windshield, before being thrown to the ground when the driver braked before fleeing the scene. He was taken to a nearby hospital with broken bones, but no life threatening injuries.

The story also notes that the victim wasn’t wearing a helmet.

Since he does not appear to have suffered a head injury, the Daily News is apparently under the impression that a bike helmet somehow would have prevented the collision or made a rider impervious to any injury, including broken bones in other parts of the body.

An alert from the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division describes the vehicle as a white four-door Jaguar, no model given, with black rims. The driver is described as Hispanic male with dark hair, around 30–40 years old.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Valley Traffic Division Detectives at 818/644-8020; anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800/222-8477).

Keep your eyes open for a white Jag with front-end damage, especially if you ride in the North San Fernando Valley. Let’s help the LAPD bring this heartless SOB to justice.

Thanks to Richard Risemberg for the heads-up.

And best wishes to the victim for fast and full recovery.

Help a badly wounded rider get back on his feet, BAC Bikeways subcommittee minutes, and ride with Greg Laemmle

There’s no shortage of good causes these days, especially when it comes to bicycling.

But this one really deserves your attention.

On November 27th of last year, David Enright was riding his bike to pick up a U-Haul to start a new life in Seattle with his fiancé.

That’s when his life nearly ended.

As he crossed the intersection of Eagle Rock Blvd and Avenue 36 around 10:50 am, a car ran the red light and hit him from the side. Enright suffered a broken left forearm, right elbow and clavicle, as well as seven factures to his pelvis; he credits his helmet for sparing him from head injuries.

Do I really need to add that the driver was unlicensed and had no insurance?

Enright spent the past two months confined to a hospital bed, unable to move. Two weeks ago, he was finally released, though confined to a wheelchair, and immediately began the long and painful road to rehabilitation.

Friends say he has the strength, in both mind and body, to make it all the way back. On the other hand, that new life he was starting hasn’t exactly gone the way he planned.

In addition to crushing medical costs, he’s looking at a full year of lost wages and legal fees, as well as unexpected housing and storage costs.

And that’s where you come in.

A fundraising page has been established in his name. Donate just $40, and you’ll receive entry and drink tickets to a fundraising party at The Record Parlour in Hollywood on Sunday, February 9th.

One week later, a fundraising ride will roll from Intelligentsia Coffee Bar in Pasadena to the flagship Inteligensia in Silverlake, passing through historical landscapes, quiet ravines, bustling neighborhoods, and around the breathtaking Silverlake Reservoir. Suggested sponsorship is $200, however, sponsorship is not mandatory.

All proceeds go to help Enright’s long road to recovery.

Like I said, it’s a good cause.

……….

It’s also hard to keep up with all the important bike meetings in and around the City of Angels these days.

One of the most important is the work being done by the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, particularly the Bikeways Subcommittee.

That’s why I’m pleased to share the minutes of their most recent meeting:

Bicycle Advisory Committee of the City of Los Angeles
Bikeways Subcommittee
MINUTES
Sunland Room, LADOT, 100 Main St., Los Angeles CA
Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 1-3 PM

1. Call to Order

2. Introduction of Subcommittee members and City staff

In attendance: Jeff Jaccobberger (BAC Chair), Herbie Huff (BAC Bikeways Subcom Chair), Jonathan Weiss (BAC Advocacy and Education Subcom Chair), Michelle Mowery, Nate Baird (LADOT Bicycle Outreach and Planning), Tim Fremeaux, Paul Meshkin, Carlos Rodriguez (LADOT Bikeways Engineering), David Somers (LADCP), Dennis Hindman (public)

3. Current bike lane designs for review

a. 48th St: Crenshaw Blvd to Normandie Ave

This is an HSIP project being led by Carlos Rios. It’s a road diet with a new signal at 11th. Design work will be completed in February.  

b. Lakme Ave: M St to G St

b, d, e, g, are all in a package in Wilmington. Most of these are ‘drop-in’ bike lanes that don’t require lane removal. Some of these projects are adding a center-turn lane. Most of these neighborhoods are residential, and some are mixed light industrial. Bike lanes have had a lot of support and success in this working-class community, and the department is looking forward to seeing the results of implementing a network of bike lanes here.

c. Loyola Blvd: Westchester Pkwy to Lincoln Blvd

This is a small section. Someone asked about a portion of an existing bike lane here, where current department practice would dictate the addition of painted buffers to the bike lane, but there are no such buffers. Tim Fremeaux noted that historical bike lanes are updated opportunistically with repaving.

d. McDonald Ave: Denni St to C St

e. Denni St: Fries Ave. to Banning Blvd.

f. San Vicente Blvd: Beverly Blvd. to Burton Wy. (E/B) Wilshire Blvd. (W/B)

Design of this bike lane discussed at a previous Bikeways Subcom meeting. The reason for the varying extents is that the E/B side is in the City of Beverly Hills. Tim has verified that Beverly Hills has the right-of-way to implement a bike lane. LADOT has shared the plans with the City of Beverly Hills.

g. St: Wilmington Blvd. to Watson Ave.

h. Valley Vista Blvd: Woodvale Rd. to Sherman Oaks Ave

i. San Vicente Blvd: Redondo Blvd. to La Brea Ave.

This is a short addition on a repaved segment, to add to bike lanes the department recently painted on the lower section of San Vicente.

4. Exposition Neighborhood Greenway

Because of the adjacent City park planned as a part of the Westwood Neighborhood Greenway, BAC member Jonathan Weiss wanted to determine the precise location of the Expo Bike Path between Westwood and Overland. Project lead Carlos Rodriguez explained that the bike path will be basically adjacent to the Metro ROW and the train tracks, running along the soundwall (with a 5’ landscaping buffer) and minimizing the disruption to the park. There will be a parallel pedestrian path on the park side of the bikeway which will act as an access route to the park.

5. Cesar Chavez: Mission to Sunset

The department is planning to add a bike facility here. This will be a difficult project, for which there is no off-the-shelf design. Some of it will be a continuation of the bus lanes on Sunset Blvd. Hill to Mission is the difficult section. The intersection at Vignes will be especially tricky because this is the location with the most bus boardings in the City, even more than in Patsaouras Plaza. The eastbound bus stop on Chavez at Vignes sees over 100 buses an hour. Tim shared a preliminary idea which is to add bike lanes on the bridge with turn lane removal. Jonathan Weiss recommended barriers in the tunnel similar to the ones that were recently implemented on 2nd St.

6. Wayfinding sign project – opportunity for input on sign placement

LADOT will release a public version of the location of the signs soon via the bike blog. BAC members should look for any errors and do basic fact-checking in their districts.

7. 20 mile sharrow package – discussion and opportunity for input

LADOT shared a draft sharrow package. BAC members felt all the streets were well chosen. Herbie will give Gregg Spotts from BSS a call about the fact that 4th St. sharrows need to be replaced after being slurried over. The request would be that if streets to be slurried can be known in advance, LADOT can wait until they are slurried before laying down the sharrows.

8. Approval of next meeting date: Weds, 3/19/2014

Please note that meetings will be on the 3rd Wednesday rather than the 1st Wednesday from now on.

9. General Public Comment

A few other notes:

DCP is looking to create a data unit in response to the Mayor’s emphasis on metrics.

DOT bikeways staffing is an issue. The department has requested an additional position in Bikeways Outreach and Planning this year’s city budget. BAC members and advocates should follow the budget to see if this is granted by the Mayor’s office.

10. Adjourn

……….

More on Francisco Alvarez, the 78-year old Glendora rider who died after he was hit by a car last week; the devoted grandfather was a popular Spanish Language poet with over 3,600 sonnets and other poems.

……….

LACBC board member Greg Laemmle is once again leading the bike coalition’s entry for the annual Climate Ride. Tell them why you want to ride with Greg, and you could win free entry to the ride, $2500 towards your fundraising commitment, and an Unlimited Laemmle Movie Pass for the remainder of this year.

……….

A new LA bike commuter is born. The Eastsider says it’s time to take traffic safety seriously in Northeast LA; actually, it’s long past time to take it seriously everywhere. Broadway traffic lanes will be reduced from six to three in order to improve livability in the heart of Downtown. Valley Councilmember Bob Blumenfield leads a successful community ride in his district; hopefully this will inspire other councilmembers to lead rides in their own districts. Streetsblog adds more details to the story of hit-and-run victim Damian Kevitt’s Finish the Ride event on April 27th; they also say Mayor Eric Garcetti’s support of the city’s application for the Green Lane Project means he now has skin in the game for My Figueroa. The People St. parklet program goes citywide this week.

Ghost bikes are multiplying in the Inland Empire. Sixteen-year old San Diego bike rider injured when he’s hit by a 76-year old driver. Police ask for help tracking down the driver who ran down a Santee cyclist last week; fortunately, the rider was not seriously injured, though his bike looks badly mangled. The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition launches a Youth Bicycle Fleet. Sacramento bartender faces DUI and vehicular manslaughter charges for killing a cyclist last April. Sounds like authorities are taking this one seriously for a change, as an El Dorado County driver is booked on $1 million bail after disappearing on a warrant for the suspected DUI death of a cyclist last year.

A blogger falls in love with bicycling. Scary collision as a resting Seattle cyclist is slightly injured after being knocked off an overpass. For the first time I can recall, a bicycle is part of the traditional mayors’ Super Bowl bet. A Tucson filmmaker says it’s time to let women ride in the Tour de France; past time, if you ask me. Clearly, hit-and-run is not just an LA problem, as police seek the motorist who killed a cyclist near my hometown. Bicycle tourism is starting to have an effect on businesses’ bottom lines in Montana. San Antonio artists create breathtaking underpass chandeliers from bike parts. Chicago merchants are discovering bike lanes are good for business. Northwestern University students develop a smart bike to help prevent collisions.

The Times of London absurdly claims bike riders pose as much risk to pedestrians as motorists do; yeah, that’s one way of looking at it. Indian MAMILS put pedal to the metal. The bike racing season is off and running as Aussie Simon Gerrans wins the Tour Down Under.

Finally, this is why you don’t want to tempt fate: minutes after pointing out to a riding companion where he’d want his ashes scattered, a UK rider is killed in a solo fall. And a writer for Outside magazine says it’s time to fight back — metaphorically, if not literally — against jerks who attack cyclists.

Bike rider shot and killed in South LA; unidentified Pasadena cyclist suffers critical injuries; SD road rage charges

Evidently, 2014 is getting off to a challenging start.

Following a year in which Los Angeles had the lowest number of homicides in nearly 50 years, the city suffered its first homicide of the new year early Sunday morning.

And it was a bike rider who got killed.

According to the LA Times, 46-year old Don Johnson was riding his bike southward on the 10000 block of South Main Street in South LA around 12:20 am when an unknown assailant walked up and shot him multiple times; KABC-7 says a witness heard six shots.

Johnson was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

KTLA-5 reports he was shot as he rode in front of a church, most likely the Holy Pathway Missionary Church; he was apparently riding in the bike lane visible on the street leading up to the church.

A report on KNBC-4 — which does not appear to be available online — suggested that authorities suspect it was a gang-related shooting, though there was no indication Johnson was a gang member.

He may have just been the wrong person, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

And paid for it with his life.

Anyone with information is urged to contact investigators at 213/465-4341 or 877/527-3247, or submit anonymous tips at 800/222-8477.

My prayers for Don Johnson and his loved ones.

………

A bike rider is in critical condition in a Pasadena hospital, the apparent result of a solo crash. And sadly, authorities have no idea who he is.

The Pasadena Star-News reports the victim, identified only as a white male in his 20’s, was found lying in the roadway on Glenullen Drive at Malcom Drive just before 3 pm Saturday. Police initially suspected hit-and-run, but concluded the victim probably lost control riding downhill and crashed into a tree.

He was not carrying identification, and was unable to speak due to major head injuries.

And no, he was not wearing a helmet. However, there is no way of telling if one would have made a difference in this case, though it probably wouldn’t have hurt.

This should also be a reminder to everyone to carry — or wear — ID every time you ride.

Best wishes for the victim for a full and fast recovery.

………

An unidentified San Diego cyclist may see justice after all.

According to San Diego’s NBC-7, 50-year old Douglas Lane faces a felony count of reckless driving with injury for his part in an October road rage incident that left a bike rider seriously injured as collateral damage.

The ironically named Lane was reportedly jockeying for lane position with another driver on State Route 67 just north of Poway Road where two northbound lanes merged into one. Lane lost control of his truck when the vehicles sideswiped one another, and swerved into the bike lane where he hit a 38-year old woman participating in the Pedal the Cause bike ride.

Neither the victim, who was hospitalized with major non-life-threatening injuries, nor the other driver has been publicly identified.

Both vehicles continued without stopping; earlier reports indicated Lane had no idea he’d hit anyone.

He was arrested Saturday, though the warrant was issued in mid-November, and booked on $50,000 bond.

……….

Thankfully, not all the news is bad.

In fact, when it comes to the economic benefits of bicycling, it looks pretty damn good.

……….

Don’t forget to voice your opinion — either online or in person this Wednesday — on the necessity of putting bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd in the Biking Grey Hole of Beverly Hills when the iconic boulevard undergoes reconstruction in 2015.

……….

Nice profile of Long Beach bike advocate Melissa Balmer and the new statewide Pedal Love Project, described in the story as a love letter to California bike culture.

………

The San Diego Bicycle Coalition moved to new offices on Friday. By bike, of course.

………

Hats off to Burbank, which hasn’t had a bicycling fatality in the last two years, and just one pedestrian death last year, down from two in 2011.

………

Finally, royal in-law Pippa Middleton clips in for the first time, and likes it. Meanwhile, another rider admits to turning into a royal jerk whenever she slips onto the saddle.

And we wonder why some people hate us.

Update: Calimesa hit-and-run victim dies two weeks after collision

This is not what I wanted to write about today.

I was hoping to end this year on a positive note. But maybe the good news is simply that this bloody year, with its epidemic of hit-and-runs and far too many cyclists killed or injured, is finally coming to an end.

And maybe the new year that starts tomorrow will be a better one for all of us.

………

News broke today that a cyclist in Calimesa suffered major injuries in a Sunday hit-and-run.

According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the bike rider was riding south on Calimesa Blvd just north of Singleton Rd in the small town east of Redlands and Moreno Valley around 12:25 pm. Witnesses saw a northbound car drift over the centerline and hit the rider head-on before fleeing the scene.

The victim was identified on Don Davidson’s Facebook page as Phil Richards, but it does not mention his age or residence.

In a second Facebook post, he said Richardson coded overnight after spending Sunday afternoon in surgery for multiple injuries, but was revived and in surgery again on Monday morning to stop internal bleeding and relieve pressure in his abdomen. Fortunately, he does not appear to have suffered head or spinal injuries — remarkably, since he was reportedly hit at 50 mph.

The car reportedly struck Richards on the left front, damaging the car’s left side and headlight. The vehicle is described only as a compact four door sedan, light blue or green, driven by an elderly white-haired white or Hispanic man.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the department’s Cabazon Station at 951-922-7100.

Prayers or good wishes are definitely in order.

Thanks to Cleave Law and Tom Herman for the heads-up.

Update: The Riverside Sheriff’s Department has made an arrest in the case. 

According to a press release from the department, a deputy assigned to Calimesa noticed a 2005 Ford 500 matching the description of the suspect vehicle, with damage consistent with the collision, parked in a driveway in the 1200 block of Cherry Lane. 

After towing the car to examine the evidence and talking with the owner, 42-year old Calimesa resident William Donald Johnson was booked for felony hit-and-run.

Then again, Johnson had a full week to sober up if he had been drunk or otherwise under the influence at the time of the collision.

Meanwhile, the victim, who has been identified on Facebook as Phil Richards, remains hospitalized following several surgeries

Thanks to Kevin for the heads-up.

Update 2: I’m sad to report that, according to Don Davidson’s Facebook page, Richards died of his injuries at 5 pm on Saturday, January 11th.

This is the 89th bicycling fatality in Southern California resulting from injuries suffered in 2013, and the 12th in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Phil Richards and all his family and loved ones.

……….

In somewhat better news, another hit-and-run driver is in custody as of Monday evening after he ran down a rider on an adult tricycle Monday afternoon.

According to the Ramona Sentinel, 69-year old James Swift was riding south on Montecito Road at around 1:05 pm. He was crossing Main Street on the green light when he was apparently right-hooked by a 2002 Yukon Denali.

Witnesses report the driver actually stopped and placed the stroke victim back on the seat, saying he was sorry before running back to his truck and fleeing as fast as he could.

Fortunately, witnesses got the license number of the truck, and CHP officers were able to convince him to turn himself in. The 31-year old driver, who was not publicly identified, faces charges of hit-and-run and driving without a license.

But at least he said he was sorry, right?

………

Finally, Ed Ryder offer moving photos of the ghost bike for Pete Tomaino, the popular 82-year old cyclist killed in Laguna Hills on Christmas Eve.

The way this year has gone, maybe that’s a sadly appropriate note to end on.

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