Tag Archive for Bike-unfriendly Beverly Hills

Morning Links: New Santa Clarita bike safety campaign; Beverly Hills official calls you an organ donor wannabe

citys-bike-safety-campaign-raise-awareness-about-sharing-road-41943-2-288x322A new Santa Clarita bike safety campaign says Respect is a Two-Way Street.

But they lose me with the illustration of a bike crashing into a car. And the last line that seems to put responsibility on riders to avoid getting killed, rather than on drivers to avoid killing someone.

So what do you think?

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This is what cyclists are up against in Beverly Hills.

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot quotes Beverly Krasne, city council member and former mayor of the Biking Black Hole, in justifying her adamant opposition to bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd:

Cyclists are on a donor cycle mission – to give their organs to someone.

Somehow, though, her solution to our perceived recklessness is to keep the city as dangerous and anti-bike-friendly as possible.

Maybe someone should let her know most of us just want to get through her damn city without getting killed in the process.

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Police are reviewing the $100 ticket a DC cyclist got for following too closely after he’s buzzed, then brake checked by an angry truck driver — despite riding on sharrows at the time — after bike cam video of the incident is released.

Something tells me the officer needs a little retraining. Or maybe a new job.

And the driver needs to be behind bars.

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As long as we’re in DC, I somehow missed this one last week as the US Secretary of Labor says he just wants to ride his bike to work. And that the department is committed to making “cycling to work an affordable, easy and enjoyable option.”

Sounds good to me.

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Local

The Source says the new Metro bike map was released just in time for last week’s Bike Week.

The new Los Angeles Register looks at the Bike Kitchen.

The Bike League profiles LA’s own Miguel Ramos of Multicultural Communities for Mobility.

Free bike repairs and repair demos in Santa Monica on Saturday the 31st.

Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles is offering a discount on registration for the California Coast Classic Bicycle Tour benefitting the Arthritis Foundation. Which means I now have two medical conditions with their own benefit bike rides, and I’d like to stop there, thank you.

Long Beach’s monthly Kidical Mass continues to grow in popularity.

 

State

Ex-con Michael Reyes pleads guilty to killing Chula Vista bike rider Daniel Voigt while driving in a stolen car with a suspended license last month; he faces over 14 well-deserved years in prison when he’s sentenced in July.

San Diego considers building an enclosed bikeway under the Coronado Bridge, which currently bans bikes. I seriously want to ride that one.

Okay. The Tour de Cluck offers a bike tour of Davis-area chicken coops. Yes, chicken coops.

 

National

The problem with Same Roads, Same Rules is that neither was designed with bicyclists in mind. Amen, brother.

In an insightful piece, a rider says the bike industry shouldn’t forget the women who already ride in their efforts to reach the ones who don’t.

Ten reasons why Open Streets events like CicLAvia rock.

Only 1% of head injuries occur on bikes, while 48% occur in cars. But no one suggests helmets for automobile passengers. Or most business employees, for that matter.

Not surprisingly, Portland comes out on top in a new ranking of the best cities for bicycling; also not surprising is that LA is nowhere on the list.

My hometown bikes to work at 11 times the national rate. When I last lived there three decades back, it was pretty much just me.

Is anyone really surprised that a Nebraska football star won’t faces charges for stealing not one, not two, but seven bicycles? It’s long past time to stop coddling criminal athletes.

Evanston IL plans to encourage bicycling by banning bikes on some streets. Yeah, that’ll work.

 

International

Protected bike lanes are the best medicine for dangerous Winnipeg roads.

Great Britain honors the cyclists who lost their lives in World War I. That was the war so devastating it was supposed to end all wars. Despite their sacrifice, it didn’t.

Dover police knock a cyclist off his bike when he allegedly failed to respond to commands to dismount, then say he just fell off.

Bradley Wiggins wants to restore your faith in cycling. My faith in cycling is as strong as ever; my faith in pro cyclists, not so much.

IKEA is now offering an e-bike in some Austrian stores; no word on whether you have to build it yourself.

An Aussie writer debunks popular bicycling myths. And says yes, cyclists cause collisions but so does everyone else.

As China continues to re-enter the world, its citizens face the same dangers Westerners do, as a Chinese bike rider is kidnapped by Taliban militants in Pakistan.

 

Finally…

A Cambridge, Massachusetts bike safety campaign uses the local vernacular as it urges riders to Be Wicked Smaaht. And a British driver who killed a teenage passenger in a 130 mph crash — in a 60 mph zone, no less — has his sentence cut in half because he’s sorry. Oh, well okay, then.

 

Blaming the victim: Beverly Hills police blame sidewalk riding cyclist over dangerous driver

Last week, I received the following email from cyclist and budding brewmeister Todd Mumford.

As you may recall, Todd recently described a collision that left him with minor — though painful — injuries and a badly mangled bike. Now his neighbor has been the victim of a law-breaking driver.

And, apparently, the Beverly Hills police.

Todd notes that the story is second hand, but he has no reason to question his neighbor’s version of events.

He was headed east on Olympic Blvd. At some point he was riding in the street, but jumped on to the sidewalk (there was a car blocking his path or something like that).

He was on the sidewalk when he entered the crosswalk at Olympic/Doheny on a green light with the pedestrian walk sign. According to my neighbor, he checked the road and all was clear as he entered. However, as soon as he got into the crosswalk, he looked left just in time to see an SUV make a right turn from the middle lane at the last second, hitting my neighbor and sending him to the ground; he took the brunt of the impact with his shoulder.

The driver stopped and checked on my neighbor. My neighbor said two or three drivers that witnessed the accident also stopped, and started berating the driver that hit him for driving like a maniac. According to them, the driver of the SUV was speeding down Olympic, weaving in and out of traffic and finally made an illegal right turn from the middle lane before striking my neighbor.

The paramedics arrived as did the police. My neighbor got checked out and nothing appeared broken, but his shoulder was in a lot of pain (it has since become worse and he is going to get it checked to see whether he needs surgery). The police took the statements of the witnesses, the driver and my neighbor.   Their conclusion at the end of the police report was that my neighbor was entirely at fault because he was riding on the sidewalk. (My neighbor also said the police treated him like he did something wrong the entire time.)

Now, as I explained to him, it’s illegal to ride on the sidewalk in Beverly Hills. If he was just a little farther down Olympic he would have been in Los Angeles and it would not have been an issue. What I am wondering is if the police came to their conclusion because the law states it’s illegal to ride on the sidewalk or they think he’s at fault because the driver couldn’t see him because he was riding on the sidewalk.

All of which begs the question, what would the police have concluded had the SUV hit a pedestrian who was walking down the sidewalk had just entered the crosswalk and got hit?

If the police assigned 100% of fault to my neighbor because he broke the law by riding on the sidewalk, they are absolutely in the wrong. There is a legal concept in torts called negligence per se  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negligence_per_se), which, although not applicable here, feels like the police may be following the same concept. “You broke a law, you got hit, your fault.”  I have not seen the police report, but if they assigned 100% of fault to my neighbor, I would assume the driver was not cited for anything.

My neighbor said he has since retained an attorney and the driver’s insurance company assigned 80% of the fault to the driver and 20% to him, which is a small victory.

(As a side note, when I was dealing with the adjustor for the insurance company of the driver that hit me, they asked if I was riding on the sidewalk when I was hit.)

This story raises a number of issues.

Not the least of which is the problem of sidewalk riding, which is legal in some California cities and banned in others. And even legal in some areas of cities that ban it in others, such as Beverly Hills, which bans sidewalk riding only in business districts — even though BHPD bike officers routinely ride on the gilded sidewalks of the city’s Golden Triangle, including Rodeo Drive.

This patchwork of laws makes it virtually impossible for cyclists to comply with the law, as they may have no way of knowing if it is legal or illegal as they pass through the many various communities of the county.

In effect, it’s no different from the speed traps that plagued the state in the ’40s and ’50s. By refusing to post regulations on the street where cyclists who don’t live in the city can see them, jurisdictions that ban sidewalk riding virtually ensure that riders who take to the sidewalk for whatever reason will break the law at some point and be subject to ticketing.

Or worse, as this case points out.

Of course, the one solution is for all cyclists to always ride in the street. But simple common sense says that will never happen, as some riders will always feel more comfortable on the sidewalk, while others will jump on and off as needed to avoid road hazards and dangerous streets.

A better answer is to establish a uniform standard from city to city so it’s actually possible for riders to know and observe the law, wherever they ride.

Then there’s the problem of police in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills ignoring witness statements that the driver broke the law by making a right turn from the wrong lane. And deciding that the relatively minor violation of riding on the sidewalk completely outweighs a reckless driver in a dangerous vehicle putting others at risk by committing a major moving violation.

Despite the driver’s potential to cause harm, they insisted on blaming the victim. Instead of holding people operating vehicles that are capable of killing their fellow road users accountable for operating them in a safe and legal manner, they heaped all the blame on the bike rider, who posed a danger no one but himself.

All of which begs the question, what the f*** is wrong with Beverly Hills??????

Maybe you can ask them yourself.

The Beverly Hills City Council is meeting tomorrow afternoon, Tuesday, March 6th, at 1:30 pm. Bikes are on the agenda — a discussion of the city’s first planned bikeways, making them only 40 years or so behind the rest of the world.

But maybe we can use the opportunity to ask why they seem intent on remaining the most bike-unfriendly city on the Westside.

Double the links — OCTA bike victim ID’d, bike plan meeting in BH, London cyclists ride in protest

I already had a full load of links ready to go Sunday night when I set them aside to write about Saturday’s cycling fatality in Laguna Hills.

So settle in for a double dose of all the latest and greatest bike links the interweb has to offer.

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First up, the cyclist killed in a right hook by an Orange County OCTA bus on Saturday has been identified as 35-year old Romeo Jimenez-Zavaleta of Laguna Hills.

Still no word on whether he was riding on the wrong side of the street or on the sidewalk before entering the crosswalk. A reader named Bruce confirms that sidewalk riding is legal in Laguna Hills. And unlike the street, there is no right or wrong way on a crosswalk, though there is some question whether a badly worded state law allows cyclists to ride in or next to a crosswalk.

Either way, the driver should have been able to see someone in the crosswalk directly ahead of the bus.

And Mendocino cyclists mourn the death of 82-year old David Russell, who was a long-time fixture in the local riding community before he was killed by an 18-year old driver.

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The next meeting to discuss the proposed bike plan update in the biking black hole of Beverly Hills will take place this Wednesday, November 16th at 5 pm. If you ride the gilded streets of BH — or would if pedaling through the city didn’t suck so much — try to be there.

I’ll try not to take it personally that they scheduled the meeting for the only time this week that I can’t go.

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More on Metrolink’s new bike cars; thanks to Steven Vance for the heads-up. LADOT Bike Blog rides down to check them out; note that tandems and gas bikes are banned.

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After a second cyclist is killed at a dangerous intersection, London cyclists take to the road en masse to call attention to the city’s 10 most dangerous intersections and demand safer streets for everyone — including cyclists.

And despite what the city’s seemingly auto-centric mayor may have to say on the subject. A writer points out that the mayor is an experienced cyclist, and roads he considers ridable may not be safe for other cyclists.

London’s equivalent of LADOT says they’re sorry, and one board member agrees that the streets aren’t safe enough.

Meanwhile, over 300 Toronto cyclists hit the streets to call for better safety after a 38-year old cyclist is killed by a truck on the way to pick her son up from school, including calling for side guards on semi trucks, which might have prevented the tragedy. A local rider says if the city cared about human beings on bikes, she would still be alive today.

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A KCET blogger offers a surprisingly biased look at riding on the sidewalk from a pedestrian’s perspective.

Bike riders (with an attitude) bristle at these proposals, which would sour the outlaw aspects of urban bike commuting into the bourgeois rectitude of a Copenhagen or Amsterdam. Pedestrians – of which I am obliged to be one – just wish bike riders didn’t regard us as impediments to their speed.

Perhaps he’s suggesting that only bike riders with an attitude pose a danger to pedestrians, but it reads like an indictment of all bike commuters.

Unexamined in these discussions about what should and shouldn’t go on sidewalks, is the conviction among those who go about on wheels – either two or four – that wheels themselves have a natural privilege over those who are wheel-less, and that those who ride (bike, car, skateboard) are the betters of those who walk.

Lumping us in with drivers?

Now that hurts.

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KPPC’s Patt Morrison looks at the recent groundbreaking University of Wisconsin study showing increased cycling rates could result in up to $3.5 billion in savings from better air quality and $3.8 billion in lower healthcare costs each year — not to mention over 1,000 fewer traffic fatalities. And asks what it would take to get you on a bike.

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The first markings for what will soon be L.A.’s first green bike lane appear on First St; the rest is soon to follow. The UCLA Cycling Team invites you to participate in the Bruin Fall Century next Saturday. Burbank police worry about a rise in bike collisions and place the blame on cyclists, who may not know the rules of the road. Flying Pigeon rides for dim sum this Sunday. I love stories like this; a Burbank group repairs bikes to donate to needy children. Hint to Santa Monica cyclists — if you’re carrying drugs, don’t ride on the sidewalk. More on the Santa Monica Bike Centers slated to open at the end of this week; lost in the anticipation is news that Burbank is opening a BikeStop of their own. Does it matter if they don’t make a profit, since every other form of parking — and driving — is heavily subsidized? How would you like a 22-mile long east-west bikeway through the San Gabriel Valley? (Note: I originally wrote that the bike pathwould run through the San Fernando Valley; thanks to Rex Reese for the correction.) Three more bike thieves are behind bars, this time for a burglary in Agoura Hills.

A San Francisco cyclist faces a vehicular manslaughter charge for running a red light and killing a 68 year old woman as she walked in a crosswalk; if we’re going to hold drivers accountable, we have to be accountable, too. San Francisco cyclists can get free bike lights for the next month. Just Another Cyclist says whatever life brings, just keep pedaling. Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious offers photos from the San Francisco Bike Expo; we need to get something like that down here. A Union City cyclist is touch-and-go after yet another a hit-and-run. A Marin County physician calls for bike helmets for everyone, while a UK public service site seems to agree. A Napa driver warns readers about a scamming cyclist; sounds more like an urban myth to me.

Bicycling offers video advice on high cadence climbing, along with seven cycling moments that stand out in 2011. Bike Portland celebrates the T-shirt stylings of Long Beach biking expat Russ Roca. Bike-friendly Austin discovers bike corrals, while the local paper offers a great history of bike racing through the years. A hit-and-run driver turns himself in hours after killing a Minneapolis cyclist. An interview with the new head of Cincinnati’s Queen City Bike organization. The Indianapolis Star looks at the growing popularity of cyclocross. A Portsmouth woman is charged with DUI, while the cyclist she hit is ticketed for riding without lights. Does it matter where your bike was made? Every nasty driver is somebody’s friend — and could be a cyclist. A UPS driver acknowledges she saw a cyclist, but cut her off anyway. New York’s anti-bike backlash is nothing new, even though the new bike lanes have made life safer for pedestrians. A Florida university wants to turn North Miami’s only segregated bike path into a four lane street

The Department of DIY opens a branch in Mexico City, as local cyclists paint their own 5 km bike lane in just 8 hours for less than $1,000. Hamilton ON police have ticketed 54,000 drivers so far this year and roughly 525 cyclists; so which group is the scofflaws? A UK bike advocate is slowly bouncing back from life threatening injuries suffered two days after her helmet was stolen. A UK car website that supports safely sharing the road proves popular with cyclists. Someone is stringing rope across Brit roads and bikeways. As if cars aren’t enough to dodge, an Oxford cyclist barely survives a falling girder. How to stay motivated to ride when you see winter out your window; and if you’re riding through sheep pee, don’t forget your fenders. Bike Radar profiles Kozo Shimano — yes, that Shimano. Whether Alberto Contador wins or loses his arbitration hearing, cycling is already the loser; meanwhile, Alejandro Valverde is banned from his own presentation ceremony. Munich’s old cycle tracks can’t keep up with the increased demand. Bike are fashionable in China once again; then again, maybe they never really went away. Bangalore will soon get its first bike lanes.

Finally, a Canyon Country amputee rides his first century, raising nearly $3000 for charity. And though it’s not bike related — other than the great graphic — don’t forget the Great Venice Toy Drive through December 8th.

Closing arguments in Wray trial, double pro racing tragedies, 3feet2pass survives GOP opposition

Catching up on the week’s news after far too much bad news this week.

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Closing arguments are scheduled for Thursday morning in the trial of Gordon Wray, charged with misdemeanor vehicular homicide in the death of popular local cyclist and scientist Doug Coldwell. The trial resumes a 9:30 am in the San Fernando Courthouse.

If you’re in the area and have the morning free, the lawyers I’ve talked to tell me it can help to have a room full of cyclists to let the judge and jury know we’re watching.

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California’s proposed three-foot passing law took another step forward when the Assembly Appropriations Committee passed it on a straight party-line vote; next up is a vote by the full Assembly in August.

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This week’s tragic news has spread from the South Bay to the world of professional bicycling.

Oceanside cycling coach Mark Whitehead, a member of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic team and holder of 20 national titles, has died while attending the junior track national championships in Texas; no details have been released the cause of death. As a coach, Whitehead mentored multiple world champ Sarah Hammer and L.A.’s own 2008 national criterium champion Rahsaan Bahati, among others.

And rising Aussie professional Carly Hibberd was killed when she was hit by a car while training in Italy. She was riding with training partner Diego Tamayo of Columbia; Tamayo escaped injury, while Hibberd died at the scene. The 26-year old cyclist was just three months from her planned wedding.

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Red Kite Prayer looks at the recent Gran Fondo Los Angeles and says it needs a little work; directions to the post-ride festival my wife and I tried to attend to but couldn’t find until too late would have been nice, too.

I’m told that that Mayor of Beverly Hills gave a grand speech welcoming cyclists to the city. If only he’d do something to make us welcome the other 364 days of the year.

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The recently anti-bike New York Times seems to be shifting gears more often than a weekend warrior testing out a new derailleur. Their latest reports indicate women in New York prefer safety and fashion over cycle chic, while an Econ professor writing for their business blog explores the many benefits of the bicycle dividend:

Major improvements in bike infrastructure wouldn’t just make it easier to get to work. They would also create work, a high priority in our high-unemployment economy.

Construction of bike paths offers more job creation per infrastructure dollar than investment in roads. (For more details, see this recent study by my University of Massachusetts colleague Heidi Garrett-Peltier, who analyzed 58 projects in 11 cities, using an input-output model to measure employment impact).

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In case you missed it dodging cars over the holiday weekend, there’s a little bike ride going on in France for the next three weeks. And unlike most years, where there’s not much reason to pay attention before the race hits the mountains, this year’s Tour de France has offered some damn good racing going on from the non-prologue start, and more drama than a demolition derby.

American Tyler Farrar celebrates the Fourth with a victory in Stage Three, and dedicates his win to fallen friend and former teammate Wouter Weylandt. Formerly clenbuterol-tainted defending champ Alberto Contador finally makes a charge, but falls just short as Cadel Evans narrowly takes Stage Four. Stage Five turned into a crash fest as Cavendish takes the win, and Contador drops further back after riding into a ditch and taking it out on his bike; world champion Thor Hushovd leads by 1 second over Evans. RadioShack rider Janez Brajkovic was forced to leave the Tour due to his injuries, while Quickstep’s Tom Boonen escaped serious injury and will continue to ride.

Red Kite Prayer says the race could be wide open this year. And Frank Schleck manages to hold third place despite swallowing a bug and getting stung in the mouth.

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Mayor Villaraigosa orders L.A. agencies to work together to implement the city’s new bike plan, and asks for your input on how to make the city more bike-friendly. Joe Linton says the city is already falling short. L.A. lifeguards call a 4th of July SigAlert on the Santa Monica bike path. LADOT Bike Blog updates the status of the city’s bike lane projects, as well as the latest BPIT (Bike Plan Implementation Team) meeting; evidently, this one was a little less contentious and things actually got done. Will Campbell takes a time-lapse ride on the other side of the L.A. River. A cyclist fights for his right to take the lane in Culver City and loses. Claremont pulls the brakes on the Amgen Tour of California for next year, but would welcome it back in 2013. A day in the life of professional cyclist Cara Gillis. A Laguna Hills bike shop now offers roadside service for Orange County cyclists. Bay Area bike commuters are facing major traffic jams on the Golden Gate Bridge. JustAnotherCyclist lists his favorite cycling blogs, which includes your humble host in some very good company. The Executive Director of the Sierra Club says it’s time to look beyond oil to other solutions, including bikes; what, you thought he was going to call for expanding the 405 even further?

What if we treated motor vehicle deaths like any other preventable public health issue? Elly Blue concludes her groundbreaking series on Bikenomics by saying bicycling may not make us rich, but it creates a lot of well-being — and maybe that’s more important. Creating a circle of roadway courtesy. Recharge your iPhone while you ride. Steve Vance looks at the problem of construction detours that don’t consider or accommodate bikes, something that ticks me off on a regular basis. Yet another tragedy in New York, as the sister-in-law of famed attorney Alan Dershowitz is killed by a postal truck whose driver appeared to be unaware of the collision. CNN offers a positive look at the New York bike boom, but why does it always have to be framed as a battle between cyclists and drivers? Tennessee proposes a law requiring due care when passing a cyclist or pedestrian and eliminating the SMIDSY* defense, while Streetsblog offers a frontline perspective on the proposed law. A report from a Virginia TV station implies that cyclists don’t deserve protection on the streets because — OMG! — some of us break traffic laws just like drivers do; meanwhile, a fire truck strikes two riders in the same city without stopping. A cyclist’s guide to driving your bike safely; thanks to Dave Moulton for the link.

A university study says protein supplements may offer no benefit. London’s Guardian asks what’s the best way to stop an angry dog? A British driver walks free after killing a cyclist and claiming his sciatica caused it; a UK hit-and-run driver gets a suspended license and community service. This is what a bike theft looks like, while a teenager climbs three stories to steal a bike. Fighting poverty with bikes in sub-Saharan Africa. For the first time, Japanese police charge a cyclist with using a cell phone while riding.

Finally, advice for next weekend’s Carmegeddo, as a Chinese driver asks why sit stuck in traffic when there’s a nearby footbridge you can drive over?

*Sorry Mate, I Didn’t See You
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