Tag Archive for Brock McCann

Morning Links: Bike deaths up in US, lawsuit filed in death of Newport Beach boy, and bike lanes coming to Cal Poly

A new study from the Governors Highway Safety Association shows bicycling fatalities rose 12.2% in 2015, climbing faster than the overall increase in traffic deaths.

However, that could be due to the continuing rise in bike ridership.

Without placing the figures in context, it’s impossible to know if bicycling is actually becoming more dangerous, or if overall safety is improving as the rate of deaths per million cyclists or miles traveled may be decreasing.

Your guess is as good as theirs.

In other findings from the study, which was funded by State Farm insurance —

  • One-third of Americans surveyed reported riding a bicycle in the last year.
  • Drivers had been drinking in 12% of fatal bike crashes, while 22% of the victims had alcohol in their systems. Which is not the same as saying they were intoxicated.
  • Distracted driving was blamed for just 76 out of the 818 bicyclists killed nationwide. However, that’s likely to be a dramatic undercount, since police need a warrant to check phones after a crash. And seldom ask for one.
  • More than half of the victims weren’t wearing a helmet. Although there’s no information on whether those victims suffered a fatal head injury, or if their injuries could have been survivable with or without a helmet.
  • Intersections are no longer the most dangerous place to ride; 72% of deaths occurred on the roadway, rather than at an intersection.
  • Roughly half of all bicycling deaths occurred at night, even though 80% of all bike rides take place during daylight hours.
  • The average age of bicycling victims was 45.

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The parents of eight-year old Brock McCann have filed a lawsuit in the death of their son.

The third grade student was killed by the driver of a garbage truck as he rode his bike home from school in Newport Beach last year.

Video allegedly shows the driver never looked to his right as he turned from a cul-de-sac, and that he rolled through a crosswalk without stopping.

McCann’s parents are suing the driver, as well as the city trash hauler he worked for.

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Boyonabike’s John Lloyd sends photographic proof that the formerly auto-centric Cal Poly Pomona really is installing the promised protected bike lanes on Kellogg Drive.

Photo by John Lloyd

The school received a lot a well-deserved criticism for failing to improve safety following the death of Ivan Aguilar four years ago.

It’s nice to see that this year’s students will finally find the campus more welcoming for those who don’t come by car.

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In today’s spoiler-free Vuelta report, someone won his first Grand Tour stage, while someone else wore the leader’s jersey. No word on whether either was kissed by a podium boy.

Italian olive oil maker Colavita is pulling out of bike racing after 15 year of team sponsorship.

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Local

A ride will be held this Saturday to explore the new protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista, which have been only slightly less controversial than the lane reductions in Playa del Rey.

Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s deputies patrolling on bicycles made four drug busts Tuesday evening, as the bikes allowed them to ride in undetected.

Santa Monica’s two-mile COAST ciclovía will return on October 1st.

 

State

A new report shows overall emissions of toxic and greenhouse gasses are going down in California, while transportation emissions are going up. Which means the state and local governments need to do more to encourage people to leave their cars at home.

The Watsonville driver sentenced to eleven years behind bars for the death of a bicyclist was high on Valium and methadone at the time of the crash, and fell asleep during the investigation.

A new bicycle master plan promises to improve safety in Stockton, where 70% of streets are rated high stress. Of course, even the best plan is nothing more than lines on a map until they actually put paint on the ground, which seems to be a step too far for most cities.

More details on the off-duty Modesto police officer who was killed riding his bicycle on Tuesday. The driver was arrested for DUI, and could face a murder charge after a previous conviction for drunk driving in 2014.

 

National

A Seattle weekly says safety in numbers resulting from an increase in bikeshare riders could do more than bike helmets to improve safety. Meanwhile, a sports website tries out Seattle’s new Ofo dockless bikeshare, which could be coming to SoCal soon.

After an Oregon woman sideswiped a bike rider, she demanded $200 to pay for the damage to her car, then fled when the rider, who is traveling cross country to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s, suggested calling the police.

A Chicago letter writer urges bicyclists to follow the rules like she does when she drives. Because apparently, she’s the only driver who never speeds, always comes to a full stop at stop signs, and never makes an unsafe lane change or drives distracted.

Illinois becomes the sixth state to follow California’s lead and adopt a three-tiered system to classify ebikes.

Life is cheap in Michigan, where a stoned driver walked with one year of probation after killing a bike rider, who reportedly “came out of nowhere” to crash into her car.

A Maine court rules that authorities don’t have to prove what a distracted driver was doing at the time of a crash, saying they can presume distraction based on the driver’s behavior.

Tolls could double on a Miami causeway to pay for a fully separated bike lane and other improvements on one of the city’s most popular and scenic cycling routes. Which might improve safety, but won’t win any friends with drivers.

 

International

Los Angeles isn’t the only city facing an angry bikelash. A Vancouver man has started a petition to rip out protected bike lanes on a bridge eight years after they were installed, arguing that the 7,000 riders who use them each day during the summer months aren’t enough to justify the impact on traffic.

Caught on video: Dozens of young British bike riders swarm the streets, pulling wheelies and circling around the roadway in front of drivers, in the latest fad sweeping that’s been sweeping America’s East Coast as well as the UK.

Caught on video too: A London man uses his bikeshare bike to defend himself after a man lunges at him with a knife when he was asked to move aside so they could pass.

A British fixie rider faces up to two years behind bars after he was acquitted of manslaughter in the death of a mother of two kids when he crashed his brakeless bike into her, but was convicted under an obscure 1861 law that forbids “causing bodily harm by wanton and furious driving.” And yes, it’s illegal to ride brakeless in the UK.

Nice story from Wales, where an eleven-year old boy rode a bicycle for the first time after being fitted with two mechanical hands.

Wednesday marked the 104th anniversary of a Russian bicyclist completing his round-the-world ride in Harbin, China; sadly, he died three years later in World War I.

An Indian man has ridden over 11,000 miles through 12 Indian states to fight gender-based violence and injustice.

An Aussie website asks if cyclists are fair game in Australia. It’s a hard-hitting piece, and very difficult to read in places. But well worth the effort — especially since you’ll see exactly the same attitudes expressed by LA drivers.

 

Finally…

Next time, try to time your breakaway so the drawbridge rises after you go past. Who needs tires when you’ve got soles?

And riding to the right is right, except when it’s wrong.

 

Morning Links: The real cost of traffic violence, bicycles promoting pastries, and a torturous new bike team

This is the cost of traffic violence.

In a heartbreaking story, the parents of eight-year old Brock McCann remember their son, who was killed in a collision with a garbage truck while riding his bike home from school in Newport Beach last week.

A memorial service will be held at 10 am this Saturday at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 600 St. Andrews Road in Newport Beach, just blocks from where he was killed.

Meanwhile, a fundraising page has drawn over $66,000 in donations in less than a week.

Ghost bike and memorial for Brock McCann; photo courtesy of Jeffrey Fylling

Ghost bike and memorial for Brock McCann; photo courtesy of Jeffrey Fylling

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Look what came in the mail the other day.

Cycling in the South Bay

I’m looking forward to adding this one to my reading list. Seth always has something interesting to say in his own inimitable style.

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You know we’re making progress when a new French patisserie in the Biking Black Hole promotes itself with a faux delivery bike.

SAMSUNG

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Bahrain’s Prince Nasser bin Hamad al-Khalifa is expected to officially unveil his new Bahraini-based cycling team at next month’s Tour de France.

Although accusations of torture make you wonder what he’ll do to riders who don’t make the cut.

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Local

The new scramble crosswalk at Hollywood and Highland has helped turn one of LA’s most dangerous intersections into one of the safest. However, the map of Hollywood’s many dangerous streets included in the story points out the desperate need for the currently non-existent bike lanes the neighborhood.

CICLE’s Vanessa Gray offers suggestions on how to make Echo Park safer and more attractive for bicyclists.

Mind the letter of the law in Pasadena tomorrow, where the local constabulary will step up enforcement of violations that can cause collisions between motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists in key locations around town.

Suddenly, new open streets events are coming in rapid succession, as Santa Monica hosts Coast this Sunday, followed by Viva SGV! in El Monte and South El Monte a week later. And the 18-mile long 626 Golden Streets stretching from South Pasadena to Azusa takes place on the 26th.

 

State

The Palm Springs paper talks with a first-time AIDS/Lifecycle rider; 2,500 cyclists will depart from San Francisco on Sunday to raise awareness and funds for the fight against HIV/AIDS.

A popular Little Rock AR chef will take part in the 300-mile No Kid Hungry Chef’s Ride from Carmel to Santa Barbara at the end of this month.

Campbell police bust two bike thieves using a GPS-equipped bait bike. Note that the value of the bait bike is over the $1,000 threshold for felony theft; below that, the crime is just a misdemeanor, which means thieves go right back out on the streets to do it again. And again.

Oakland police are looking for help in solving the fatal shooting of a bike rider on his way home from a party.

 

National

Streetsblog offers graphic evidence why speed limits should be set at 20 mph on city streets. Especially since most LA drivers drive at least 10 miles over the limit anyway.

A new automatic Bluetooth bike lock currently raising funds on Kickstarter is designed to disable your rear wheel and sound a 110 dB alarm if anyone messes with your bike.

Seriously? A North Dakota man steals a $10,000 racing bicycle, and gets a whole 15 days in jail and a $500 fine.

The Guardian looks back on what could have been, as New York’s Gridlock Sam tried to ban cars from downtown Manhattan in the ’70s. Speaking of Sam Schwartz, his new book offers a great primer on how we got into this auto-centric traffic mess, and how we can get ourselves out.

Joe Jonas is one of us, as he rides what appears to be a fixie with his bikeshare pedaling date.

More bighearted cops, as police officers in New Jersey replace a bike that was stolen from a deaf and developmentally challenged adult.

A Pennsylvania drunk driver gets seven to 16 years for the death of a triathlete; the driver had at least five prior arrests for driving under the influence — and once for drunk boating — before he finally succeeded in killing someone. A perfect example of keeping dangerous drivers on the road, and taking traffic crime seriously only after it’s too late.

Video of the hour-long standoff between a Philadelphia bike rider and a city bus shows both the cyclist and the driver were at fault.

 

International

It turns out high-level endurance training isn’t bad for your heart after all.

A Canadian man rode 16,000 miles around the coasts of Canada and the US after he was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.

Toronto police finally get serious about keeping parked cars out of bike lanes, ticketing over 100 drivers in just two days.

A British cyclist was killed when the bond between the fork crown and steerer tube on his bike failed; a recall notice on the bike he was riding didn’t go out until two months after his death.

A UK woman calls for cyclists to stop riding on the sidewalk after she was knocked down by a rider as she was training a guide dog for the blind.

A bipolar bike rider sets out on a 5,000 mile ride around the coast of Britain to raise awareness for mental health.

You’ve got to be kidding. A road raging Aussie driver is caught on video getting out of his car and threatening a cyclist with a knife. And gets off with a lousy $1,500 fine for carrying a weapon in public.

 

Finally…

At last, you can now get paid to ride your bike — as long as you don’t mind turning your bike into a wind-resistant rolling advertisement. No, really, the driver didn’t crash into the cyclist, they just crossed paths.

And when you’re riding on the edge of a cliff, it’s probably a good idea to remain upright.

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Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for his generous donation to help support this site, and keep bringing BikinginLA to you each morning.

And thanks to Jon Froman for fixing the header on this site, which had long resisted my best efforts, and those of others, to correct.

 

Update: Boy killed killed by trash truck while riding in Newport Beach

Heartbreaking news from Orange County, as a young boy has been killed riding his bike in Newport Beach.

According to multiple sources, the boy was riding his bike at East 15th Street and Fullerton Ave around 1:30 this afternoon when he was struck by a garbage truck. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Daily Pilot reports he was eight-years old, while other sources list his age as between five and eight. According to KTLA-5, the truck belongs to Stanton-based waste and recycling company CR&R Environmental Services.

The location appears to be a typical residential neighborhood just a few blocks from Newport Heights Elementary School.

No other information is available at this time.

This is the 39th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh in Orange County. It’s also at least the 12th in Newport Beach since 2010.

Update: The Orange County Register confirms that the boy, who has not been publicly identified, was a third grade student at Newport Heights Elementary. Police say there is no evidence that the driver was impaired or speeding.

Update 2: The Daily Pilot has identified the victim as Brock McCann, a third-grader at Newport Heights Elementary School, whose family lives near where he was killed. 

The paper also places the collision site at 15th and Michael Place, just southeast of the original location. He had apparently gotten out of school just 15 minutes earlier, and was riding or walking his bike home. 

A gofundme account has raised over $44,000 of the $100,000 goal. 

Meanwhile, the LA Times reports that three bike riders and three pedestrians were involved in crashes nearby between 2010 and 2015.

And the Orange County Register says the CHP is still looking for witnesses; anyone with information is urged to cal CHP Officer Jeff Jones at 714/567-6000.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Brock McCann and his family.

Thanks to John Dammann and Jeffrey Fylling for the heads-up.

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