Tag Archive for County of Los Angeles

Bicyclist killed in Compton collision

More bad news, as a Compton bike rider was killed in a collision Monday morning.

According to the Press-Telegram, the victim, identified only as a man in his 30s, was riding north on Compton Ave around 6:30 am when he was struck by a vehicle driving east on El Segundo Blvd.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver remained at the site following the collision.

A satellite view shows a signalized intersection with four lanes in each direction, with a center left turn lane; Compton narrows to two lanes south of El Segundo.

No other information is available at this time.

This is the 62nd bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 24th in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones. 

Morning Links: Civility rules at Rowena town hall, and big active transportation bucks could be coming to LA County

For once, rationality rules the day.

By all reports, Monday’s town hall meeting to discuss the Rowena road diet was calm and productive, for a change. And without the usual anti-bike hysteria.

While there was some very vocal opposition to the road diet — with one couple calling it a living nightmare — support ran about two-thirds in favor, according to Streetsblog’s Joe Linton.

Most people were more concerned with improving safety and reducing cut-through traffic than giving the street back to speeding motorists. And many of the comments focused on the need for increased traffic enforcement to stop drivers from blowing through stop signs.

Yes, they do it, too. And pose a lot more risk to others than when people on bicycles do.


Looks like good news for LA area bike and pedestrian projects.

Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious forwards word that 23 projects throughout LA County have received staff approval for funding through the state’s 2015 Active Transportation Program.

The projects, totaling nearly $73 million in state funding, range from an LAUSD middle school bike safety program and Safe Routes to Schools to various bikeway and walkway improvements and the planned Alameda Esplanade at Union Station.

The report cautions that final approval is still needed. But we could be seeing some big improvements in the not-too-distant future.

The next to last column on the right reflects the total cost of the project, in thousands, while the right-hand column is the amount requested, also in thousands.

The next to last column on the right reflects the total cost of the project, in thousands, while the right-hand column is the amount requested.


Today’s common news theme: bikeshare.

The Baltimore Sun says the city’s new bikeshare program needs to get a lot bigger and cover more territory where reliable transit is needed most.

Philadelphia’s Indigo system is bringing affordable bikeshare to the masses.

Cincinnati’s Red Bike celebrates a successful first anniversary after surpassing projections.

Louisiana State University is the latest college to offer bikeshare to students and faculty; the system is free for the first two hours.

Bike Snob says New Yorkers are up in arms that a bikeshare station will be installed near a school play area, because who knows who it will attract. Like a somewhat less hairy Leonardo DiCaprio, for instance, who was caught riding with his entourage on blue Citi Bikes.

Amsterdam’s Yellow Backie, created by cycle hire company Yellow Bike, encourages locals to give tourists a lift on the bike’s luggage rack.


Local law enforcement is ready for this weekend’s road cycling world championships in Richmond VA. The bike race season isn’t really over after the worlds; it just moves to Abu Dhabi next month.

Outside magazine looks at Utah’s Red Bull Rampage, calling it the most dangerous bike competition on Earth.

And an Italian-American website gushingly anoints the great Fausto Coppi “the finest, most elegant cyclist in the history of the sport.” Although fans of the Cannibal, among others, may beg to differ; Lance Armstrong fans need not apply.



A Santa Monica lawyer tries out the local VeloFix franchise offering mobile bike repair services. Although seriously, if you’re going to ride a bike, learn how to fix a flat.

Over 75 Glendale kids should be safer on their bicycles, thanks to a bike safety and skills workshop over the weekend.

An open house will be held Thursday evening to discuss the second phase of the Burbank Channel Bikeway.

Bike-riding former state assembly member Steve Bradford, who sponsored the first two attempts to create a three-foot passing law in California, lists some of the endorsements he’s received in his race for the state senate. Oddly, my name’s not on the list.



Nine cyclists set off from San Diego on a ride across the US to promote awareness of mental illness.

A bike-riding racist gets 13 years for beating an elderly Sikh man in Fresno, after apparently being unable to distinguish a Sikh from a Muslim. Either way, this is one bicyclist who won’t be missed.

Speaking of Cyclelicious, he offers heartbreaking images of the devastating Valley Fire that displaced 13,000 people from their homes as it swept through populated areas; the Northern California Red Cross is accepting donations, as is the Marin County Bicycle Coalition.



House Democrats stand firm in protecting US bike and pedestrian funding from cuts called for by the gas guzzling Koch brothers and their minions.

Streetsblog looks at how America came to accept such a staggering rate of traffic fatalities.

Great article from former Bicycling Editor in Chief Peter Flax, as he talks with the bike-riding stars of Breaking Away in advance of their appearance at Interbike.

Wired describes a new e-cargo bike from Xtracycle as the pickup truck of electric bikes.

Amtrak expands roll-on bike access, but only if you want to go from Chicago to DC, and pay a $20 fee.

Portlanders turn a bike ride into a call for peace in the community.

A Colorado writer who never takes his bike out of the garage somehow opposes a plan that would encourage others to take their bikes out of the garage; he fears slowing traffic and improving safety will kill the downtown area that drivers currently speed through.

San Antonio TX is the latest city to adopt a Vision Zero policy.

A bike racer is banged up after smashing into a truck that pulled onto the closed course for the Arkansas State Criterium Championship. Bystanders told the driver he couldn’t go around the barricades; he apparently proved them wrong.

A Chicago father pens an open letter to the My Little Pony bike he can’t seem to assemble for his daughter. One more reason to buy from your local bike shop; they’ll out it together for you.

Note to Vermont officials: It’s not really a complete street if you just narrow the traffic lanes to give bikes and pedestrians a whopping three feet of shared space on the side of the road.

New York’s alleycat races may attract sponsors, but they’re not exactly legal.

A Georgia writer insists that drivers are the real victims of those heartless, dangerous bike riders who force them to take their lives.

The prestigious Columbia Journalism Review looks at the efforts of the Fort Meyers News-Press to promote bike safety in the nation’s most dangerous state for bicyclists.



Toronto groups call for a vulnerable user law and making the streets safe for cyclists and pedestrians.

An English court upholds the one-year sentence for a BMX rider who killed a 73-year old woman while weaving his bike through pedestrians on a closed street.

Britain’s leading bike cam-wearing cyclist gets another driver fined, this time for using his phone while driving a bus; his videos have lead to the convictions of 70 motorists for traffic offenses.

A Welsh website offers tips on how to teach your kid to ride a bike in 10 easy steps. And no, wiping away tears and bandaging boo boos aren’t among them.

A Rwandan writer calls for more support for cycling in the country after a Team Rwanda rider wins gold at the All Africa Games.

A 22-year old reserve F1 driver won’t be racing for McLaren in Singapore this weekend after breaking his hand falling off a bike.

If you bought your Giro helmet from a Chinese website, it could be counterfeit; evidently, fake bike gear — or even high-end bikes — isn’t that unusual.



Forget helmets, soon motorists will yell at you to wear your air bag-equipped flak jacket. Who needs hi-viz when you can have lights printed directly onto your clothes.

And smart glasses are coming to cycling. Wearing them, however, probably won’t make anyone a smarter rider.


Thanks to Vincent Busam for his generous donation to help support this site. Donations of any amount are always appreciated.

Update: Arleta bike rider killed by suspected wrong-way DUI hit-and-run driver

Sometimes there’s nothing a bike rider can do to avoid a wreck as a car come hurtling towards him.

And sometimes, the details of a wreck just make you want to scream.

According to multiple sources, a disabled 51-year old man was riding his bike west on Van Nuys Blvd just below Beachy Avenue in Arleta around 2 am Wednesday, when he somehow became involved in a multi-car crash caused by a suspected stoned driver on the wrong side of the road.

Police suspect the 22-year old driver was under the influence of marijuana when he crossed onto the wrong side of the road and apparently hit the victim head-on as he rode in a bike lane, either before or after smashing into as many as four parked cars.

KABC-7 reports he was hit with enough force to shatter his bike into multiple pieces; a photo from the scene shows the handlebars broken off his bike with a single shoe resting nearby.

He came to rest in front of Arleta High School, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver briefly remained at the scene before running off on foot. KABC-7 reports he was arrested around 4 am when police found him hiding in a back property near his home about a mile away after someone reported a prowler.

He was not identified by authorities; however KABC-7 reported that family members at the scene identified him as Eric Garcia. They said he rode his bike at night to support himself by collecting cans.

To compound the tragedy, he became disabled after being hit by a car when he was in junior high school.

School officials closed the main entrance to the school and directed students away from the crash scene to shield them from the tragedy.

This is the 46th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 21st in LA County.

Update: In an update that is not yet online, KNBC-4 reports that the victim may have been hit by one or more of the parked cars as they spun out into the street following the impact, and that the driver had both marijuana and alcohol in his car.

My deepest prayers and sympathy for Eric Garcia and all his family.

Thanks to Ed Ryder and Richard Risemberg for the heads-up.

Update: 69-year old bike rider killed in Downey collision

Word is just coming in that a bike rider was killed in Downey last night.

According to the Downey Beat, a bicyclist was struck and killed by a vehicle around 9:30 Friday night on the 10600 block of Lakewood Blvd, between Florence Ave and Firestone Blvd; the victim appeared to be male.

The driver remained at the scene. No other information is available at this time.

This is the 27th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th in LA County. That compares with 45 this time last year in the seven county SoCal region, and 18 in the county.

It’s just the second fatal bicycling collision in Downey in the last five years.

Update: The Press-Telegram has identified the victim as 69-year old Downey resident Adel Mikhail. 

Raw video footage from the scene places the collision near the intersection of Lakewood and Muller St. (Warning: The video may be hard to take, as it shows the victim’s body being covered.)

There’s a white car stopped in the left lane, with damage to the right side and windshield; his body appears to be in the roadway directly ahead of the car. The victim’s bike is off to the right, apparently without lights, though it’s possible they may be hidden or turned off.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Adel Mikhail and his loved ones.

Bike rider killed in Mid-City LA crash by apparent drunk and/or stoned driver

Sometimes you just want to scream.

Bicyclists are told to light up their bikes after dark. Yet even lighting it up like a Christmas tree isn’t always enough to keep a rider safe.

Especially when a driver is on drugs or has been drinking.

Or maybe both.

That’s what LA police say happened last night in LA’s Mid-City neighborhood, as a bike rider, described only as a Hispanic man around 55-years old, was killed in a collision just before mid-night.

According to KCBS-2, the victim, whose name has been withheld pending notification of next of kin, was struck by a passenger van around 11:43 pm on Fairfax Avenue near Sawyer Street. KTLA-5 places it between Sawyer and Venice Blvd.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

No word on how the collision occurred. However, KTLA reports the driver, who remained at the scene, was taken into custody on suspicion of being under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Even more infuriating is that video from the scene shows the victim had a flashing headlight and taillight on his white bike, as well as colored flashing lights on his rear wheel. So he should have been easily visible, even at that hour.

The bike appears relatively undamaged in the video, making it hard to guess what might have happened.

This is the 26th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in LA County; it’s also the 7th in the City of Los Angeles. That’s two more in the city compared to this time last year, even though bicycling deaths in the county are down by one-third.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

Update: Late night bike rider killed by two hit-and-run drivers in South El Monte

Bad enough when one heartless coward flees the scene.

Worse when two drivers smash into a man riding his bike, then leave him to die in the street.

That’s what happened in South El Monte early this morning, as a 47-year old cyclist was killed in a succession of collisions on Rosemead Blvd.

According to KABC-7, Heriberto Ruiz struck from behind by an unknown vehicle near the offramp to the southbound 60 Freeway about 2:53 am. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune places the collision in the 3000 block of Rosemead, which appears to be some distance from the offramp.

That driver fled the scene, leaving Ruiz lying in the roadway where he was struck by a white minivan and possibly one other vehicle; KNBC-4 reports the minivan collided with another vehicle that was stopping at the scene. The driver of the minivan then fled, as well.

Ruiz was pronounced dead at the scene.

A satellite view shows an extended, high-speed offramp leading from the freeway; if he was trying to ride south across that, he would have been a sitting duck as motorists sped onto Rosemead.

No word on whether he was using lights at that hour; however, police are usually quick to report if a victim didn’t have lights or reflectors on his bike.

This is the 24th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Los Angeles County. That compares with 44 and 17, respectively, this time last year.

Update: KNBC-4 reports Ruiz may have been riding home from visiting a friend when he was hit. 

A visitor to the scene found a broken Cateye taillight, suggesting that his bike should have been visible from behind. 

Anyone with information is urged to call CHP’s East LA office at 323/980-4600.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Heriberto Ruiz and all his friends and family. 

Bike rider killed in Hollywood collision

This is not the news anyone wants for Bike Week.

Or any other time for that matter.

Reports started coming in yesterday evening that a bike rider had been killed at the intersection of Hollywood Blvd and Hobart Blvd in Los Angeles.

Unfortunately, it took until this afternoon to get official confirmation.

According to the police report, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding north in the west crosswalk on Hobart at approximately 3:07 pm Wednesday when he was struck by a car headed west on Hollywood.

The impact apparently knocked him into a parked car on the north curb, before falling back into the street. He died at the scene.

LAist reports that the crosswalk has a blinking yellow light to warn drivers that someone is crossing. However, it’s unclear if it was working at the time, or if the rider had activated it.

They also quote a comment from a Reddit thread indicating that the driver was taking an 84-year old grandmother to the hospital; however, while there are several hospitals nearby, they are all in the opposite direction from which the car was headed.

It’s unclear from the description who might have been at fault.

It’s legal to ride on the sidewalk in Los Angeles, which means it is also legal to ride in the crosswalk.

However, the LAPD interprets the law as requiring cyclists to ride in the direction of traffic when they enter a crosswalk. In this case, that would have required the victim to cross on the east side of Hobart, but the only crosswalk is on the west side.

On the other hand, unless the victim was traveling at a high rate of speed, the driver should have had time to see him and react before he reached the opposite side of the road.

If there’s a lesson to learn from this, it’s that you should never count on drivers seeing you and stopping in time, in a crosswalk or anywhere else; always wait until they actually stop before trying to cross in front of them.

This is the 19th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth in Los Angeles County; it’s also the fifth in the City of Los Angeles.

That compares with 41 in the seven county SoCal region this time last year, and 17 in the county. However, it’s one more than in the City of LA on this date in 2014.

Update: The victim’s granddaughter has identified him as Thomas Galvan Munoz, a resident of the area for 30 years who rode his bike through the streets of LA every day. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Thomas Galvan Munoz and his loved ones.

Thanks to Michael MacDonald for the heads-up.

Update: Lakewood bike rider killed in early morning collision with suspected drunk driver

Sad news today, as a woman lost her life in an early morning collision.

According to the Press-Telegram, a woman was hit by a car while riding her bike on the 11700 block of Del Amo Blvd in Lakewood around 2 am Sunday morning.

The driver went on to hit a telephone pole, and was later arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.

No word on the identity of the victim or how the collision occurred, though a satellite view shows a bike lane on the street.

This is the 14th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in Los Angeles County. That compares to 33 in SoCal this time last year and 14 in LA County.

Update: KNBC-4 reports the victim was trying to cross Del Amo at Pioneer Blvd, rather than riding on Del Amo. That intersection is controlled by a four-way traffic signal, which suggest that someone most likely ran the red light.

She died at the scene. The driver was also injured, and taken to Long Beach Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Update 2: The suspect has been identified by KABC-7 as 24-year old Emmanuel Camacho. The station reports that he hit a telephone pole two blocks away from the collision that killed the bike rider, yet for some reason, sheriff’s deputies were not calling it a hit-and-run.

Update 3: The Press-Telegram has identified the victim as 33-year old Lakewood resident Crista Contreras; her Facebook page has turned into an online memorial. 

The paper also reports Camacho has been released on $100,000 bond, and is due in court on Tuesday, April 21st.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Crista Contreras and her loved ones.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the link to her Facebook page. 

13-year old boy killed while walking his bike in Boyle Heights

Somehow, I missed this one.

La Opinion reports that a 13-year old boy was killed when he was hit by a car in Boyle Heights on Monday.

According to the Spanish language newspaper, the collision occurred near the intersection of Sheridan and Cummings Streets while he was walking his bike. KCBS-2 places the time of the collision around 7:50 pm; both sources say he died about four hours later.

The driver remained at the scene. No other details about the collision are available at this time, though KCBS says the car “slammed” into the boy, suggesting a relatively high-speed impact.

The victim was identified by La Opinion as Chris Rodriguez, described as a cheerful boy who frequently rode his bike around the neighborhood.

An altar with flowers and a helium balloon had appeared at the site by morning; the paper reports family members gathered around it, weeping inconsolably.

Adding to the tragedy, Rodriguez’ father had asked him not to go out that night, but the boy went out for what would be his last ride anyway.

Speeding cars make the intersection dangerous for children riding their bikes and skateboards, according to people in the neighborhood, who say a simple speed limit sign might have made a difference.

This is the eighth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in the County of Los Angeles; it’s also the first in the City of LA. That compares to 25 in the seven-county Southern California region this time last year, and 13 in the county.

As those numbers suggest, this has been one of the safest years in memory for SoCal cyclists so far.

But as this tragedy reminds us, even one death is one too many.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Chris Rodriguez and all his family. 

Thanks to LA Streetsblog‘s Joe Linton and Sahra Sulaiman for the heads-up.

Update: 39-year old salmon cyclist killed in Venice Thanksgiving night

It wasn’t a good Thanksgiving in Venice Thursday evening.

The Los Angeles Times reports that a 39-year old Venice resident was riding the wrong way on South Venice Blvd just east of Speedway when she was struck by a car turning left onto the one-way street from southbound Speedway.

According to the paper, the collision occurred around 5 pm.

Venice 311 reports the victim, who has not been publicly identified pending notification of next of kin, was riding without a headlight shortly after sunset, which occurred at 4:44 pm. The website says she lost balance before being struck, and fell under the car before being dragged roughly 10 feet until the driver was able to stop.

The driver reportedly did not see her riding the wrong direction in the gathering dusk. The visitors from Spain remained at the scene, and immediately called for help.

She was not breathing when firefighters dislodged her from the car, and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

The Venice 311 story includes a number of photos from the scene, including shots of the bike with the rear racks full and the contents of the handlebar basket spilling onto the street.

This collision serves as a tragic reminder to always ride with traffic, even on quiet streets; drivers won’t be looking for you coming from the wrong direction.

This is the 79th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 30th in LA County. It’s also the 11th in the City of Los Angeles.

Sadly, those numbers will grow, as I’m aware of one more recent fatality in the County of Los Angeles; more on that Friday.

Update: John Montgomery visited the site and offers his insights in the comments below, questioning why the driver took so long to stop, and observes that, as always, the victim is unable to give her side of the story. And notes that the LAPD has conducted a thorough investigation at the scene. 

Meanwhile, I’ve received some criticism for using the term salmon; Patrick Miller calls it a “condescending slur” to describe a cyclist riding against traffic — and New York’s famed Bike Snob, who some credit with originating the term, agrees.

While he undoubtedly popularized the term, it has been in use by cyclists for some time; I first heard it decades ago, and have been using it in conversation with other riders ever since. That is not to say Bike Snob did not come up with the term on his own; his original use of the term could easily have been the first time he and many others had heard it.

I have never considered it to be condescending or a slur in any way. It is simply an apt description of an act that is both dangerous and illegal, and one of the leading causes of bicycling collisions. 

No offense was intended. If any was taken, I apologize.

Update 2: The Free Venice Beachhead has identified the victim as 39-year old Summer Baker.

My deepest sympathy and prayers Summer Baker and her loved ones. 

Thanks to Joe Ryan and Venice 311 for the heads-up. 

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