Tag Archive for Deborah Gresham

Morning Links: Justice for Deborah Gresham, bike settlements soar due to bad LA streets, and BAC meets tomorrow

Finally, there’s justice for a fallen bike rider.

It’s been 16 months since Walking Dead fan page author Deborah Gresham was hit by a driver while riding her bike in Stanton.

And left to die in the street, literally within site of her own home.

The driver, Ricardo Hernandez Sandoval, was arrested less than an hour later after horrified witnesses followed him to his home. He was booked on charges of felony hit and run, felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter.

Now I’ve been informed that he was sentenced on Friday to four years for vehicular manslaughter under the influence, and five years for the fatal hit-and-run, to be served consecutively.

In other words, nine years total, along with fines and restitution.

I’m also told the assistant DA had to wipe tears from his eyes when Gresham’s children gave their witness statements.

It won’t bring Deborah Gresham back. But for once, a fallen SoCal cyclist got justice from the courts.

If you haven’t yet, take a few minutes to read Peter Flax’s moving, must-read story about this tragedy. Photo from Ghost Bikes LA.

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Great story in the LA Times about the soaring cost of settlements involving bike riders who were injured due to the city’s failing streets.

According to the story, the City of Los Angeles settled with 17 bicyclists last year for a total of $19 million, over four times more than in any previous year.

That’s $19 million that could have gone to fixing the streets before anyone got hurt, rather than waiting until it was too late.

It was those settlements that inspired Councilmember Mitch Englander’s misguided proposal to ban the striping of bike lanes on any streets with less than an A pavement grade, and removing any existing ones from streets with a B or less.

Which would leave few, if any, bike lanes anywhere in Los Angeles.

And only serve to increase the city’s liability when bike riders continue to get injured on streets that used to have bikeways.

The story quotes me on that, as well as talking with BikinginLA sponsor and Calbike board member Josh Cohen.

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The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee will meet tomorrow night in Hollywood; the BAC is the only official voice for bike riders in the City of LA.

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The LACBC has unveiled a new video explaining who they are and what they do as part of their 20th Anniversary Celebration.

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Local

It shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s ridden a bike through there to learn that the intersection of Devonshire Street and Reseda Blvd is the most dangerous one in the state.

LA2050 is offering a total of $1 million in grants to five organizations for projects designed to make Los Angeles, “the best place to learn, create, play, connect and live.” Applications will start being accepted on March 1st.

A bike rider was hit by a car in Pacific Palisades last Wednesday; no word on how the victim is doing. The driver somehow claimed to be driving just 15 mph in a 45 mph zone at the time of the crash.

Tomorrow the UCLA Bicycle Academy intends to confront the members of the Regents Health Services Committee to demand that the statewide UC Health system lose its automotive bias and recognize the health benefits of bicycling.

LA celebrated the official opening of a one-block long Green Street in the Del Rey neighborhood, connecting Westlawn Ave with the Ballona Creek bike path.

 

State

Sad news from Hesperia, where a father drowned rescuing his nine-year old son from the California Aqueduct, after the boy slipped in as they rode their bicycles along the canal.

Caltrans is warning about construction delays on the the coastal bike path north of Ventura through the month of February, though the path will remain open.

A decision could be made this week on the proposed San Luis Obispo bike boulevard that has brought the anti-bikeway NIMBYs out of the woodwork.

For the first time, you won’t need a vintage bicycle to participate in the Eroica California in Paso Robles.

More sad news, this time from Oakland, where a man on a bike was killed in a collision with a big rig truck.

 

National

Slate says requiring bicyclists to wear sensors so self-driving cars don’t crash into them is cheating, and autonomous vehicles should be able to spot people riding bicycles on their own, without outside help.

Details have been released for this year’s Ride the Rockies bike tour through the Colorado high country; it will cover 418 miles and nearly 26,000 feet of vertical climbing in six days. And it will visit the tiny lakefront town where my mother worked as a waitress when she was just 18.

Seriously? The death of a Kansas cyclist competing in the state time trial in 2015 was the catalyst for a proposed state law prohibiting negligent driving. Except the penalty would be a whopping $45, which isn’t likely to change anyone’s driving habits.

Michigan is doubling the width of a four-foot bike lane and adding other safety improvements, after two women were killed there two years ago. Maybe they could try making improvements like that before someone gets killed. Which goes for Los Angeles, and everywhere else, as well.

New York news media goes berserk after mobs of “crazed, angry cyclists” swarm drivers, smashing a car window and punching a driver. Although it turns out it was really just 16 teenagers on bicycles, and the cop who was injured was hit by a car making a U-turn to go after them.

 

International

Canadian cross-country ski clubs are slowly opening their trails to fat bikes.

Ofo dockless bikeshare comes to London, as the Guardian says it will be to cycling what Uber is to taxis.

LA bike riders aren’t the only ones who have to deal with crappy pavement.

The economic impact of bicycling adds the equivalent of nearly $1 billion to the Scottish economy.

 

Competitive Cycling

The incomparable Katie Compton had to settle for second place in the women’s world cyclocross championships, finishing behind Belgian Sanne Cant.

Belgium’s Wout van Aert won the men’s world cyclocross title for the third consecutive year.

 

Finally…

Buy a bike, bore your dinner companions. UFC champ Connor McGregor is one of us.

And yes, you just got dropped by a priest on a folding bike.

No doubt staged, but still fun.

Morning Links: The tragic story of a ghost bike, and pre-holiday coffee and carb loading in the South Bay

It’s the final day of the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Give now to keep Southern California’s best source for bike news coming your way every morning!

One quick note before we start.

Unless there’s breaking news, this will be the last new post until after the New Year, as we take the next week off for a little well-deserved rest and the opportunity to make some behind-the-scenes improvements.

So please accept my best wishes for joyful holiday, whatever and however you celebrate. And for a very healthful, happy and prosperous year to come.

May we all have peace, if not on the Earth, at least in our hearts.

Ride safely, and we’ll see you back here bright and early on January 3rd.

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In a truly heartbreaking story, Hollywood Reporter editor — and former Bicycling editor-in-chief — Peter Flax follows a ghost bike from being stripped down and painted, to installation as a memorial to fallen bike rider Deborah Gresham.

As you may recall, Gresham was the victim of a drunken hit-and-run just seconds from her Stanton home this past October; she’s recalled as the giving, generous and caring founder of a popular Walking Dead fan site.

Flax traces the history of the ghost bike movement from its beginnings in San Francisco and St. Louis, and talks with local ghost bike organizer Danny Gamboa.

It’s a moving long read that reminds us of the horrible, needless waste on our streets, and the unbearable loss suffered over and over throughout the country on a daily basis.

And one that brought tears to my eyes before he was done.

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Delia Park forwards news of a good excuse to load up on coffee and sweets tomorrow for a Christmas Eve and pre-Chanukah celebration.

Join for some post Donut Ride carb loading!

WHERE: St. Honore Bakery in Lunada Bay, Palos Verdes Estates.

WHEN: This Saturday, December 24th from 10am to 12pm. Come anytime- we will be there!

WHY: Seth Davidson Bike Injury Lawyer and Cyclists For PV and So Cal Bike Safety will be picking up the tab for coffee and sugary bakery items in order to support local businesses.

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‘Tis the season.

Kindhearted employees of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office pitch in to buy a tandem bike for an El Rio man after thieves stole the money he’d been saving for two years so his medically challenged son could ride with him. Bad enough if thieves steal your bike; worse if they take your money before you can even buy it.

Food Network celebrity chef Guy Fieri rounded up bikes, helmets and other fun gifts for distribution to various NorCal children’s organizations.

Sacramento police give out bikes, helmets and toys to children. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

The Butte County Sheriff’s Office donated over 100 refurbished bicycles as part of its 17th annual Christmas Bike Giveaway.

An Ohio non-profit donates eleven new bicycles for children with a history of abuse, neglect and abandonment; since 2008, they’ve given new bicycles to nearly 6,500 children in foster care.

British cycling legend Brian Robinson dresses like Santa to give away 50 refurbished bikes for a UK charity.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Bike SGV advocates David Diaz and Wes Reutimann, as well as South Pasadena Mayor Mike Cacciotti and Transit Coalition executive director Bart Reed about the years biggest stories, and what we can look forward to in 2017. Meanwhile, Joe Linton calls on readers to support the non-profit news organization.

West Hollywood’s Community Development Department says the lamely named WeHo Pedals bikeshare is off to a strong start, with 545 people completing 3,919 trips since it was launched at the end of August.

One Santa Monica paper says it’s been a great year for bikeshare in the city, while another looks at Santa Monica’s new bike counter.

Long Beach bike and pedestrian deaths are increasing, which reflects the larger national trend.

 

State

The family of fallen San Luis Obispo triathlete Bridget Dawson files a lawsuit alleging that the driver was on the phone with her employer at the time of the crash. Meanwhile, a pair of SLO bike advocates says it’s possible to halt the increase in bicycling fatalities in the county.

Richmond votes to conduct a road diet to create a four-mile Complete Street, including bike lanes.

A Marin County writer says the world isn’t going to come to an end when an existing trail is opened to mountain bikers, and that concerns over safety are just an excuse to try blocking bike access.

After an accused drunken, underage hit-and-run driver killed a bike rider in a Fairfield collision, he came back to ask a bystander what happened.

Redding police recover a 7-year old girl’s stolen lime green BMX after a month-long investigation.

 

National

Finally, a use for your hi-viz. Other that trying to not get run over, that is.

Streetsblog looks at how states are standing in the way of cities’ efforts to lower speed limits. California’s deadly and outdated 85th Percentile Law is to blame for our state’s constant increase in speed limits and the inability to reign them in.

No, seriously. As much as some of us would like to bring back hanging for bike rustling, it’s really not worth having a shootout with Tucson AZ police to escape after stealing a child’s bicycle.

An Austin TX bike rider settles with the city for $3,000, two years after he was hit by a police detective in an unmarked car who was unfamiliar with the rider’s right to the road.

The hit-and-run epidemic is really getting bad when even the cops are doing it. A Massachusetts police officer was charged with leaving the scene of an off-duty collision with a bike rider, as well as negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

An Alexandria VA writer discusses what his bicycle has taught him about local politics, noting “it remains socially acceptable to stereotype people riding bicycles as ‘scofflaws’, while people driving cars are given a pass on speeding.”

 

International

After a Calgary man tried to sell his bicycle to raise money for Christmas presents, he ended up in the back of a patrol car suspected of bike theft — even though he still had the original receipt.

Things are looking up for people-powered transportation in Winnipeg.

New Delhi drivers may soon have to prove they have a place to park it before they’re allowed to register a motor vehicle.

A letter writer says Rwanda must leverage its success in cycling, like other African nations have in marathons and soccer. And apparently, domestique translates to house-helper.

A 26-year old Eritrean man has been named African Cyclist of the Year.

Fifty Malaysian civil servants have been given foldies and instructions to bike to work.

A Singapore writer asks if tougher sentencing would reduce collisions — not accidents, please — before concluding that dangerous drivers need to be stopped before they kill.

 

Finally…

Now you can stick Peter Sagan on your next envelope. It’s one thing to take the lane on a busy highway, another to ride with no hands so you can give a cop the double bird.

And if you’re riding after dark with four grams of coke on your bike, put a damn light on it and stay off the sidewalk.

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Thanks to Samuel Kurutz for his generous support of the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. And to everyone who contributed their hard-earned money to keep this site coming your way every day.

I can’t begin to tell you how much your support means to me.

And if you have given yet, there’s still time.

Update: Woman killed riding her bicycle in Stanton collision; driver arrested

The Orange County Register is reporting that a 44-year old Stanton woman was killed in a collision Friday night.

According to the paper, Deborah Gresham was riding her bike on Cerritos Ave east of Knott Ave at 7:35 pm when she was stuck by a vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The male driver, who has not been identified, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide.

Unfortunately, no other information is available at this time. No word on how the crash occurred, or why OC sheriff’s deputies appear to have taken the unusual step of arresting the driver at the scene.

A street view shows a five lane roadway with two lanes in each direction and a center turn lane, with a wide right lane where parking is prohibited.

Given the location east of the intersection, it’s possible that she was rear-ended, or could have been struck by someone entering or leaving a driveway..

This is the 63rd bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 10th in Orange County; it’s also the third in Stanton in the past four years. That compares with 62 in SoCal this time last year, and 16 in Orange County.

Update: City News Service identifies the driver as Ricardo Hernandez Sandoval, who is being held on $100,000 bond on suspicion of felony hit and run, felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter.

A source in Orange County reports he was followed to his home by horrified witnesses, where he was arrested less than an hour after the crash. 

Gresham was in the westbound lanes when she was struck, literally within sight of her home. 

Meanwhile, the Orange County Register identifies her as the founder of a Walking Dead fan site on Facebook with 20,000 followers worldwide. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Deborah Gresham and all her loved ones. 

 

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