In case you haven’t seen it already, the big story of the day was a driver assaulting two cyclists riding in Glendale.
CiclaValley broke the story, reporting that the incident happened sometime last week as friends of his were riding on Chevy Chase Drive.
In the video, you can clearly hear an impatient driver honking from behind as the cyclists ride just outside the door zone, even though the bike computer visible at the bottom of the screen appears to show they’re traveling at 27 mph.
The driver then buzzes them at an unsafe distance, in clear violation of the three-foot passing law, before slamming on his brakes and brake-checking the riders, nearly forcing one off the road while the other has to swerve dangerously out into traffic to avoid rear-ending the car.
Yet even though this is an obvious case of assault with a deadly weapon — in fact, Dr. Christopher Thompson got five years for a similar incident — CiclaValley implies the Glendale police have been slow to act, at best.
Using a car in a violent manner should be no different under the law than if the driver had taken out a gun and shot at the riders. And should be taken just as seriously, especially since there’s video evidence of the assault.
The one problem with using video like this to press charges, according to officers at the last meeting of the LAPD bike liaisons, is that it’s difficult to prove who was behind the wheel.
Yet even that is not a factor here, since KNBC-4 tracked down the driver, who freely admits he was the driver in the video.
According to his version of events, he honked as he passed — for reasons he failed to explain, just as he failed to explain the apparent punishment pass — then slammed on his brakes after he heard something hit his car, suggesting that one of the riders hit it as he passed.
Yet the video clearly shows that never happened.
There’s no sound of a smack against a car, which should have been clearly audible. And there’s no wobble of the bike, which would have been inevitable if the rider had reached out and hit a hard object as it zoomed by.
The unidentified man, who says he’s a former cyclist himself, portrays himself as the victim in this incident, and says he was just trying to get away from those scary men who were attacking him.
Even though he was the one who honked for no apparent reason. And he was the one who passed dangerously close, even though he was legally required to be well out of their reach. And he was the one who slammed on his brakes directly in front of the two bike riders.
KNBC is no doubt patting themselves on the back for tracking the driver down and getting an exclusive interview with him. But they should be hanging their heads in shame for failing to confront him about the obvious holes in his story, accepting at face value an excuse that is both implausible and demonstratively false.
As should the Glendale police for failing to take action to protect people who are using the streets in a safe and legal manner.
They will most likely claim this is a case of he said/she said, and try to wash their hands of the matter.
But the evidence is right there on the video. All they have to do is look at it.
This just in: CiclaValley breaks down the driver’s statement in great detail, and doesn’t find a lot of truth to it. Or any, for that matter.
Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.
After the authorities refused to press charges, Philadelphia bicyclist posted video of a confrontation with a road raging hearse driver who hit him with the van’s mirror, and threatened him for the crime of kicking over a traffic cone.
Most legal settlements involving cyclists include a payment to the victim to help recover his or her loses.
It’s not often one tries to keep it from happening again.
According to the settlement, Caltrans will pay $450,000, while Newport Beach will kick in another $225,000. But more importantly, both agreed to help fix the deadly intersection where it happened.
Deem had been riding north on PCH in Newport Beach around 4:30 pm on August 27th when she approached the intersection at Newport Coast Drive, where a freeway-style exit lane allows drivers to turn right without slowing down, and forces riders to cross high-speed traffic in order to go straight.
She was hit from behind by an 84-year old driver exiting PCH, and died the next day.
According to the lawsuit, Newport Beach was well aware of the dangers to cyclists at that intersection; in fact, a 2009 Bike Safety Task Force identified it as the intersection most in need of safety improvements.
Now that may finally happen.
The settlement negotiated by attorney Bruce Brusavich requires the city to cooperate with traffic safety experts selected by him and Deem’s husband, Cycle Werks owner Paul Deem, to design improvements to the intersection. And Caltrans will be legally required to consider those improvements in good faith.
Though evidently, not required to implement them.
It’s too late to help Debra Deem. But maybe this settlement can keep it from happening to someone else.
More bad news from the world of bike racing, as Claudio Clarindo, the world’s 12th ranked ultra-distance cyclist, was killed in a collision while training in Brazil, and his riding partner severely injured. Clarindo was a five-time finisher in the Race Across America, aka RAAM.
Continuing the theme of angry drivers, a Santa Monica cyclist encounters a driver who apparently wasn’t pleased with where he was riding. Maybe the fumes from that Porter Ranch gas leak is making drivers crazy; twice in the last week I’ve had drivers get out of their cars to physically threaten me while I’ve been walking.
LACBC board member and BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass explains the new state laws affecting bike riders.
Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with bike advocate Wes Reutimann, executive director of Bike SGV, about the proposed bike park at the former Puente Hills Landfill; you can sign the petition to support it here.
California is finally getting rid of the outdated LOS (Level of Service) requirement for environmental rules; the previous rules meant that removing bike lanes didn’t require an environmental review, while installing them often did.
A new $5 million development in San Diego’s Imperial Beach will cater to bike riders and pedestrians with cafes, a bike shop and water station.
Police in El Centro say they don’t have enough evidence to get a warrant to look for a bike tourist’s stolen bike, even though they tracked the bike’s GPS to a house; when no one answered the door, they apparently gave up. Seriously, you’d think a GPS reading saying the bike was inside would be enough for a search warrant, but what the hell do I know.
The City Metric website asks if road diets are the next big thing for American cities, then suggests car culture may be too deeply entrenched for that to happen.
Vancouver WA gets its first green lanes.
A proposed Nebraska bill would repeal the state’s outdated must-use law requiring cyclists to use a bike path if one runs parallel to the roadway, although it may have a difficult time moving forward in the legislature.
A Dallas writer says cyclists and runners need to work together to make roads safer in the face of their common enemy, the motorist.
Nice program from a Connecticut school, allowing students to earn credit towards buying a refurbished bicycle, as well as establishing a bike club and teaching them to fix bikes.
A New York study shows that split-phase traffic signals that allow cyclists and pedestrians to cross an intersection before motor vehicles are twice as effective in reducing injuries as the more common mixing zones that send everyone through at once.
C is for Coffee, D is for Drafting, as Cycling Weekly offers the A to Z of bike riding.
A British letter writer complains about bicyclists blocking the sidewalk by chaining their bikes to posts and railings. If bike riders are locking their bikes up wherever they can, maybe it’s a sign that there’s not enough safe bike parking in the area.
If you can afford an electric car, you can now silently sneak up on cyclists in British bus lanes, where bike riders previously only had to contend with noisy buses and cabs.
Drivers usually get a slap on the wrist for killing a bicyclist; a UK German Shepard just won a three-year battle to overturn his death sentence for biting one.
Cyclelicious looks at a crowdsourced, lock-free bike parking solution in Latvia. And one that could easily work here.
And screw OKCupid and Tinder; all you need to find true love is Strava.