Tag Archive for distracted driving

Morning Links: NYT shines national spotlight on LA’s deadly car culture, and open season for open streets

Los Angeles’ hit-and-run car culture and deadly streets takes their bow in the national spotlight.

And the picture isn’t pretty.

The New York Times, in an article by LA-based reporter Jose A. Del Real, examines the problems on our streets and the rising toll among bike riders, through the tragic death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier in South LA.

Cyclists have long risked danger in Los Angeles, where a loose and lackluster network of bike lanes means they often ride alongside speeding cars. Today, cyclists draw a special kind of vitriol from drivers in America’s car capital, where traffic congestion is increasingly intolerable as the region’s population grows by an estimated 50,000 people a year.

In poor areas of the city, where people are more likely to depend on walking and cycling as the sole means of transportation, residents complain of a disregard for their well-being by drivers who treat their neighborhood streets like highways. City data shows that the dangers to pedestrians and cyclists are particularly acute in South Los Angeles — where Mr. Frazier was killed — which lags the rest of the city in safety infrastructure.

He note that the mayor has promised to ramp up advertising to fight the carnage on our streets.

That’s right, advertising.

“I am confident that without our efforts, things would be even worse,” Mr. Garcetti said earlier this year. He said the city’s transportation department would ramp up advertising related to road safety.

The purpose of Vision Zero is to remake our streets so that human mistakes don’t result in fatal crashes.

It’s hard to see how even the most hard-hitting ad can equal the life-saving effectiveness of a single road diet.

It’s an important read.

One that even quotes me couple times, along with the newfound advocates who’ve risen in the wake of Woon’s death.

And Del Real did me the favor of not quoting most of the things I said, as he caught me in one of my more pissed off moods at the inaction of city officials in the face of the rising bike and pedestrian deaths and lawlessness on our streets.

Then again, I don’t think they could print most of that in the Times, anyway.

Maybe that national spotlight will embarrass our mayor as he angles for higher office.

And make him realize he has a lot more work to do right here in the City of Angels first. Along with a few city council butts to kick.

We can hope.

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The streets are officially open.

The Los Angeles Daily News looks at another successful CicLAvia in the North San Fernando Valley, and contrasts it with the dangers riders face on LA streets. KCBS-2 reports from earlier in the day.

Los Angeles wasn’t the only city celebrating open streets on Sunday, as thousands turned out for the fifth CycLOUvia in Louisville KY.

And just a tad further north, Winnipeg, Canada celebrated its ninth annual Ciclovia.

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The Ad Council has posted the winners of their annual student film contest focusing on the dangers of texting while driving.

Hopefully they’ll show these to the sheriff’s department.

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Local

The city council’s Transportation Committee has voted to approve protected bike lanes on 5th and 6th Streets in LA’s Skid Row. That should make it almost a done deal, since the full council usually rubber stamps decisions made in committee. Update: Joe Linton informs me that the full council has already approved the motion, voting 11 to 0 on Friday to install the lanes.

The LA Times travel section offers tips on how to choose a car bike rack for your next road trip. Best advice: Whatever rack you choose, make sure your can lock it to your car, then lock the bikes to the rack. And take them inside when you stop for the night or leave your car for any length of time.

Calabasas-based 10 Speed Coffee is opening a new bike-themed outpost in Santa Monica.

 

State

San Juan Capistrano police give a six-year old boy a new bicycle to replace the one he managed to jump off of, saving his own life just before it was crunched by a red light-running driver. However, it’s strange that the driver was booked on a felony hit-and-run charge, which requires serious injuries under California law; otherwise, it should be a misdemeanor.

The new captain of the Chino Hills police department is one of us, and a long-time member of Redland’s Citrus Valley Velo cycling club. 

Cycling legend and commentator Bob Roll takes a low-tech roll through Silicon Valley.

 

National

Trump’s tariff’s as he ramps up a trade war with China could come at the expense of the booming growth of ebikes, most of which are made in the Middle Kingdom.

A new study refutes the myth that more and wider roadways are necessary for regional economic success, showing that the cities that don’t have traffic congestion are the ones that are dying.

Bicycling takes a look at the new old Harley Davidson bicycle, which can be yours for a mere $4,200.

Popular Mechanics rates the best multi-tools, and says every kind of bike is going electric, from motor scooters to cargo bikes. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

An Anchorage AK bike shop suffered $75,000 in losses during a late night burglary, as thieves appear to be targeting high-end bicycles in the city.

Taking distracted driving to a new extreme, the backup driver responsible for overseeing the self-driving Uber car — and preventing the crash that took the life of Elaine Herzberg as she walked her bike across a Tempe AZ street — was watching The Voice on Hulu, instead of the road. Police had initially blamed Herzberg, calling the crash unavoidable before realizing it was anything but.

Three Utah bicyclists participating in a charity ride were seriously injured when they were run down from behind by a “drowsy” driver coming home from working a night shift; fortunately, their injuries were not life-threatening.

While the rest of the country is just discovering protected bike lanes, Boise ID had them in the ’70s, but let them fade away.

This is why you should always question police investigations following a crash. Colorado police reversed themselves after initially blaming the victim for a serious crash after they were finally able to talk to her in the hospital; she refuted the driver’s claim that she was riding her bike on the shoulder and illegally turned in front of him.

Emotions run high as 18 bike riders return home to Oklahoma after a three-week ride through seven states, retracing the steps of the Cherokee tribe during the infamous Trail of Tears.

LimeBike is threatening to walk away from Chicago’s pilot dockless bikeshare program over a clause that requires bikes to be locked to a stationary object when not in use.

A Massachusetts town celebrates its history as a bicycle factory town by giving new bikes to 19 kids.

An op-ed in the New York Times says if we want to build a sustainable future, cities and people must take priority over cars.

Sad news from Pennsylvania, where a woman was killed riding her bike home from her new job because she didn’t want to bother anyone by asking for a ride; her relatives didn’t even know she owned a bike. Naturally, police blamed her for the rear-end crash for riding in the traffic lane on a 45 mph road, rather than on the shoulder.

 

International

City Journal examines the worldwide problem of vandalism and destruction that’s causing a major retreat by bikeshare providers, docked and otherwise.

Road.cc reviews five of the best foldies, and considers 26 of the best books in bicycling. As if anyone has time to read when you could be out on your bike.

Bike Radar recaps the week’s best new bike gear.

A 29-year old Belgian man stopped in Winnipeg on a 30-month bike trip from the tundra of far northern Canada to the tip of southern Argentina.

Caught on video: A Toronto bike rider catches a crash on a bike cam when he’s hit head-on by a driver making an illegal U-turn, who drove off after giving him a fake name and phone number. Amazingly, police don’t consider it hit-and-run since he didn’t need immediate medical attention.

A commentator on a conservative website says a call for banning right turns on red lights in Toronto is based on junk science, saying that stats showing 13% of crashes occurred when drivers were turning right just means that 87% didn’t, and that drivers aren’t always at fault. By that measure, running red lights should be legal too, since it doesn’t always result in a wreck, either.

A London writer says putting signs on the back of large trucks isn’t enough to protect bike riders and pedestrians from getting killed in their drivers’ blind spots. But ads will stop deadly crashes in Los Angeles, right?

A English minister says he understands the benefits of bicycling, but may get rid of the bikes in his garage because of the dangers posed by motorists. Although he says “militant cyclists” don’t help the cause of bicycling by trying to impose their rights. Which is another way of saying people who want to legally ride their bikes without getting run off the road.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A South African driver’s mother suffered a heart attack and his father has suffered from depression after he was sentenced to ten years for killing two bike riders. Then again, if you think that’s bad, imagine the suffering of his victims’ families.

Nepal paid tribute to the country’s national cycling champion after he was killed falling into a river while competing in Sri Lanka.

Aussie police warn of an “epidemic” of headphone-wearing cyclists and pedestrians killed in traffic collisions. If you can call an average of two a year an epidemic — and if the headphones were actually what caused the crashes. After all, if headphones cause crashes, car sound systems and hermetically sealed, soundproof vehicles should, too. 

Touching story as a Japanese man flew to Taiwan to thank the man who cared for his son when he was fatally injured by falling rocks while mountain biking.

Now you can tour Vietnam and Sri Lanka by ebike.

 

Competitive Cycling

The fourth time is the charm, as SoCal’s Coryn Rivera nips Megan Guarnier to win her first US Pro national road race championship. Tennessee’s Emma White dominated the women’s U-23 races.

An Idaho man was part of an eight-person team that set a new record of just under five days, four hours in the Race Across America.

Bicycling explains how to watch the Tour de France this year. And no, streaming it live on your handlebars while you ride probably isn’t the best idea.

Seriously? Team Sky’s coach says Chris Froome’s safety is at risk after five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault calls Froome a cheat over his failed drug test.

The race of the century — or at least the next few weeks — will roll on July 1st as the grudge match between LA’s own Phil Gaimon and alleged motor doper Fabian Cancellara will charge up Switzerland’s Col du Pillon. You can cheer Gaimon on with your own cookie-themed kit.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you miss your train, and end up beating it to your destination. Even Transylvania is becoming bike friendly.

And presenting the Uniform Manual of Traffic Engineer Excuses.

 

Morning Links: 40 years behind bars for drug-fueled Kalamazoo massacre, and new ways to drive distracted

Forty years.

That’s the minimum sentence the driver convicted of the Kalamazoo massacre will serve, after being convicted in the drug-fueled death of five bicyclists, and injuring four others.

Charles Pickett Jr. was sentenced to 40 to 75 years behind bars, meaning he’ll be at least 92 when he gets out if he serves his full sentence.

But at least Pickett said he sorry.

“I’ll live with this the rest of my life. I would give my life for the people I murdered, killed and maimed and everything else and I just want to say I’m sorry,” he said, wiping away tears.

The judge wasn’t having any of it, though.

The judge called Pickett’s apology “woefully inadequate,” saying that until that point, he didn’t appear remorseful for his actions. The judge also pointed out Pickett had many opportunities to stop driving before he hit the cyclists, but didn’t.

At least one survivor said his tearful apology was pretty underwhelming.

Yes, alcoholism and drug addiction are diseases. But driving under the influence is a choice.

One that can have devastating consequences for innocent people on the roads.

As well as the not-so-innocent people behind the wheel.

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Just what we need. Another way for people to be distracted behind the wheel.

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Local

As usual, the LA Times gets it, saying e-scooters aren’t a scourge, they’re a solution. And says Elon Musk is going to destroy Los Angeles in a dumb attempt to save it.

LA Taco looks at the arrest of Mariah Kandise Banks in the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier in South LA, and the low rent attempted coverup that followed.

CiclaValley watches the Nichols Ride again, but gets some great photos in the process. And he has a good excuse for not riding.

 

State

Laguna Beach police conducted their annual Road Safety Expo to help stop bike and pedestrian deaths; they focused on the dangers of distracted driving, as well a bicycling and walking skills.

The people behind anti-road diet group Keep LA Moving continue to export their traffic safety denial program, this time taking up shop to halt safety improvements in Tustin. Credit Peter Flax with the link.

Ocean Beach planners approve a concept for parking protected bike lanes along West Point Loma Avenue.

A San Diego girl was lucky to escape with a bruised leg after she was hit by a turning car while allegedly riding salmon.

After a successful trial, NorCal’s Caltrain is expanding a program allowing bicycle riders to board bike cars first to make boarding more efficient.

Sad news from the Tahoe area, where a man was killed when a driver veered right into his bicycle.

 

National

This is who we share the roads with. A Minnesota motorist fleeing from police plowed into a playground, critically injuring two small children, as well as injuring their brother.

Akron OH looks to Copenhagen for inspiration on how to become bike friendly.

Massachusetts police can’t figure out who’s responsible for a road rage incident, so they just charge everyone (scroll down).

New York drivers can’t seem to figure out that they don’t go when the bicycle-shaped traffic signal turns green.

 

International

A film critic offers seven anecdotes marking the 15th anniversary of the bike-themed The Triplets of Belleville. And if you haven’t seen it, what the hell are you waiting for?

Talk about not getting it. Ontario, Canada police release a bike safety video, telling bicyclists to ride a far right as possible — even when there are sharrows on the street.

After a Nova Scotia man traded his car for a bicycle, he hopes a revised vehicle code will finally treat bike riders and drivers equally. And he’s not the only one.

Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize fame does a little bicycle myth busting in the Guardian.

According to The Atlantic, bakfiets — aka cargo bikes — are the new symbol of gentrification in the Netherlands, as upscale white mothers take to two or three wheels in place of the family minivan.

Reporting from the Netherlands, People for Bikes says the Dutch ride a lot, but don’t go far.

Uber’s Jump e-bikeshare service has made its first foray into Europe, landing in Berlin following a botched entry with their carshare service.

Australian site The Conversation discusses how traffic signals are designed to favor cars and discourage walking.

 

Competitive Cycling

Canada may be getting close to legalizing marijuana, but it remains banned for cyclists under international doping rules. Seriously, has a little weed ever enhanced a cyclist’s performance? It usually has the opposite effect. Or so I’ve heard.

VeloNews recounts competitors tales from the recent 206-mile Dirty Kanza gravel race.

Twenty-seven-year old Aussie BMX champ Caroline Buchanan will compete in Texas later this month, just six months after a serious crash nearly ended her career. And her life.

 

Finally…

At least someone’s fixing potholes. Advice for your first naked bike ride.

And she didn’t just marry into royalty, she married into cycling.

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Thanks to Mark H for his generous support of this site.

Morning Links: More details on $11.75 million Olin settlement; Venice writer says don’t over-regulate e-scooters

Yesterday’s press conference revealed more details about the nearly $12 million settlement from the County of Los Angeles for the death of bike-riding music executive Milt Olin, who was killed by a distracted sheriff’s deputy in December, 2013.

Citing new evidence, Olin’s family is asking the DA’s office to take another look at the case, after the DA had initially declined to file charges.

The DA had said there was no evidence the deputy was actually moving while he texted and used the onboard computer in his patrol car just prior to the crash.

However, new evidence shows Deputy Andrew Wood was traveling at over 40 mph on Mulholland Highway as he typed into his laptop to respond to a message from another deputy at the time of the crash. And had used his personal cell phone to text his wife just 15 seconds earlier.

Olin should have been visible to Wood for 21 seconds as the deputy drove down Mulholland — or would have been if he hadn’t been distracted. Wood initially said that Olin swerved in front of him before investigators placed the point of impact squarely in the bike lane.

Photo from the Milt Olin Foundation website, which was founded after his death to combat distracted driving.

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A Venice-based writer for The Atlantic dons his best Raymond Chandler-esque prose to say e-scooters could ease traffic. But only if cities can avoid over-regulating them.

If Bird comes to your city, its detractors will cry foul.

They’ll lash out as if every Silicon Beach scheme to make some scratch is zero sum, call the code-enforcement coppers on anything without a business license, insist on “a comprehensive regulatory scheme” as if mere scooters require one, and remain so beholden to status-quo bias that they’ll hold Birds to standards they’ve never applied to Firebirds, Skylarks, Falcons, Cygnets, or Roadrunners.

Before throwing in with the skeptics, at least take a ride.

It’s a good read, and worth a few minutes of your day.

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Local

CiclaValley catches a bike thief in action and gives chase, before losing the scoundrel in Griffith Park.

City Lab talks with UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup.

Beverly Hills will hold a Complete Streets Walk Audit on Saturday, June 9th to get input on the city’s Complete Streets process.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

Studies show that dockless bikeshare works best when it’s seen as an extension of the transit system. And that both dockless and traditional bikeshare can succeed in the same city.

Bicycling lists celebrities who ride bikes, from Pippa Middleton to George Clooney. If you have the patience to click through all 25 pages.

People for Bikes is looking for a part-time writer. And the best part is, it’s not an onsite position, so you can work wherever you are now.

A Seattle bicyclist got his stolen bike and tools back after online commenters pitched in with a description and location of the thief’s truck.

Three months after becoming the first woman finisher in this year’s Iditarod Trail Invitational fat bike race, a Norwegian woman gets her $3,000 stolen carbon-fiber bike back after it was spotted in an Anchorage homeless camp.

A Pittsburgh public radio station considers what happens when construction work closes a bike lane or bike path; city policy requires developers to provide an alternate route. Unlike Los Angeles, where bike lanes are closed for construction work or movie shoots with no detour on a regular basis.

A New York man says he hasn’t bought a bicycle since the 1990s, even though he’s ridden all over the world. Then proves it by suggesting racing bikes cost just $600 these days.

The war on bikes goes on, as a New York man was attacked for the crime of riding his bike in a bike lane that was overflowing with pedestrians forced off a narrow, overcrowded sidewalk.

Boing Boing looks back on the bikelash panic that preceded the introduction of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare five years ago, none of which came to pass.

In the spirit of that earlier bikeshare panic, a Brooklyn paper says dockless bikeshare will bring chaos to Coney Island.

 

International

This is why you don’t lock your bike to a street sign. A Canadian man had his bike stolen when thieves unbolted the sign and slid then lock off. Then again, they also stole his next bike, even though it was locked to an iron railing.

No surprise here. The driver who plowed into four Canadian cyclists on a charity ride was under the influence at the time of the crash.

A writer for the Guardian says the problem in London isn’t a lack of diversity on bikes, it’s the lack of safe streets that keeps women and children from riding. Although a writer says the real problem on her bike commute is MAMILS.

The Guardian also examines the rise of ultra-cyclists, in advance of a 258-mile ride from London to Wales and back.

A British woman expects to become the first disabled woman to ride unsupported around the entire coast of Great Britain when she completes her journey today.

The Melbourne, Australia city council concludes that safety fears and a lack of decent bike lanes discourage many people from riding bikes. Meanwhile, a cycling commentator says policies that encourage more Melbourne commuters to bike to work will be a win for everyone.

Western Australia’s Road Safety Minister says there are no plans to require bicyclists to ride single file, there or anywhere else in the country, despite a petition from angry drivers.

A new Tokyo bar is designed for, and staffed by, road cyclists.

 

Competitive Cycling

A Canadian track cyclist says the five-month break she was forced to endure following a massive blood clot caused by a crash in the Rio Olympics has left her more grounded and focused on the Tokyo Games.

SoCal’s own Coryn Rivera is bouncing back after a challenging classics season, winning two stages of Germany’s Internationale Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour.

Chris Froome is confident about repeating as Tour de France champ this summer, after bouncing back from his “brutal” Giro win. If he doesn’t get a belated ban for a failed drug test at last year’s Vuelta, that is.

 

Finally…

Now you can ride your classic Schwinn cruiser inside. Or maybe ride outside to celebrate legal marijuana.

And we may have to deal with rude drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about rude ‘roos.

 

Morning Links: Three OC bicyclists struck by callous distracted driver, and Russian doping doc wins at Oscars

Last night, I received the following email from Allyson Vought, describing a collision with a distracted driver that sent two bicyclists to the hospital.

But fortunately, could have been much worse.

Almost lost some friends today

Well, it was a close one today for me, and 2 friends were taken to hospital after being struck by a distracted driver. Luckily no death or dismemberments, only (if there is such a thing) a few broken bones, scrapes and bruises, one concussion, and 2 very destroyed bikes.

Here are the details.

There were 6 of us in the group and we were at the end of a 22 mile out and back putt putt. We were riding our usual Brea to Diamond Bar and back easy day cruise. The incident occurred at the corner of Imperial Hwy and Puente, just 1/2 mille from the finish at Linda’s house. We were southbound on Puente and had stopped at Imperial Hwy waiting for our green light. The light changed and I was out first after seeing traffic had stopped to the left and right. Tim was 2nd, Tom was 3rd, Sigrid, Tom’s wife, was 4th then Maralyn, and Linda were the last two.

I was mid-intersection when I heard heavy skidding and I had just a moment to look to my left and saw a Black Toyota Camry (I think) heading for all of us. I pushed it and closed my eyes waiting for the hit. She JUST missed me (I was lucky) and I heard thuds, yells and screams. Witnesses say that she hit Tim on the left corner sending him flying and Tom dead center where he was thrust into the windshield and thrown forward to the pavement about 25 feet. Sigrid hit the side of the car and went down. Linda and Maralyn were able to stop OK.

Lady was on the PHONE it seems and failed to see the traffic stopped in the 2 inside lanes and just proceed through a red light and into our group. We did not see her as she came from behind the stopped cars and was passing them on the outside (fast lane) and there was no way to see her until it was too late to do anything.

Attached  is a picture of the car (see above). You will see the white on the bumper, that was Tim’s destroyed Jelly Belly Focus, and the clean spots on the hood — that was Tom’s doings.

Tim had gotten up and was sitting on the center divider and seemed lucid. There was blood below his left ear and his hand was scrapped and bloody. It may be broken and he had to get 4 stitches to close the open wound on his head. Funny thing was I took his helmet from his head, his gloves, shoes, jacket, and jersey and got him to the ambulance. We were still sorting things out and before I got to the hospital he called me asking what had happened, how was his bike, and where were his things. He was in one of those knocked out but chatty zones it seems. No memory of anything.

Tom was on the ground and in pain. Luckily his wife and Maralyn are both nurses so he was in good hands to be sure until the EMS and the Brea police arrived. They were there in minutes and took great care of our friends. We had pleantly of witnesses and we all gave statements. Kudo’s to all and they were very thorough to be sure.

We were there for about an hour giving statements and I made sure to document the scene with photos. Finished the ride and then headed to the hospital, the Irvine Med Center in Orange. Took a few minutes to find Tim as he was just being checked in and Tom was already ensconced in a room with Sigrid by his side, He was resting after all of the scans and X-rays. Not sure what was broken as the results were not in, but he remembers the whole incident quite clearly.

Tim was brought to the adjacent room about 15 minutes later and still had no clue as to what had occurred. Was not a happy camper when I told him his bike was toast.

So, it was a lucky day in that we all survived.

The older woman driver never got got off the phone — for even one second and made no comments, showed no emotions, nor exhibited any concern to the welfare of our friends. Shock or what I am not sure, but it was sure bizarre. I asked the police if anyone had checked on her and they said they had. I also went so far as to go to her window and asked how she was (on the phone) — no reply — and she did not even look my way. I  told her not to worry as no one was killed thankfully…still no response.

I DO hope she is insured.

The callousness of not even getting off the phone, let alone getting out to check on the victims, is just unbelievable. Fortunately, the crash occurred in Orange County, where the DA takes traffic crime, and distracted driving, seriously.

But please, someone tell me again how dangerous all those entitled cyclists are.

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The highlight of last night’s Oscar ceremony, at least from a cycling perspective, was the victory of the doping-themed Icarus in the best documentary category.

Oddly, the response from RT, aka Russia Today, to the film that exposed the country’s systematic doping and led to the loss of previous Olympic medals and banishment from last month’s winter Olympics, was something less than positive.

Go figure.

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USA Today offers an inspiring story about an LA marathoner and cyclist who was paralyzed by a red light-running driver while riding her bike. And shortly afterwards, committed herself to training to compete in a Florida half-marathon as a handcyclist.

Although the story is just a tad late, since the race was run in January; she finished in 1:13:20.

And tragic that stories like this are even necessary.

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Local

KPCC asks LADOT’s Seleta Reynolds if Vision Zero can really eliminate LA traffic deaths. Meanwhile, the Daily News says a lack of funding is setting Vision Zero up for failure.

Curbed calls for making the Oscar street closures permanent.

No, there won’t be a Marathon Crash Ride before next week’s LA Marathon, for the second straight year.

The Pasadena Star-News looks at plans for a lane reduction on Orange Grove Blvd; naturally, the traffic safety deniers want to keep the street free-flowing and dangerous.

 

State

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A 95-year old man just got his driver’s license renewed until he’s 100 — without even having to take a driver’s test.

Palo Alto residents demand the city halt plans for roundabouts, claiming they make the street more dangerous — even though studies show they reduce serious crashes up to 80%. Another case of traffic safety deniers opposing projects they don’t understand, without giving them time to succeed.

A San Francisco paper looks at the efforts of car advocates to convert a hard-won bike lane on the Richmond Bridge to car use, allowing bike riders to have limited access only when drivers don’t want it, and bizarrely describing that as sharing the road. Maybe someone should tell them about induced demand, let alone complete streets.

 

National

It’s easy to forget that service members from other countries have fought, and been injured, in Afghanistan; two British veterans will ride down the left coast from Oregon to Mexico to raise funs for a charity for injured vets.

A new paper blames vehicular cycling for a 40-year delay in building bike infrastructure in the US.

A writer with the Denver Post says he doesn’t want ebikes on bikeways “already packed with the unaware, the inconsiderate and the distracted.” Then again, he doesn’t want those people on the paths, either.

Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park will allow mountain bikes on a two-mile section of a lakefront bike path for the first time.

A New York counclimember says he feels threatened and intimidated by bicyclists angry that he backed out of his promised support for a protected bike lane.

DC-area bike shops have joined the boycott of Vista Outdoor over their gun and ammunition subsidiaries.

 

International

A Halifax, Canada business association opposes a prospective protected bike lane because it would mean the loss of 55 parking spaces, and would rather locate it on the sidewalk. Never mind that it could bring hundreds more customers on bikes. Or that using sidewalk space for a bike lane would mean a less walkable business district, which would probably have a far greater negative impact than losing a few parking spaces.

A Canadian city is just the latest choose parking over a protected bike lane, disappointing local bicyclists who feel threatened on the streets.

The Guardian talks with the founder of women’s bike brand Liv Cycling, who says shrinking and pinking women’s bikes isn’t good enough.

UK Parliament ministers are prepared to propose a new crime of causing death by dangerous cycling, in response to a recent case where a careless bicyclist killed a pedestrian. The Guardian responds that judging people by their means of transport brings out the worst in everyone.

British running great Roger Bannister was one of us; the first man to break the four-minute mile took up bicycling after he had to stop running in 1975 following a car crash.

A British radio host says stop targeting bicyclists, because they’re the real victims.

Ireland opens a 26-mile crushed gravel rail-to-trail conversion.

A cyclist in Kathmandu, Nepal says he loves riding a bicycle and he’s going to keep on riding, despite the country’s deep reverence for the west and its motor vehicles.

South African police make an arrest in the hit-and-run death of a rugby team manager who was killed while warming up for a bike race.

An Aussie letter writer complains about a presumed liability proposal, saying it would only benefit a whining, arrogant minority of cyclists who don’t pay for the roads, at the expense of those poor, put-upon people in cars. No, really.

A Kuala Lumpur writer can’t believe the city would put in a bike lane, since the only ones who won’t be using it are the ones on bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

No, those testosterone patches that showed up on the doorstep of Team Sky in 2011 didn’t get there by accident. But sure, the era of doping is over. Right.

Speaking of Team Sky, a British commission concludes that Bradley Wiggins use of a banned corticosteroid under a therapeutic use exemption contributed to his win in the 2012 Tour de France, accusing the team of crossing an ethical line.

The race director for the Giro d’Italia says the race isn’t getting rid of podium girls, and says dropping them, as the Vuelta has done and the Tour de France is considering, is just a passing trend. In other words, not treating women as a trophy for men to win, and showing respect for them — and women cyclists — is just a fad. Nothing sexist about that.

Cycling Tips offers photos from Saturday’s sloppy but exciting Strade Bianche.; Belgium’s Wout van Aert overcame leg cramps to make the podium.

American Tejay Van Garderen is out after crashing into a team car on the first day of the Paris-Nice stage race; fortunately, he wasn’t seriously injured.

Over 1,600 competitors are expected for next weekend’s two-stage Tour of Murrieta.

 

Finally…

When you want to stop a law that benefits bike riders, find one to oppose it. Forget bike polo; it’s time to try unicycle hockey.

And now you can buy your very own stolen dockless bikeshare bike.

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Thanks to George W for his generous contribution to help keep this site coming your way every day. Donations are always welcome.

 

Morning Links: Support Lankershim bike lanes, new buffered lanes in Sunland, and killer driver warns others

The LACBC is asking for people to come out on Wednesday to support plans to install bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd between Magnolia Blvd and Vanowen Street.

The meeting of the Mid-Town NoHo Neighborhood Council starts at 7 PM, at the Senior Citizen Center at 5301 Tujunga Blvd. RSVP to [email protected] if you plan to attend.

These are the same bike lanes former Councilmember Tom LaBonge blocked while he was in office; now that he’s gone, maybe we can finally make the street a little safer for everyone.

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Maybe there really is hope.

Michael Sullivan forwards photos of new buffered bike lanes going in on Foothill Blvd in Sunland, where Jeffrey Knopp was killed when his bike was struck from behind while riding on the narrow shoulder.

Looking west from Foothill and Riderwood towards Wentworth

Looking east from the same spot towards Sunland, next to the barriers that previously trapped riders next to fast-moving traffic

The road diet should slow traffic, while giving people on bicycles a safer and more comfortable piece of the roadway. Sullivan calls it a very welcome change on a street he regularly rides as part of his commute.

My understanding is that these plans were in the works long before Knopp’s death. But it’s good to see a dangerous road made a little safer.

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The 22-year old driver who killed Cal Poly Pomona student Ivan Aguilar four years ago is now speaking to high school students about the dangers of distracted driving, his probationary penance for what he calls the worst day of his life.

Gonzalo Aranguiz Salazar says the appearances mandated as part of his five-year probation have allowed him to help heal himself.

I sincerely hope he’s able to peace, and live with the knowledge that he needlessly destroyed an innocent life.

But I’m far more concerned that Aguilar’s loved ones are able to come to terms with his loss, and the fact that his killer wasn’t sentenced to a single day behind bars.

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Very sad news, as Peter Flax reports the husband of fallen OC cyclist Deborah Gresham — the subject of his moving piece on the creation of a ghost bike — has died unexpectedly, leaving their four kids without a mother or father.

Let’s hope there’s someone to take them in and comfort them. Because that’s just too much tragedy for any child to bear.

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A driver buzzes a bicyclist as he’s filming a trailer for a documentary. And proves once again that too many drivers don’t have a clue when it comes to the rights of cyclists, or how to drive safely around people on bikes.

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Spoiler alert: If you still haven’t seen Sunday’s Paris – Roubaix, skip to the next section. Or watch streaming video of the race courtesy of SoCal Cycling, then come back for the rest.

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Local

Councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Mike Bonin call for using Measure M return funds to save lives through Vision Zero, noting that New York is spending $174 million on Vision Zero projects this year, while Los Angeles has committed to spending a paltry $3 million.

A writer for The Source notes that she feels safer on a Metro Bike than a regular bike, and that bikeshare has made her feel more comfortable riding around DTLA.

Help clean up the Ballona Creek for Earth Day on the 22nd.

A mountain bike rider had to be evacuated from the Lower Monroe Truck Trail in Angeles Forest following a crash. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Santa Monica is set to unveil the final draft of the city’s Downtown Community Plan on Wednesday. Hopefully, it will include a heavy reliance on bicycling, transit and walking over motor vehicles.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson relates the tale of a cycling wedding.

 

State

The LA Times recommends getting fit and doing good by joining one of several charity bike rides around the state, as well as one in Tucson.

A Huntington Beach event allowed people with disabilities to experience the freedom of handcycling for the first time.

A helmetless La Jolla woman suffered life-threatening injuries in a solo fall after losing control of her bicycle going downhill. Sadly, crashes like this are exactly what bike helmets are designed for.

Apparently, it was worth it to a San Diego driver to risk injuring a bicyclist to snag a prime beachside parking space; the rider slammed into the back of her car after she cut him off.

A Riverside driver turned herself in Sunday morning for fleeing the scene after crashing into two bike riders Saturday night. Which would have given her time to sober up if she’d been drinking.

Two Stockton teenagers were killed fleeing from police following a robbery after crashing into a bike rider and several cars; fortunately, the bicyclist and the people in the other cars weren’t seriously injured.

Seven months later, Sebastopol authorities still can’t prove — or disprove — that a fatal crash between two cyclists on an organized ride was caused by a careless driver.

Over 30 triathletes suffered hypothermia after swimming in a Napa County lake before getting on their bikes.

 

National

A new book from a Colorado woman describes her victory in the frozen 1000-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational bike race.

The Montana bill that included a tax on out-of-state bicyclists — which sponsors later said was a joke — passed out of committee without the provision attached.

Life is cheap in Massachusetts, where a hit-and-run driver gets a whole 18 months in prison for killing a bike rider, then claiming he hit a deer.

The New York Post questions why the city should spend $12 million to expand the Citi Bank bikeshare to outlying areas, when the coming dockless, app-based bikeshare systems could do it for them.

A writer for the Guardian describes his single week as an Uber courier, which ended when he discovered the hard way that Uber doesn’t ensure couriers’ bicycles against theft.

The World Cycling League will team with a Reading PA college to build a world-class, $20 million velodrome.

A kindhearted friend of a Virginia McDonald’s customer bought a new bicycle for one of the store’s employees after learning he was walking 10 miles each way to get to and from his job after his old bicycle gave out. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

The Tampa Bay Times offers a strongly worded editorial calling for better safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, saying it’s time to stop accepting injuries and deaths as “collateral damage in a culture focused on cars.”

 

International

Here’s video of the Cuban cyclist stopped by police in his attempt to set a record for the world’s tallest ridable bike with the help of LA’s Ritchie Trimble, builder of the current record holder; builder Félix Ramón Guirola Cepero says he’s going to try it again. Got to hand it to Trimble; it’s a total class act to help the guy trying to beat your own record.

An 82-year old Brit man had the chutzpa to apply for a new driver’s license, just days after knocking a man off his bike, then driving over him at 3 mph.

The UK is about to be invaded by Chinese app-based bikeshare providers, extending their battle from the Middle Kingdom to foreign shores.

Caught on video: A British driver tweets that a bike rider should be prosecuted for riding through a red light when there was no traffic coming in any direction.

A Bollywood filmmaker plans several additional rides after finishing a 1,500 mile ride across India to promote mental health; he has been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder.

Australian police are closing in on a suspect in the 15-year old cold case murder of a man who was gunned down in his home weeks after finishing an eight-month tour of the country that ended when his bike was stolen.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you’re going to use a bike as your getaway vehicle after robbing a bank, try not to drop the cash you just stole. Your next bike helmet could fit in a water bottle, not that it would do a lot of good there.

And your latest bicycling jam comes courtesy of Frank Ocean, with an assist from Jay-Z and Tyler the Creator.

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Chag Sameach!

 

Morning Links: Hands-free cellphones are as dangerous as handheld phones, and bike news from East LA County

Give so snark can live. Support the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today!

In news that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone — but which would probably shock most people, if they actually put their phones down long enough to pay attention — Australian researchers conclude hands-free cellphones are just as dangerous as handheld phones.

Researchers in Queensland tested driver reactions using a traffic simulator, and found that any cellphone use — hands-free or otherwise — increased reaction times by 40 per cent, or one full second.

Which doesn’t sound like much, until you consider that it adds an additional 33 feet of stopping distance to a car going just 25 mph. As if anyone drives 25 miles per hour anymore.

The study also found that less experienced drivers were likely to be twice as impaired by mobile phone conversations.

So make that 66 feet, instead.

Then multiply by the speeds drivers actually travel.

However, researchers did not study the dangers posed by texting, which distracts drivers both mentally and visually, while also taking one or both hands off the wheel.

The obvious conclusion is that any cellphone use while driving is dangerous, to the people in the vehicle as well as anyone around them.

Which is frightening considering the proliferation of cellphones in our society, and the willingness of drivers to ignore current laws limiting their use. And terrifying in an age when WiFi and hands-free connectivity are being built into many motor vehicles.

Something that makes no more sense than installing a bar in every dashboard.

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It’s been far too long since we’ve checked in with Michael Wagner at CLR Effect, who sends word of recent happenings in East LA County.

Hello Ted, it has been a little while since I have seen you out on the eastern edge of the county, and I wanted to update you, and the readers of BikinginLA, with some recent news.

Though it has been pretty quiet lately in my own hometown (Claremont), next door LaVerne has been busy with the approval process for their Active Transportation Plan; a couple weeks ago it moved through committee, and next week will go before the City Council.

This past weekend local club, SC Velo donated a bike repair station, which was installed and dedicated at Oak Mesa Park before a great turn out of cyclists.

Both these events are helping the city shed their reputation of being less-than-friendly to bikes, and have riders in the greater Pomona Valley area pretty excited. Cheers, appreciate all you do to keep us informed.

I hope to make a few improvements to this site in the near future that will make it easier for me, and everyone else, to keep up Michael’s excellent site, and many of the other great blogs that have slipped through the cracks here lately.

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‘Tis the season.

Long Beach’s Velo Allegro bike club teams with the YMCA to give over 130 bicycles to 3rd graders from low income families. Thanks to Anthony for the heads-up.

A pair of San Diego Chargers host a Holiday Bike Build, donating 52 bicycles to children of service members stationed at the San Diego naval base.

For the past 20 years, inmates at Folsom Prison have spent their days restoring bicycles to like-new condition to donate to children in El Dorado County; this year 200 bicycles will be distributed by high school kids in cooperation with the local Rotary Club.

The family of a former Colorado police officer who died while participating in an organized bike ride carry on his love of bikes by donating 29 bicycles to be given to local children.

Cincinnati Bengals players present nearly 300 bicycles to elementary school children.

A 71-year old New Haven CT man operates a one-man bike program, giving away 80 to 100 bicycles a year by going door to door asking for donations, as well as dipping into his own pocket.

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Great news, as Belgian cyclist Stig Broeckx has emerged from a six-month coma following a collision with a race moto, and begun saying simple words and recognizing family and fellow riders. But don’t get me started on whether race vehicles belong anywhere near the peloton.

Cycling News calls out five successes and five failures in pro cycling this year.

A French pro cyclist is the latest to say UCI is handling WorldTour reforms very badly.

A 30-year old Kiwi Olympic gold medal-winning rower is attempting to switch to cycling, riding in a pair of elite New Zealand races to determine what future he has in the sport.

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Local

An LA County sheriff’s deputy shot and wounded a bike rider who was allegedly armed with a handgun when the man got off his bike and ran after refusing to pull over for a traffic stop.

Richard Risemberg calls on Metro to place bikeshare docks in residential neighborhoods to encourage people to leave their cars at home, and says Santa Monica is doing it right. Speaking of which, SaMo begins installation of the area’s first bike counter. Or rather, the second.

Don ye now your gay apparel, as Bike SGV is hosting a Cycling Santas Bike Train this Saturday.

The LACBC is partnering with neighborhood chapter Bike Walk Glendale for the 6th annual Holiday Ride this Sunday.

Roughly 30 cyclists participated in Tuesday’s die-in to call for Bikes May Use Full Lane signs in Palos Verdes Estates. No word yet on whether anyone in the insular burg was actually paying attention.

 

State

A new Stanford study hopes to determine if the new generation of bicycle seats reduces the risk of sexual dysfunction.

A 70-year old San Francisco man suffered life-threatening injuries when he allegedly rode his bike through a red light and was struck by a driver existing a freeway. As always, the question is whether anyone other than the driver in question witnessed him go through the light.

Bike friendly Davis plans to develop two additional protected intersections, following the success of one that opened last year, which claims to be the first in the US.

Redding receives $8 million in grants to build sidewalks and buffered bike lanes along a major street.

 

National

Bicycling profiles an Anchorage AK native who founded two bike brands before he was 25.

Portland’s bike-powered coffee roaster failed because the single bike couldn’t turn out enough coffee to support the business, as well as support over 20 orphans in the Philippines.

A Wisconsin man facing charges of hit-and-run and reckless homicide in the death of a bike rider earlier this year now faces 12 additional charges for pawning landscaping equipment belonging to his employer.

The Reading PA paper endorses plans for a new $15 million indoor velodrome.

Buffalo NY is bucking the trend for more human spaces, slowly introducing cars back onto a failed pedestrian mall in an attempt to revitalize the downtown area.

An Op-Ed in the Savannah GA paper says protected bike lanes benefit everyone.

 

International

LA may or may not be the hit-and-run capital, but it’s clearly a worldwide problem as shown by this tragic wreck in Jamaica.

The rich get richer, as London’s mayor announces plans for two new curb-separated bicycle superhighways.

A British driver blames everyone but himself when a bike rider unexpectedly ended up on the hood of his car as he turned across a separated bike lane, saying the bikeway was nearly impossible to see and the bicyclist wasn’t wearing hi-viz. Evidently, looking both ways before making a turn is passé in the UK.

Edinburgh residents square off over plans for the city’s first cycle superhighway.

 

Finally…

Yes, you can carry a Christmas tree home on a bikeshare bike — even in Paris. Italy, where the graphene meets the road.

And they should know what happens when you leave a bicycle out in the elements, even in a Bike Tree.

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A special thanks to Dennis Eckhart and Joseph Rozier for this week’s first donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Writing and maintaining this site is a full-time job. Your support, and that of our sponsors, enables us to keep bringing the freshest bike news to you every day, from LA and around the world.

Morning Links: Expanded mobile phone driving ban, Vision Zero speed limits, and scary bike-riding non-clowns

The good news is, we’ve figured out what caused the problem with email notifications for new posts. Now that the tech supports are back from their annual conference, maybe we can get it working again.

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Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation prohibiting drivers from holding and operating mobile phones for almost any reason, including changing a play list or using a GPS.

However, in a sign of just how seriously the state doesn’t take distracted driving, the fine for the first violation is a measly $20, rising to a whole $50 for subsequent violations.

Even though distracted driving is every bit as deadly as drunk driving.

And people will continue to die until we treat it that way.

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Seattle votes to lower speed limits on city streets, from 25/30 mph to 20/25 mph as part of the city’s Vision Zero plan.

Which is exactly what LA has to do if there’s any hope of reducing, let alone eliminating, traffic fatalities by 2025.

Yet here in the City of Angels, the case is complicated by streets with near-highway speeds as a result of the deadly 85% rule, which sets speed limits at the average speed of 85% of drivers on any given street.

In other words, the best way to make sure the speed limit goes up is to keep your foot firmly planted on the gas pedal. Which is kind of like putting bank robbers in charge of bank security.

Never mind that speed limits are unenforceable by radar guns on roughly 75% of the city’s streets, thanks to the city’s failure to conduct the required speed surveys.

And never mind that decades of flawed traffic planning has left Los Angeles with countless streets engineered to carry traffic at speeds far beyond the posted limits, and too many drivers more than happy to take advantage of that.

Angelenos have gotten used to driving that extra 10 to 15 mph above the speed limit, even on streets with posted limits of 45 mph or more.

We could see open rebellion and riots in the streets if the police started cracking down on speeders — or at least a number of recall threats and angry letters to the Times. Let alone if city officials found a way around the 85% law to lower limits to life-sparing levels.

But it has to be done.

Because until we do, Vision Zero will be nothing more than a couple of words.

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Maybe the national obsession with scary clowns is just a tad out of control.

Consider this report from Portland, Tennessee about the arrest of pranksters posing as clowns.

State and local police urge residents to call in all unusual behaviors to the nearest law enforcement agency. The warning comes in light of several incidences in Tennessee and beyond involving people disguised as clowns who have threatened and scared people and children…

Portland (TN) police received another call Tuesday morning reporting a clown was riding a bicycle near Highways 109 and 52. The report was false and police found a person riding a bike wearing a safety vest with flashing lights to warn traffic, Heavner said.

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Cycling scion Taylor Phinney jumps to the Boulder CO-based Cannondale-Drapac team for 2017, just two years removed from the crash that nearly ended his racing career; Cycling Tips offers a good profile of the 26-year old racer as he works to revitalize his career.

Atlas Obscura looks at the demise of America’s love affair with six-day track cycling competitions of the ‘20s and ‘30s.

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Local

Richard Risemberg argues the benefits of a road diet on 6th Street in the face of NIMBY opposition.

CiclaValley offers a recap of recent bike cam videos, including yesterday’s big bike lane dump in Griffith Park and a dump off his bike at the Griffith Observatory.

World Car-Free Day may be over, but Santa Monica gets into the act on October 7th.

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition and Bike SGV wants your input if you walk or bike in the San Gabriel Valley.

Damien Newton talks with Wesley Reutimann about the rescheduled 626 Golden Streets open streets event.

 

State

San Diego’s Measure A would raise $18 billion for transportation infrastructure, but just $540 million would be set aside for bicycle and pedestrian improvements.

Chula Vista applies for funds to build a four-mile bike lane and make other bike and pedestrian safety improvements on a street where 33 bicyclists were involved in collisions over a four year period.

Three Redlands cyclists are riding 250 miles to Las Vegas to raise funds for underprivileged kids.

 

National

Cities around the US are using temporary, pop-up traffic installations to see if they work before making permanent changes. Which is a smart way of avoiding the inevitable panic that stops most projects before they ever start.

Students at the University of New Mexico pitch in to buy a new bicycle for a fellow student after his was stolen.

The nation’s best bike city, as anointed by Bicycle Magazine, has suffered six bicycling fatalities this year, all involving commercial vehicles. Meanwhile, a Chicago TV station finds the city’s bike lanes are often blocked by parked vehicles, despite a city ordinance prohibiting it.

A Michigan middle school student barely avoided becoming collateral damage when he jumped off his bike just before a van involved in a collision rolled over it.

Something is seriously wrong when a Western PA bike rider faces jail for taking the lane.

Boston’s bikeshare system really doesn’t want anyone riding their bikes on a busy highway.

New Yorkers are shaming drivers who block bike lanes on a new interactive website.

A Delaware cyclist says he’s giving up riding after he was rear-ended by a car, saying local roads are too dangerous and drivers don’t care.

Nice gesture, as Atlanta considers naming a one-block section of the Peachtree Street bike lane after the co-founder of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition after he died of a brain tumor.

 

International

Treehugger says Toronto has zero vision when it comes to Vision Zero.

A London supermarket will test one hour bicycle delivery.

A British cop stepped away from his duties protecting the US ambassador to save the life of a cyclist; the rider flew through the rear window of a parked car when he crashed into it on a training ride.

Scotland is in danger of missing their goal of having one in ten journeys made by bicycle by the year 2020, as ridership declined slightly last year.

A beautiful new 2/3-mile bike and pedestrian suspension bridge will be the longest bridge in Finland when it’s finished.

Turkey opens its first bike themed and bike friendly resort hotel.

A South African cyclist faces charges after he became enraged when a driver honked at him, attacking both her and a second rider who came to her defense, then throwing a cup of hot coffee at her husband when they spotted him at a bistro. Seriously, no matter what a driver does, violence is never the answer. Nor is losing control of yourself.

An Aussie cyclist takes silver in finishing her seventh triathlon, just three years after receiving a heart and double lung transplant.

A Chinese cyclist rode from China to Portugal, covering just under 1,000 miles in 87 days.

 

Finally…

When you’re on parole and carrying stolen credit cards and prescription drugs, it’s probably a good idea to obey local bike laws. If you’re carrying coke on your bike and have outstanding warrants, put a light on it — and don’t pass yourself off as your warrantless brother.

And the underwater mountain bike season is officially over.

 

Morning Links: 300 days in Moorpark distracted driving case; applications now open for Great Streets grants

The good news is, we’ve figured out what caused the problem with email notifications for new posts. Now the problem is figuring out how to fix it. Hopefully we’ll have it working again soon.

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Life is cheap in Ventura County.

The Ventura County Star reports 27-year old Rachael Hill was sentenced to 300 days in jail for killing bicyclist Maciek Malish and motorcyclist Jesse Cushman just outside of Moorpark last year while “distracted by a portable electronic device.”

Probably texting, in other words.

Hill received an unwarranted gift when the Ventura County DA inexplicably filed the case as misdemeanors, rather than the felony charges recommended by CHP investigators.

She’ll begin her sentence November 4th, and will most likely serve just a fraction of that time before she’s released from county jail.

On the other hand, we should probably be grateful she got any time at all.

Meanwhile, Hill sentenced both men to death, and their families to a lifetime without them.

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Applications are now open for the second round of LA’s Great Streets Challenge projects.

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The official trailer has been unveiled for a new documentary about cargo bikes, called Motherload.

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A triathlete gave up a probable gold medal while competing in Cozumel, Mexico, when he stopped to help his heat-stroke stricken brother across the finish line.

There’s a new record for the world’s fastest human-powered vehicle, as a bullet-shaped ‘bent hit 89.58 mph in the World Human Powered Speed Challenge.

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Local

Peter Flax says riding an ebike does not make you a bad person, and that ebikes aren’t about replacing bicycles, but replacing cars.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman writes that bicycling and equity advocates will converge on Atlanta in November for The Untokening: A Convening for Just Streets and Communities to reclaim the streets and make them safe and accessible for all.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton suggests walking, expanded bikeshare and bike valets as possible solutions to the transportation crunch getting to the Rams games at the Coliseum. Improved bike lanes would also help, while benefitting USC students and local residents on non-game days.

The 626 Golden Streets ciclovía postposed due to last June’s brushfires in the San Gabriel Valley has been rescheduled for March 5th; the 19-mile open streets event will allow people to walk, jog, skate and bike through eight SGV cities.

 

State

Seven years after being paralyzed from the waist down in a dirt bike crash, a California man is able to ride a recumbent under his own power after receiving an electronic spinal implant.

Only eight tickets have been written in the entire state of California for violating three-foot passing law since it went into effect in September 2014; out of 10 drivers asked about the law by a San Francisco TV reporter, not one knew it even existed.

A mountain biker had a close encounter of the scary kind when he was confronted by a mountain lion while riding in Foothill Ranch; a bike rider was killed by a mountain lion on the same trail in 2004.

Laguna Beach plans to deal with safety problems on PCH by somehow moving cyclists off the deadly roadway instead of building the bike lane recommended in a recent safety study; as always, the real reason appears to a preference for parking spaces over human lives.

Sad news from Santa Maria, where a bike rider was killed when he allegedly turned left in front of a car.

Palo Alto approves plans for a Dutch-style protected intersection to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.

 

National

Cosmo recommends riding to work, and offers solutions for five excuses not to.

Bicycling explains what goes on with your body when you crash.

Nikon introduces a new $500 action cam, while GoPro unveils a new $800 drone.

A Virginia cyclist outruns a road raging tractor driver who tried to cut him off in a bike lane.

North Carolina approves a four-foot passing law, while allowing drivers to briefly cross a center line to pass cyclists when they can see far enough to do it safely.

A New Orleans chef turns to Uber after her bicycle is stolen and someone steals the seat off her other bike.

 

International

The Ottawa trucking official who caused a stir by saying cyclists should have to stop half a block back from intersections so they don’t interfere with turning trucks doubles down, complaining about the complaints he received, while noting we all just want to get home safely. Never mind that in any crash with a bicyclist, the truck driver probably will, while the bike rider, not so much.

Halifax drivers complain that new protected bike lanes meant the loss of 49 parking spaces, even though the city installed 79 new spaces just a few blocks away to more than mitigate the loss. Meanwhile, someone keeps moving a Halifax bike corral out of the street and onto the sidewalk.

A writer for the Guardian says we need to kick our addiction to driving.

A London man describes a fist fight between a road raging cyclist and his equally road raging Uber driver, while getting billed for the driver’s trip to the hospital.

Iranian women continue to ride their bicycles, despite a religious edict from the country’s supreme leader banning the practice because it “exposes society to corruption” and “contravenes women’s chastity.” Because we all know bike riding makes you a slut, right? And that goes for men, too.

Caught on video: A Chinese ebike rider was badly injured after being kicked off her bike by someone on a passing scooter.

 

Finally…

Don’t leave home without your reflective clothing. Once again, using your bicycle to whack the driver you just collided with is just not what it’s designed for.

And evidently, riding a bicycle will remove all your skin and strip you naked.

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Morning Links: Life is cheap, as killer Palm Desert and Paso Roble drivers get off with gently slapped wrists

The May BikinginLA LACBC Membership drive is up to nine new members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. But we really need to pick up the pace if we’re going to reach 100 new or renewing members before the end of this month. So sign up now and let’s get this into double figures today.

Even if you’re already a member, you can renew to extend your membership to support biking in the City of Angeles, and get some great bike swag courtesy of the LACBC.

And a huge thank you to everyone who’s joined so far.

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Once again, the universal Get Out of Jail Free Card worked its magic, as an 81-year old Palm Desert woman walked after admitting to killing a 73-year old handcyclist last year.

Judy Mae Purcell pled guilty plea to a single misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence in the January, 2015 death of Rose Peters, just as her trial was set to begin.

And as usual, she got off on probation by claiming she just didn’t see Peters before she left-crossed her, even though Peters, who was in a bike lane, was riding with the right-of-way.

Purcell received three years probation, and may lose her driver’s license; she also says it’s had a big impact on her life.

Purcell elected to speak at her sentencing, tearfully telling Lee and Peters (Peter’s daughters), “There’s nothing I can really say, I’m just so sorry.” She said the crash was “truly an accident. I just didn’t see her. I’ve lost a lot of friends over this,” Purcell told them. “I relive that minute every day of my life. Every night, you’re in my prayers.”

At least she’s been held accountable in other ways. Oceanside lawyer Richard Duquette, a cyclist himself, forwards word that Peters’ family has reached a substantial, but undisclosed, settlement in the case.

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A 20-year old Paso Robles driver got off almost as easy, as he’s sentenced to just 75 days in jail and 50 hours of community service for killing an LA cyclist and severely injuring a second rider in a 2014 collision.

That’s despite a long history of traffic violations, and being on probation for a speeding conviction at the time of the crash.

Joseph Mondo was driving a massive GMC Yukon when his phone slipped off his lap, where it shouldn’t have been to begin with. When he looked down to retrieve it, he nearly struck a vehicle stopped to make a left turn, barely avoiding it by swerving onto the right shoulder at 60 mph.

Then, in an astounding display of carelessness and stupidity, he once again took his eyes off the road to find his phone, this time killing 62-year old Los Angeles resident Lee Hekyung Craig, as well as leaving her riding companion, 59-year old Newport Beach surgeon Lawrence Chong, with life-changing injuries.

As Chong said,

“What hurts the most is that I lost (Craig) because of the negligence on the part of someone else,” Chong said, according to the report. “All he had to do was pull over after he nearly rear-ended a car while reaching for his phone. If he had done so, my life would still be good and I would still have Lee. Instead my life is now a mess.”

Granted, Mondo seems to get it.

When he was interviewed by a probation officer following his no-contest pleas, Mondo reportedly said: “What happened has happened. If I could change places, I would. It has changed my life. Someone’s life was lost. I do not need to argue my innocence. I am guilty. I want to move on with my life. I will deal with the repercussions as they come.”

Then again, Craig will never get to move on with her life and Chong may never regain the life he had, while Mondo may have a sore wrist for a few days from the slap the judge gave it.

This is what happens when traffic crimes and prior tickets aren’t taken seriously.

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Grand Rapids MI unveils a new $600,000 bike safety campaign, urging motorists and bicyclists to obey the law and look out for one another.

Although the TV spot does look kind of familiar.

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Local

A 0.8-mile stretch of Van Nuys Blvd in Pacoima will get a road diet, with a buffered bike lane on one side and a parking-protected lane on the other, connecting to the San Fernando Road rail-with-trail bike path on the north end. Part of the city’s Great Streets Initiative, the Complete Streets makeover is intended to reduce speeding and improve safety on one of the city’s most dangerous streets.

LA City Councilmember Joe Buscaino argues that part of the Metro R2 transportation funds should be used to repair LA’s crumbing streets since they form the foundation for all other elements of the transportation system, including bicycles. One of the city’s most bike friendly elected officials, Buscaino will be honored with the Golden Spoke Award at this year’s Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Samaritan Hospital.

Speaking of Good Samaritan, Downtown News profiles Good Sam CEO and dedicated bike commuter Andy Leeka. And a pretty nice guy too, if I say so myself; thanks to Richard Risemberg for the link.

The LA Weekly lists Sunday’s semi-inaugural Los Angeles Bicycle Festival at Grand Park as one of their 21 things to do this week. Although it’s not on Metro’s list of Bike Month events.

Bicycling recommends the annual 30-mile Stan’s Bike Shop/Eastside Bike Club’s Tour de Tacos as one of the 27 best places to find tacos in the US. But they somehow failed to include the Trump Towers taco bowl.

Ride with Metro and Bike SGV to the Huntington Library and Gardens this afternoon.

Wolfpack Hustle’s annual Shortline Crit rolls tomorrow in Long Beach.

Also on Saturday, Finish the Ride and Velo Studio will host a free Tour de Griffith Park: An Introduction to Safe and Fun Riding.

Team LACBC will host a training ride for this year’s Climate Ride tomorrow, heading up Glendora Mountain Road before visiting The Donut Man on the return leg.

 

State

Laguna Beach mountain bikers get to ride with their heroes.

Fortunately, an Apple Valley bike rider was sitting upright and talking after being hit by a pickup Wednesday night.

As if dodging dangerous drivers isn’t bad enough, Turlock police are looking for a man who stabbed a bike rider in the chest in an apparently random and unprovoked attack.

The Menlo Park city council votes to keep El Camino Real dangerous by sending plans for bike lanes back for further study until neighboring cities agree on a common design. “Sending plans back for further studies” usually means they don’t want to piss off motorists by approving it, but don’t want to piss off bike riders by saying no, either.

Sacramento police are looking for the owners of 60 stolen bikes that were recovered when a bike thief was busted.

 

National

Bike riders may be the only ones enjoying the closure of a Seattle viaduct. Meanwhile, you know Seattle’s bikeshare program is in trouble when the people responsible for running it aren’t even members, despite a discount for city employees.

After a cyclist competing in New Mexico’s Tour of Gila broke his bike crashing into a pile of riders who collided with a dog, he traded bikes with a fan and finished the race on an ‘80s era Specialized stump jumper. No word on how the dog made out, though.

Des Moines IA police are looking for two men who attacked a 65-year old bike rider for no apparent reason.

A new report says bicycling is booming in New York City, up a whopping 320% since 1990, even though advocates say the city isn’t doing enough to protect cyclists and keep up with demand. Which just goes to show what can happen when you build an actual bicycling network rather than a few nice lanes here and there.

Count Woody Allen, who used to be funny, among those who think New York has done too much to accommodate bike riders and that bike lanes don’t belong anywhere in his upscale Upper East Side neighborhood. But he’s likely to get them whether he likes it or not.

A Pennsylvania bike rider is charged with stabbing a man who he claims stole his bike.

 

International

A new international study confirms that the health benefits of bicycling and walking far outweigh the risks from pollution. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

A British man gets seven years for the drunken hit-and-run death of a cyclist; he initially told police his car had been stolen and someone else was driving it, leading to the false arrest of an innocent man.

If you build it, they will come. This tweet really says it all about a new London bikeway in the shadow of Big Ben.

Researchers hope da Vinci’s DNA can explain his genius, which included sketching out a bicycle centuries before they were invented.

Bikes are the star of a planned Oslo office building.

An Indian man got a bizarre 10-petaled flower-shaped cataract in one eye following a helmetless collision with a car.

A Taiwan proposal would classify ebikes as scooters, requiring riders to have a helmet and a license.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a $341 40-mile ride in the rain. I don’t care what they say, it’s not a bike friendly town if kids are barred from riding bikes to school.

And luxury hotels may be fascinating, but you’re better off watching the road.

 

Morning Links: Counting distracted drivers, join Team LACBC for Climate Ride, and SoCal women’s bike racing

If you’ve ever wondered if distracted driving is really a problem, don’t.

A Florida ad agency filmed 20 minutes of rush hour traffic on a local freeway to count how many drivers were doing something other than focusing on the road ahead of them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqBBVHzHV0c

Something tells me they could find even more by pointing their camera at LA surface streets.

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Team LACBC is holding a training ride for this year’s Climate Ride on Saturday.

They’re still looking for more riders who want to support the environment and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition while enjoying what could be the ride of your life. Or you can support some of the people already committed to riding it.

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We’ve featured a lot of news stories about bike racing the past few days.

Benjamin Goyette says there’s plenty of action right here at home, forwarding video of last weekend’s Pro Women US Cup race #1 at Bonelli Park in San Dimas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2y2NCrVtdA

He adds,

Despite her fresh injury after crashing hard last week, local favorite Larissa Connors collected precious UCI points with her 10th place finish in a strong field of Olympic athletes.

………

Keeping up that theme, a rider for the Movistar team was injured by a rival rider’s disc brake during Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix, while the rider stuck by a race motorcycle suffered only minor injuries. Road.cc sums up the madness of the race.

And American legend Davis Phinney lists his dream cycling team from back in the day. While he includes a lot of great riders, my favorite would have to be Raul Alcala, one of the most exciting riders I’ve had the pleasure of seeing race in person.

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Local

The Times offers a great graphic explaining why it’s so hard to get bike lanes built in California.

Momentum Magazine looks at next month’s inaugural Los Angeles Bicycle Festival; you can support the event and get your tickets by clicking on the ad to your right.

CicLAvia is giving away a case for your iPhone 6 to celebrate their 10,000th Instagram follower.

Santa Monica is hosting a bike swap on May Day.

Arcadia will host a meeting tonight to discuss June’s 626 Golden Streets festival featuring 17 miles of open streets in the San Gabriel Valley.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Authority has partnered with Caltrans to identify problem areas on PCH, including several that put bike riders and pedestrians at risk. As anyone who rides the highway probably could have told them.

The OC Register’s David Whiting says Orange County is missing out on millions of dollars in revenue it could earn as a mecca for mountain biking. Nice to see Whiting is still hanging in there with all the changes at the paper; while I may have disagreed with him at times, he’s definitely one of the good guys.

Someone tossed a basketball-sized rock through the window of a Costa Mesa bike shop and made off with a $2,900 mountain bike.

San Diego’s ability to meet it’s climate plan goals will depend on increasing density and convincing people to bike, walk or take transit to work.

A Coachella Valley writer says au contraire, bikes do belong in the wilderness.

The lawyer for a Yolo County driver accused of intentionally running down three bicyclists withdrew his plea of mental incompetency after it was pointed out the man has a documented history of feigning mental illness to avoid criminal charges.

 

National

Great idea. A Seattle couple operate a business instructing people how to incorporate bicycling into their lives, including how to ride to work.

That bike-hating Seattle radio guy is at it again, finding a city councilmember to support his contention that the city shouldn’t kowtow to “the more extreme elements of the bicycle community” by repealing its ridiculous mandatory helmet law. Even though Seattle is one of the few cities in the country that forces grownups to wear a skid lid every time they get on a bike.

Yes, bike riders are required to stop for school buses just like drivers, whether in Washington or anywhere else.

Texas police identify the schmuck who ran away after pinning two children in a bike trailer under his car. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

Missouri legislators join cyclists for an annual ride around the capital to call attention to bike legislation and the benefits of bicycling.

Chicago is in the midst of a protected bike lane boom, with plans to build nine miles this year and another 50 within three years; they currently have 290 miles of bike lanes, protected and otherwise, throughout the city.

Indiana University’s annual Little 500, made famous in everyone’s favorite bike movie, will roll for the 66th time this weekend.

Better late than never. Tennessee finally gets around to banning cars from bike lanes.

A DC paper seems surprised to find there’s actually a lawyer specializing in bicycle personal injury cases. You can thank the two great attorneys on the right who sponsor this site, and find a bunch more on the Resources page.

Caught on video: A Florida bicyclist suffered a broken orbital bone when he was sucker punched by teens in a Jeep.

 

International

HuffPo Canada says fewer children are biking and walking to school, and that hurts everyone.

A British grass track bike race was first held in the 1860s. But there won’t be a 125th edition this year.

Unbelievable. An Aussie man gets just 19 months behind bars for a fatal hit-and-run, despite not having a license — and despite a previous conviction for hit-and-run. And despite facing charges involving dishonesty 26 previous times. More proof that the failure to take traffic crimes seriously isn’t just an American problem. Thanks to David Huntsman for the link.

A New Zealand man fixes hundreds of bikes to give away to children each year.

 

Finally…

A new wireless speaker fits in your water bottle holder for when you want to annoy everyone else with your taste in music. And the 12 most ridiculous bicycling accessories.

Or bikes, for that matter.

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Thanks to John Hall for his generous donation to support this site.

It’s contributions like his that help keep this site going.

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