Tag Archive for dooring

BOLO ALERT: Driver of blue car fled the scene after dooring woman near Fairfax and La Cienega Thursday night

Thursday's dooring victim; I'm not identifying the victim at this time since I have not been in direct contact with her family.

The victim of Thursday’s dooring in the hospital; she is not being identified at this time since I have not been in direct contact with her family.

A woman was seriously injured in a hit-and-run dooring while riding on the western edge of the West Adams district.

According to reports, the collision occurred near the intersection of La Cienega Blvd and Fairfax Ave, between West Jefferson and Washington Blvds around 10 pm Thursday night.

The driver stayed long enough to pull the victim out of the street, but took off after nearby valets called 911.

Her husband arrived on the scene while the suspects were still there, but they lied to him by saying the driver had already left the scene. He identifies the car only as a blue sedan with a license plate starting with H20.

I’m not sure if the police have been contacted yet. So if you may have seen the incident or have any information, email me at the address on the About page, and I’ll forward it to the appropriate people.

Dooring is always the fault of the driver or passenger; CVC 22517 requires anyone opening a door into traffic to wait until it’s safe to do so and can be done without interfering with traffic.

Let’s spread the news and see if we can catch these guys.

Update: I’m told the victim suffered a partially collapsed lung, broken clavicle and required multiple staples for a head wound; she was in surgery as this is being written. 

A gofundme account established to help defray medical expenses has raised $6,000 of a requested $10,000 in just three hours; she’ll need a lot more than that to pay for hospitalization and surgery.

Thanks to Kyle Murray for providing information in this case.


Two year sentence in Dotson case, Brown yields his veto pen in support of hit-and-run, dooring caught on video

Just a quick update today, since I’m having some major computer problems. Assuming I get things straightened out, I should be back Saturday night with some Weekend Links. If not, you may not hear from me for awhile until I can get my laptop fixed.

Keep your fingers crossed. 

Update: The jury is still out. Reinstalling the OS may have solved the problem. Or not.


First up, in case you missed it, the driver who killed postal worker Jesse Dotson as he rode his bike to work in Gardena last year has been officially sentenced to two years in prison.

Twenty-four year old Vanessa Yanez, the daughter of a veteran LAPD sergeant, was behind the wheel when she struck Dotson’s bike and fled the scene, leaving him lying on the street; he died in a hospital three days later.

After running Dotson down, Yanez drove to a nightclub to meet a friend before reporting her car stolen the next day in an attempt to cover-up the crime.

The sentence was a given, having been worked out in a plea deal last month.

It’s not enough. The meagre sentence reflects the lack of seriousness with which our society takes traffic crimes, even when they kill.

And even when drivers try to cover up their crimes.

She should have faced a murder charge on the assumption that Dotson might have been saved if he’d gotten emergency care sooner.

But given the lax hit-and-run laws and weak penalties currently on the books, it’s probably the best we could have hoped for.


Speaking of lax hit-and-run laws, there is one person who doesn’t seem to think it’s a problem.

And unfortunately for all of us, he’s the governor of our state.

Three-term Governor Jerry Brown vetoed AB 2337 on Thursday; the bill would have ensured that a hit-and-run driver would lose his or her license for two years if they injured someone.

The only governor in the US to veto a three-foot passing two times, before finally signing it last year, Brown wrote in his veto message (pdf) that penalties for hit-and-run are already stiff enough.

Evidently, he’s the only person in the state who still has no idea hit-and-run has reached epidemic proportions. If the penalties really were strict enough, most drivers would stop at the scene and render aid to their victims, as the law requires.

And quite frankly, a two year suspension for leaving another human being bleeding in the streets isn’t nearly strong enough. Anyone who lacks the basic human decency to obey the most basic requirement of the law has shown that they are undeserving of the privilege — not the right — to drive.

Our governor clearly doesn’t get that.

Instead of a mere two-year suspension, a hit-and-run driver should face lifetime revocation of their license.

Instead, Brown is fighting to keep the most dangerous and callous drivers on the streets.

Thanks, Jerry. No, really, we owe you one.

Meanwhile, Calbike is calling for everyone to contact the governor to demand that he sign AB 1532, which would increase the fines for hit-and-run — though not the prison sentences — to match those for drunk driving, in order to reduce the incentive for drivers who have ben drinking to flee the scene.

And it would ensure that hit-and-run drivers would lose their licenses for a minimum of six months — regardless of whether anyone was injured.

Given that Brown has already expressed his opinion that penalties for the crime are high enough, it’s very questionable whether he’ll sign this one.

If not, the blood of every future hit-and-run victim will be on his hands.


One of the best jobs in bike advocacy just became available.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is looking for a new Executive Director to replace Jen Klausner, who is stepping down after nearly a decade of successfully leading the organization.

Under her stewardship, the LACBC has grown to become a leading voice for Southern California bicyclists, and one of the most influential bike advocacy groups in the US.

The organization has had an exceptional track record in recent years, from nurturing CicLAvia in its earliest stages to developing award-winning programs like City of Lights. They were a driving force behind the initial Give Me 3 efforts that recently became California’s new three-foot passing law, and the key backer of the cyclist anti-harassment ordinance that is being copied across the nation.

In just a few short years, they’ve helped turn one of the nation’s most car-centric cities into a certified bike-friendly community. And they were one of the first organizations to reach out to underserved ethnic and economic communities, and to push for cycling infrastructure in less affluent areas — not because that’s where their members are, but simply because it was the right thing to do.

Now they’re looking for a superstar capable of leading the LACBC to the next level and building it into one of the nation’s pre-eminent bicycle advocacy organizations.

Maybe it’s you. Or someone you know, anyway.


Recently we mentioned that the Santa Monica Bike Center had been named the area’s only Platinum level Bicycle Friendly Business by the League of American Bicyclists.

But dig a little deeper into the list of honored businesses (pdf), and you’ll find Santa Monica marketing communications agency Phelps.

The agency was honored by the Bike League for amenities including on-site showers, secure bike parking and financial incentives for bike commuters.

It’s also home to WesHigh, whose YouTube videos from his 15-mile commute from Silver Lake to Santa Monica have often been featured here.

In celebration of the honor, the agency created this infographic encouraging their employees to ride.

And maybe even you.



Might as well buy a used bike off Craigslist. After all, it’s probably your bike, anyway.


Finally, I was forwarded this security cam footage showing a dooring that occurred in Burbank recently.

The shocking thing is just how quickly it happens, and how little time the rider has to react.

Fortunately, I’m told the rider was okay; his bike, maybe not so much.

And just to be clear, drivers are required to ensure that it’s safe to open their car door without interfering with the operation of other road users (CVC 22517).

So unless you’re doing something stupid, like riding the wrong way or without lights after dark, the driver is almost always at fault.


Don’t miss this weekend’s most exciting bike action — the Lucha Libre-themed HP Gran Prix from 5 to 9 pm tonight in Huntington Beach.



Bike rider reportedly dies weeks after South Bay dooring

Sadly, word is just filtering in that a bicyclist died earlier this month, weeks after he was doored while riding in the South Bay.

Terrance Owen Brooks died while riding on April 12th, reportedly the result of a blood clot that may have resulted from the dooring a couple weeks earlier. I’m told Brooks was examined at a hospital following the collision, and released after doctors found only contusions.

However, his broken helmet suggests he may have needed a more extensive neurological examination than he received. It’s difficult to say conclusively that the clot resulted from the dooring, but it seems likely.

Brooks reportedly was a bike racer; however, I have been unable to find information about him online. Michael Eisenberg quotes his memorial card as saying:

His most recent accomplishment was placing number 2 out of 42,000 contestants worldwide and number 1 in the USA in the Anchor (cycling) Challenge in December 2013 sponsored by Strava.

He was 49 years old.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any other information at this time. If anyone has more details, please leave a comment below or email the address on the About page.

This is the 37th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and 15th in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Terrance Owen Brooks and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the information. 

Update: In a comment belowSerge Issakov points us to Brooks’ Strava page. Very sad to see that low total for April, knowing the reason why.

I’m told Brooks may also have been known as Terrance Jackson; Issakov suggests this may be his Facebook page. If so, the last entry from him is dated April 4th.

Update 2: A comment from Brook’s fiancé places the date of the original dooring as April 5th, and confirms that her died of a seizure while riding one week later. And that the hospital failed to perform a neurological exam, despite his broken helmet.

One last bit of bad news from last year — Barrington dooring victim died of his injuries last month

Ghost bike for Julio Martinez; photo by Danny Gamboa

Ghost bike for Julio Martinez; photo by Danny Gamboa

Unfortunately, last year’s bad news didn’t end with the new year.

For the past several weeks, I’ve been trying to confirm rumors that the victim of last month’s dooring on Barrington Ave in Brentwood had died of his injuries. And had received no response, respite repeated emails to members of the LAPD.

Sadly, I finally received confirmation today, thanks to Danny Gamboa of ZKO Films, who has been documenting Southern California ghost bikes. He was able to track down the victim’s place of work, where co-workers confirmed that he had died sometime between December 10th and December 17th.

According to Gamboa, 37-year old Julio Martinez worked with his brother at Belwood Bakery at 11625 Barrington Court, just off Sunset Blvd. He was apparently riding home from work when he was hit by the door of a car on a downhill section of Barrington, where bikes can easily reach speeds of 25 mph or higher.

Martinez was taken to a hospital with severe head injuries, where he later died. His brother has taken time off from work to accompany his body back to their hometown in Mexico.

The Belwood Bakery is collecting funds to help defray the expenses. If you find yourself in the area — and many popular group rides pass nearby on Sunset Blvd — stop by for a sandwich and some coffee, and drop in a few bucks. Or take up a collection and drop it off on your way home.

Because he died as one of us.

This is the 88th bicycling fatality in Southern California in 2013, and the 39th in Los Angeles County. It’s also the 18th in the City of Los Angeles — a 360% increase over 2012.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Julio Martinez and all his family and loved ones.


A Koreatown bike rider became the city’s latest hit-and-run victim early this morning.

According to OnScene.TV — which offers raw footage from the scene — the victim, described only as a male in his early 20s, was riding with roughly 25 other cyclists down Vermont Ave when he was hit by an unknown vehicle at the intersection with 4th Street. The site reports he was transported to a local hospital with serious injuries.


A male cyclist was shot and wounded in a Filipinotown drive-by this morning; the victim was not suspected of being a gang member. Fortunately, he’s expected to make a full recovery.


In today’s driving news, dialing your phone behind the wheel is the most dangerous form of distracted driving, while inexperienced drivers reaching for a cell phone increases crash risk by 700%.

It turns out drivers view people more negatively than non-drivers do; maybe that’s why so many of them hate us.

The UK asks if radar and RFID can be the solution to stop drivers from killing cyclists; new technologies can’t cure bad road design, though.

Elly Blue offers motorists advice on how to drive around bike riders.

And a driving Jerry Seinfeld doesn’t want to see anymore ghost bikes. Neither do we, Jerry.


Darren Graves offers this beautifully evocative photo of the Venice bike path from this morning's commute.

Darren Graves offers this beautifully evocative photo of the Venice bike path from this morning’s commute.

A Times’ writer offers a surprisingly good piece on sharing the road, albeit from a windshield perspective. Streetsblog talks with interim LADOT — and Recreation and Parks — General Manager Jon Kirk Mukri; now that Chicago and New York both have new DOT heads, what is Mayor Garcetti waiting for? Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman explains she rides to connect to her city. Local Los Feliz paper seems to be trying to create controversy over Rowena road diet, but the story doesn’t support it. A Santa Monica letter writer says bike on ped collisions are a problem when you’re the ped. The final meeting for Santa Monica’s MANGo project takes place on Tuesday; my suggestion is getting rid of that silly lower-case O in the name. Flying Pigeon’s Richard Risemberg finds Downtown El Segundo’s new bike racks almost perfect. Milestone Rides explores the Verdugos with Long Beach’s bike touring expats. A Carson cyclist is injured in a collision on Avalon Blvd.

The new ABCs of bike riding should include air quality. A San Diego cyclist says he woke up in a ditch several hours after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver; others suggest he got drunk and passed out. A Piru man faces charges for using his car as a weapon to injure someone he was arguing with. Uber bans an off-duty San Francisco driver after he killed a six-year old girl on New Years Eve, but maybe they should be accountable anyway. Some people just don’t get it, as an SF writer objects to bike riders’ right to take the lane. A dozen years after a Modesto-area woman killed a cyclist while drunk, she faces six years for another DUI.

A writer for Bicycle Retailer asks if bicycles are the new gay marriage for misinformed conservatives; thanks to Geri for the link. US cities are installing the first curb-protected bike lanes. The Atlantic Cities asks if distracted bicycling should be banned; having nearly been run off the road by other riders on more than one occasion, I vote yes. The Bike League highlights their 2013 accomplishments in a new infographic. The Feds finally approve bicycle traffic signals, allowing riders to be separated by other traffic by time rather than just distance. New bike gloves offer built-in turn signals; thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

Portland cyclists suffered zero fatalities in 10-million trips in 2013; thanks to Michael McVerry for the heads-up. Seattle’s former mayor says the city’s streets were frustrating before bike lanes were put in and probably always will be; oddly, Seattle cycle tracks draw mixed reviews when delivery drivers are allowed to park in them. Just heartbreaking, as a five-year old Nevada girl killed by possible DUI driver while riding her tricycle on the sidewalk; she was riding with her sister and grandmother when the driver backed over her bike. Montana driver requests an all-points bulletin after a rider turns in front of her car. Houston Critical Mass riders are accused of being traffic bullies. Annual Minnesota New Years Day ride has its coldest ride yet. A Tennessee pastor bikes 455 miles over two days to greet all 102 members of his congregation. Hit-and-run MA driver drags parts of a bike 1.5 miles after killing the rider on it. The streets of New York have changed dramatically under outgoing Mayor Bloomberg. DC bike riders get a legal head-start on red lights as a new bike safety law goes into effect. North Carolina cyclist is busted for doping at age 62 with 21 national championships and one world age-group title under his belt; it’s the non-dopers who should be getting the attention.

Will 2014 be the year of the bike? Brilliant Brazilian anti-drunk driving ad. Calgary also gets it right, with no bicycling deaths in 2013. Montreal cyclists say more has to be done to stop dooring. UK drivers who kill cyclists have just a 10% risk of facing jail time. Drivers are responsible for over two-thirds of collisions with cyclists in London’s Westminster district. Everyone’s talking about London’s wildly impractical SkyCycle plan; yes, separation can be good, but one of the best things about bicycling is how it brings you closer to the life of a city, so why would you want to soar above it? Speeding UK drivers are called lunatics; unfortunately, that happens to a lot of people when they get behind the wheel. Brit cyclist is removed uninjured after being trapped under car for 30 minutes — but be warned, the photos are hard to take. New Dutch cargo trike has a front door. Jakarta officials are ordered to leave their cars home once a month. An Aussie writer says it’s time for real reform on the roads. New Zealand guard rails protect careless drivers while putting cyclists at risk.

Finally, don’t pretend you haven’t been tempted; police in Ghana rescue an alleged bike thief from an angry crowd before they can burn him to death. And an Aussie cyclist responds to getting cut off on his possibly stolen bike by stealing the car of the driver who did it.


Update — 37-year old cyclist critically injured in Westside dooring

Word is just coming in that a bike rider suffered severe injuries after being doored last night.

According to an email from LAPD West Traffic Division bike liaison Sgt. Laszlo Sandor, a 37-year old bicyclist was riding south on Barrington near the intersection with San Vicente in Brentwood at 6:46 pm when he came in contact with the open door of a parked car.

No word on whether the victim, whose name was withheld due to privacy restrictions, was hit by the door as it was opened, or if he collided with it after the door was opened in front of him.

Barrington is a narrow, two-lane street on both sides of San Vicente, with substandard-width lanes that legally allow riders to take the lane in order to avoid the door zone. However, heavy traffic and impatient drivers encourage many cyclists to ride in the door zone, where passing cars can leave them trapped with nowhere to go if one of those doors should open.

Sgt. Sandor reports the rider is in critical condition and was in surgery last night for head trauma.

No helmet was found at the scene. This is exactly the sort of relatively slow-speed impact helmets are designed to protect against; however, there’s no way of knowing whether one could have made a difference in this case.

He was also using a headlamp and tail light, so he should have been visible to the driver.

And no word yet on whether the driver was cited. Drivers are almost always at fault in a dooring; CVC 22517 clearly requires that drivers only open car doors when it is safe to do so.

22517.  No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open upon the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.

Head trauma is never a good thing; if not life-threatening, it can often be life-changing, sometimes permanently. So prayers, good thoughts and/or best wishes for the rider are definitely in order.

More details when and if they become available.

Update: I was just forwarded the following email, which went out as part of a community crime report from a Brentwood-area homeowner’s association. 

Unfortunately, an accident occurred last night on the 600 block of Barrington involving a cyclist and a vehicle. My partner and I were the first responders at scene.  The severity of the accident moves me to encourage all cyclists to PLEASE wear helmets — even for short trips. The cyclist is in critical condition and sadly, it doesn’t look good for him. 

A man sitting in his parked vehicle opened his door just as the cyclist passed and the cyclist clipped the door sending him head first onto the pavement. Does everyone know that it is the driver’s responsibility to look behind them before opening their door? The driver was incredibly shaken and upset and did not realize, until the traffic officers gently explained to him, that he was the party likely at fault. 

As our community continues to increasingly utilize cycling as a mode of transportation, please be ever aware of cyclists maneuvering throughout the traffic. And cyclists please wear your helmets and follow the rules of the road—all the rules of the road—for your own safety and protection.

Thank you. My apologies go out to the Brentwood Homeowner’s Association board and members for missing the meeting that I was en route to when we came upon the accident. I’ll make every effort to be at the next one….

Thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up.

Update 2: I’ve received confirmation that the victim, identified as Julio Martinez, died sometime after he was hospitalized; I haven’t been able to confirm the date. His brother, who worked with Martinez at the Belwood Bakery on Barrington Court, took his body back to their hometown in Mexico. 

This is the 88th bicycling fatality in Southern California in 2013, and the 39th in Los Angeles County. It’s also the 18th in the City of Los Angeles — a 360% increase over 2012.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Julio Martinez and all his family and loved ones.

A ride through the Westside, in eight parts

Cars blocking bike lanes. Doors blocking bike lanes. Trucks blocking bike lanes. Nannies blocking bike lanes. Elderly drivers ignoring right of way. New sharrows in front of Catholic churches. Missing sharrows. Useless sharrows. Decrepit Victorian VA churches. Last second left cross drivers.

Or as I like to call it, Thursday.

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a video from my helmet cam.

It’s not that I haven’t captured anything worth sharing. It’s just that by the time I usually get around to editing the video, the limited storage left on my ancient Mac means I’ve usually had to delete the footage before I can do anything with it.

So I wanted to get this one out while it’s fresh.

This is footage I captured on yesterday’s ride through L.A.’s Westside and Santa Monica. The sad thing is, there’s absolutely nothing unusual about it. Other than discovering new sharrows on my usual route through Westwood, things like this happen virtually every time I get out on my bike.

Maybe just not so many on the same ride.

And this wasn’t even everything I saw, good or bad.

There were a couple of Jerry Browns that the camera didn’t pick up – it seems that the fisheye lens on the cam means that a driver has to virtually brush me before the video looks anywhere as close as it feels in person. And I also have to avoid flinching, since the helmet mount means I miss the whole thing if I turn my head away.

I also noticed the county has been busy with the sharrow stencils, as well, adding a single symbol on Washington between the beachfront bike path and where the bike lane picks up on the next block. They also put in a few behind the Marina library, where riders on the Marina bike path have to share a brief roadway with drivers using the parking lot or moving their boats.

And in a nod to the Cycle Chic crowd, I wanted to offer a look at a well-dressed woman I encountered who looked about as good as anyone could on her bike. But when I saw the video, it felt a lot more like Creepy Stalker Guy than an honest appreciation of a fellow cyclist.


As for those newfound sharrows on Ohio, maybe someone can explain to me why they skip the two blocks between Selby and Glendon on the westbound side, but not on the east.

Did they just forget? Or is there some incomprehensible reason why those two blocks on that side of the street, where they’re most needed, don’t qualify for sharrows?

Because it’s right there, in that direction, where I feel most pressured by drivers when I take the lane, since it’s far to narrow to safely share.

A little pavement-based support from the city for the proper road position would have gone a long way towards telling impatient drivers that’s exactly where I belong. And encourage more timid riders to use the street and move out of the door zone, despite pressure from drivers coming up behind them.

There seems to be no reason to omit them from the street.

But omitted, they are.

And don’t get me started on the oddly placed sharrow further west that forces riders to duck beneath a low tree branch as they hug the curb.

Or the oddly undulating placement that may keep riders out of the way of vehicular in places without parking, but encourages them to weave in and out of the traffic flow in a dangerous manner, as some motorists may not be willing to cede the road space to let them back into the traffic lane.

Look, I’m not complaining. Much.

I’d glad to have sharrows on a street that needed them.

But these need some serious improvement before they meet the apparent goals of encouraging more ridership and keeping riders safer on the street.

Breaking news: Bike rider dies of injuries from dooring last week

Excuse me if I’m a little pissed off.

Not to mention more than a little heartbroken.

On Wednesday, I found myself in a room filled with LAPD traffic investigators to discuss bicycling issues in the City of Angels. And not one of them mentioned that yet another L.A. cyclist had joined that heavenly host as a result of a careless driver.

Maybe they didn’t know.

Maybe there’s a lack of communication within the department, and the people who should be first on the list to be notified about bicycling collisions — the bike liaisons representing the four Traffic Divisions, each of which was represented at that meeting — aren’t.

But either way, a bike rider has been dead for a full week as a result of a Hollywood dooring. And we’re just finding out about it now.

According to a press release from the LAPD, a 49-year old Los Angeles resident, who wasn’t identified in the release, was riding his bicycle in the southbound bike lane on Vine Street near Banner Avenue at 6:30 pm on Sunday, March 3rd, when a driver opened her car door into the bike lane. The rider reportedly collided with the door and was thrown into the roadway.

LAFD paramedics responded to the scene and took the victim to a local hospital, where he died of his injuries five days later, on March 8th.

The driver is identified only as 26-year old resident of L.A. in a 2009 BMW 328i. Police cite unsafe opening of a car door as the primary cause of the collision; drugs or alcohol do not appear to have been a factor.

The press release does not mention the nature of the victim’s injuries or whether he was wearing a helmet; however, this is exactly the sort of collision in which a helmet might have made a difference. The description of the incident suggests that the victim most likely suffered head injuries as a result of hitting the pavement; falling to the street after colliding with a car door is unlikely to result in fatal injuries to other parts of the body, though it is possible.

While dooring is one of the leading causes of bicycle collisions, both here in Los Angeles and elsewhere, it seldom results in fatal injuries. In fact, of the 145 bicycling fatalities in Southern California in 2011-12, only two resulted from a rider getting hit with a car door.

This is the seventh bicycling fatality in the seven county Southern California region this year, compared to 10 this time last year, and the fourth in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his family.

Update: A bloody reminder to watch the door zone

Just got this email from Jeffrey Nerdin:

FYI – There was a bike/auto accident in front of the Skirball Center on Sepulveda Boulevard around 9:00 this morning when a motorist stopped to let a passenger out of the car while in a lane of traffic (stopped either at a stoplight or in slow traffic). The passenger in the car opened his door into the bike lane and a cyclist hit the door, shattered the window and suffered (at least) significant cuts to his face. (I arrived after the cyclist had already been loaded on the stretcher and was headed to the ambulance, but I didn’t get the impression that his injuries were life-threatening.) I don’t know the cyclist, but I see him regularly as we both commute daily by bike along Sepulveda between Ventura Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard. If you have a chance, please warn motorists and pedestrians to be very careful when crossing over or into the bike lane, either by driving, walking, or opening a door into the lane, and cyclists to avoid riding any closer than necessary to a lane of traffic. You never know what might pop out in front of you.


Photos of the collision scene by Jeffrey Nerdin.

Unfortunately, as this incident shows, cyclists risk dooring from either side.

We train ourselves to ride at least three feet to the left of parked cars — and many experts recommend five to keep out of the reach of massive SUV doors — and to watch for the brake lights, drivers or passengers inside the car and partially open doors that could suggest a door may open or a vehicle could pull out into our path.

Yet we risk dooring from the vehicles moving on our left, as well.

In that case, we must depend on them to maintain a safe distance, and check their mirrors and blind spots before pulling over or allowing passengers to get out. Because few things are as dangerous or terrifying as having a door suddenly fling open in front of you when you’ve got nowhere to go.

And as CVC 22517 makes clear, hitting a bike rider with an open door, making a rider collide with an open door or causing a collision by forcing a rider to avoid a vehicle door is virtually always the motorist’s fault.

Even though they may try to blame you. Or you happen to be riding in Santa Monica.

As the writer suggests, drivers and pedestrians should always be on the lookout for bikes on the right of the roadway. And especially where there’s a bike lane, which should always suggest the presence of bike riders, just as a crosswalk implies the possible presence of pedestrians.

Because failing to do so can have needlessly tragic results.

Let’s hope the rider makes a full and fast recovery. And the right people are held accountable.

Update: I’ve credited Jeffrey Nerdin as the person who emailed me and took the photos above, after getting permission to use his name.

A comment below provides the identity of the victim, as well as a few more details:

Rider is Roland Sunga. He blacked out for about ten minutes. Passenger driver opened door to get out of vehicle. Roland was traveling 30 mph and flew 20 ft. No time to react and that means no time to tense up which he says saved his life. Very lucky as he rides Sepulveda daily. Thank you.

LAPD doors a cyclist, CD11 candidates talk bikes and raft load of soggy bike links for a rainy few days

An LAPD cop nearly doors L.A. cyclist Weshigh — and seems incapable of saying “sorry,” let alone comprehending CVC 22517:

22517.  No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open upon the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.


The LACBC teamed with Streetsblog, LA Walks and Bikerowave to host it’s first ever political forum, a Tuesday night debate among the four leading candidates to replace bike-friendly Councilmember Bill Rosendahl in CD 11.

A special thanks to Will Wright, Government and Public Affairs Director for the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects, for moderating the event.

From left: Wright, Bonin, Hess, Bostick and Sutton

From left: Wright, Bonin, Hess, Bostick and Sutton

You can view post debate interviews with the four participating candidates — Mike Bonin, Tina Hess, Fred Sutton and Odysseus Bostick — prepared by Strteetsblog’s Damien Newton.

Although it’s pretty clear who’s got the simian vote.

The next LACBC-sponsored debate will take place in Council District 1 for the candidates to replace Councilmember Ed Reyes after the Ride Figueroa on February 10th.

If you want to get involved in bike politics in L.A. County, come to the LACBC’s Civic Engagement Committee meeting at 6:45 pm next Tuesday, January 29th at the Pitfire Pizza on Second and Main Downtown.


It just keeps on coming, as a 44-year old cyclist is seriously injured in a head-on collision in Capistrano Beach; he reportedly drifted onto the wrong side of PCH around 3 pm Wednesday.


In light of l’affaire Lance, the Times dug up this story from 1989 reporting that America’s only remaining Tour de France winner was pressured to dope by his former Dutch team. And speaking of Lance, it looks like no one really buys it; although he may — or may not — have kept one local promise.

Meanwhile, former UCI chief Hein Verbruggen confirms rumors that doping cyclists were tipped off by pro cycling’s governing body; the World Anti-Doping Agency says not so fast. Reports that pro cycling is now clean may have been just a tad premature, even if some claim it’s just an accident, while South Africa plans to retest the country’s 50 top riders.

It looks like the FBI is investigating Floyd Landis for possibly defrauding those who contributed to his defense fund. And two readers file suit against Lance because they didn’t realize his books were fiction.


Revitalizing Boulevards in Northeast L.A. Aaron Paley looks back at the birth of CicLAvia; which is hiring a new marketing manager and director of development. The Source looks at last weekend’s Tweed Ride; so does Flying Pigeon. Spreading the gospel of bikes at the King Day Parade. LADOT wants your bike photos. Here’s one we can all relate to, as Boyonabike gets harassed for riding legally. Temple City’s Rosemead Blvd gets a major makeover, even if some — or maybe just one — of the people who live on it don’t want bike lanes. CLR Effect sees the ghosts of unloved bikes. Long Beach’s Danny Gamboa brings ghost bikes to life. A cyclist is kneed to the ground by a tow truck driver after riding in the slow lane of the 405 in today’s rain.

Sign the petition — or rather, petitions — to maintain bike funding in the California budget. Coronado approves bike corrals, which are also going in across the bay in the North Park neighborhood where I used to live. Thousand Oaks will remake an intersection to improve safety for cyclists. Talk about instant karma, as a Santa Cruz driver hits a cyclist and flees before crashing into a divider and flipping his truck; the rider was hospitalized with serious injuries. A cyclist has filed suit after he was hit by a patrol car driven by an East Palo Alto police officer. Ninety days in jail for intentionally trying to run over a San Mateo bike rider; how much time do you think he would have gotten if he’d used a gun instead? A crime so nice they did it twice, as a couple is arrested for the second time for selling hot BMC bikes. It’s safer than ever to bike commute by the bay. Bike collisions spike in Chico; naturally, police blame the bike riders.

Here’s your chance to spend the summer on the road working for People for Bikes. Register now for a free webinar on strategies to move towards zero traffic deaths; I might sign up for that one myself. Despite the accusations they hurl at cyclists, drivers only pay for 51% of road costs; you and I pick up the rest. A reminder to make sure your bike lawyer really is a bike lawyer. Turns out the bikelash is a fiction of the media, at least in Seattle, where the overwhelming majority of residents support bikes despite what the local press says; the Atlantic Cities says it’s time to declare peace in the fictional war on cars. Boulder CO sets a record for their winter Bike to Work Day. Plans are in the works for bikeways to connect communities in northern Colorado; I rode everywhere on that map when I lived out that way. Ohio police seem to make up the law as they go along, declining to charge a driver who struck a cyclist because — wait for it — he wasn’t wearing a reflective vest; thanks to Rick Risemberg and Jonathan Maus of Bike Portland for the heads-up. So maybe riding a bike to the presidential inauguration wasn’t the best idea; thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the link. And in yet another city where I used to live, one  year after a cyclist was killed and another seriously injured, bike safety is still a concern in Baton Rouge LA; actually, it’s still a concern everywhere.

After a colleague is arrested for protesting the removal of a bike lane, Toronto physicians call for more bike lanes, more quickly. One writer says cyclists present the wrong image when they show up for mass protests in cycling attire, while another says if we focus on making the roads safe it won’t matter what we wear. The UK Parliament debates the future of bicycling, but questions remain whether the country’s leaders have the will to get it done; I can’t imagine Congress caring enough to even discuss the subject. As long as bike theft is ignored, Great Britain will never be a cycling nation; the same could be said on this side of the pond. How to rebuild your bike after someone backs into it. Chinese artist Ai WeiWei creates a tower of bicycles in Italy. Beijing pledges to get tough on blocked bike lanes; something every city should do — including this one.

Finally, most of us want to be seen when we ride; now there’s a bike for those who don’t, as well as a beer carrying bike designed for DUI drivers. This is what happens when a cyclist runs a red light in Shanghai; odd that no one mentions that the car that hit him ran the light, too. And Flying Pigeon demonstrates how to bunny hop a bakfiets

Breaking old news: Doored Santa Monica cyclist died over a week ago

Word broke early this morning that the cyclist who was doored in Santa Monica on June 8th has died of his injuries.

According to Santa Monica Patch, 40-year old Antonio Cortez of Los Angeles passed away on June 22nd, the same day Roger Lippman was killed in Huntington Brach.

Police continue to blame the victim for being drunk and not wearing a helmet, even though the latter is perfectly legal, if ill advised, and drunkenness cannot legally be considered the cause of a collision.

This is the 28th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 8th in Los Angeles County. Cortez’ death also marks the 8th fatality in a horrible month of June.

Thanks to Evan for the heads-up. And no thanks to SaMo authorities for failing to keep the public informed on this case.

%d bloggers like this: