Tag Archive for dooring

Weekend Links: A call for bold action on bikeways, and driver high-fives passenger after dooring bike rider

My apologies.

We haven’t been able to correct the problem with email notifications yet. So if you’re not getting emails when new posts go up, we’re working on it.

And just keep coming back each day until we get it corrected.

………

Nothing like reading an article, and finding one of your own comments cited to support the observations of one of your favorite writers.

Curbed’s Alissa Walker writes that it will take more than bike lanes to make bicycling safe, noting that while cities are “working hard to stripe streets with green lanes and helmeted stick-figure icons,” few have managed to build a continuous, protected and highly visible network of bike lanes.

She observes that US cities need to start with a grand gesture like the plan in Paris to turn a prominent riverfront highway into a grand boulevard for biking and walking, showing that biking is a “vital, valued part of Parisian street life.”

The best way to make biking safer is not to hide our bikes on a “quiet” side street, but to put them on display in the busiest part of the city—a vibrant, active, healthy city.

That’s something LA has yet to do, even though a complete network of bike lanes is called for on many of the city’s major boulevards under the new Mobility Plan.

Instead, we’ve moved the other way, removing major streets from the plan and shunting riders off onto those quieter side streets, where they won’t be seen or heard.

Or probably even ride, since that’s not where they want to go.

Which was what my comment was about.

For all the talk about LA moving past its auto-centric past into a more complete, multi-modal future, it remains just that.

Talk.

Let’s hope that the release of LA’s Vision Zero plan, which is due sometime this month, spurs some real commitment, let alone bold action, on the part of the city.

Because actions speak louder than words.

And right now, when it comes to bicycling, Los Angeles has its hands over its mouth, and fingers planted firmly in its ears.

………

Caught on Video: A Chicago driver high-fives one of her passengers after dooring a bike rider, while the cop who responds threatens the victim with a ticket for not riding in the non-existent bike lane.

……….

Pro cyclist Tom Zirbel set a new American hour record in his final act before retiring, while finishing just short of Bradley Wiggins’ world mark.

A European sports site questions whether Alberto Contador can win another Grand Tour as he jumps to the Trek-Segafredo team; two-time Giro winner Ivan Basso follows him as part of the support staff.

A look at Day One of Mammoth Mountain’s Kamikaze Bike Games.

Cycling Industry News talks with mountain bike legend and bikemaker Gary Fisher.

………

Local

Plans for a new and improved LAX include a network of bike lanes to provide safe access to the airport, which currently is extremely unwelcoming for cyclists.

Streetsblog looks at the new report calling for mobility sharing to help remove 100,000 vehicles from LA’s streets in just five years.

CiclaValley goes on a bike date with fellow bicycling parent LA Bike Dad.

The Border Grill’s Mary Sue Milliken writes about riding 300 miles in three days with 100 other chefs to help ensure no kid goes hungry.

Santa Monica Next asks six candidates for SaMo city council about the last time they walked or rode a bicycle.

A Pasadena councilmember asks LA Mayor Garcetti to help kill the much-hated 710 Freeway extension, saying the money would be better spent on a north-south boulevard, more bike lanes and widening other nearby north-south streets.

Bike SGV hosts a women-only bike ride to the Alhambra Farmer’s Market today.

Cycling in the South Bay discovers that most Palos Verdes Estates residents don’t actually hate cyclists, despite the impression given on unsocial media.

 

State

Construction begins on a four-year project to add bike lanes to the Bay Area’s Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

An Oakland driver took bike jacking to the extreme, running down a bike rider with his car, then driving off with his bicycle.

An Op-Ed in the UC Berkeley paper says the city must unite to support bike-friendly street designs.

A passing CHP bike cop helped save the life of a 30-year old Sacramento woman when she collapsed with a heart attack while playing kickball.

 

National

Bicycling explains how a pedal strike can, in fact, start a wildfire. Which is not that different from starting one with a careless swing of a titanium golf club.

An electric vehicle website finds what they consider the perfect bike rack for your new Tesla. Other than obscuring the license plate, which is illegal in most, if not all, states.

Las Vegas Magazine says there’s no shortage of great riding around the gambling mecca.

File this one under you’ve got to be kidding. A state senator from Queens NY says the city should keep cyclists safe by installing traffic signals instead of bike lanes. Never mind that, despite his assertions, bike lanes have been studied and reviewed by the city, and proven to improve safety.

New York cyclists turn out in force to demand safer streets and increase police reforms under Vision Zero.

A Maryland bike thief traded up, breaking into a garage to take a Trek hybrid, and leaving a Huffy in its place.

 

International

Britain’s bike-riding countess is planning a 450-mile palace to palace ride.

An English physician says ebikes really are good for you and your wallet.

British police go undercover on bicycles to nab drivers making unsafe passes; motorists are given the choice of prosecution or a 15-minute lesson in how to pass a bicyclist safely. Thanks to Ed Ryder for the heads-up.

Penalties are going up for drivers in the UK who use their phones behind the wheel.

A Scottish farmer was fined for camouflaging a pipe running across a roadway after a bike rider was injured when he crashed into it.

The lawyer for a meth-using Aussie driver says it wasn’t really her fault that she killed a cyclist, because she might have been taking a nap at the time.

 

Finally…

You, too, can operate your own pop-up pedal-based bike bar. Are you really a pro cyclist if you have to pay to join the team, let alone actually race?

And why rush your pregnant wife to the hospital in a speeding car when you can go by cargo bike?

 

Morning Links: No lawsuit in Piven dooring, Brandt-Sorenson gets slap on wrist, and Russian road rage abduction

In a surreal LA moment, the bike rider injured in a dooring by actor Jeremy Piven says he recognized the actor as he was falling to the pavement.

Surprisingly, though, the victim says he’s not going to sue because Piven was so helpful after the crash.

Although that may change once a lawyer explains the concept of “deep pockets.”

………

His attorney may call it a “significant sentence,” but LA cyclist Nick Brandt-Sorenson, aka Thorfinn-Sassquatch, barely got a caress on the wrist at his sentencing for selling performance-enhancing drugs over the internet.

He could have been sentenced to up to a year in prison, but instead received just three years probation and a $5,000 fine, along 300 hours of community service.

Yes, that’s a lot of time in an orange vest picking up trash. But if he keeps his nose clean, he won’t spend a single day behind bars.

And he gets to keep all his Strava KOMs.

………

Caught on video: The question is, just what the hell is going on, after what appears to be a road rage assault on a Russian cyclist ends with the attackers being abducted by masked gunmen. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

………

The Cannibal says Chris Froome can’t be beaten in this year’s Tour de France.

Bicycling examines a day in the life of a Tour de France cyclist, while Cycling Weekly looks at five super-domestiques who have delivered for their team leaders during the Tour. Bora-Argon 18 rider Shane Archbold withdrew with a broken pelvis after a high-speed fall on Wednesday, but finished the stage before realizing he was injured.

Nineteen-year old Chloe Dygert has been tapped to round out the US women’s pursuit team after winning the junior road race and time trial at last year’s worlds. US time trial champ Taylor Phinney will represent the men after his amazing comeback from a devastating injury.

And here’s a step-by-step guide to get into women’s road racing, so you can compete in the 2020 Olympics. Unless you’re not a woman, of course.

………

Local

EGP News offers a reminder that a one-mile stretch of the LA River bike path near the Griffith Park Zoo will remain closed for construction for the next three years.

Pasadena has received a $3 million Metro grant to build a two-way cycle track on Union Street, the first of ten planned bicycle corridors through the city.

A Wisconsin couple made it to Santa Monica after riding 2,600 miles across the US on a tandem.

Streetsblog affiliate Santa Monica Next will host a fundraising cocktail party on Saturday, July 30th.

Santa Clarita suffered a net loss of $132,000 in hosting a stage of the Amgen Tour of California this year; however, a study of the 2008 ToC showed the race generated a $1.9 million economic impact for the local area, which this year’s race probably exceeded.

 

State

The San Diego Union Tribune says the city’s bikeshare program could use a push, but no public subsidies. So billions of dollars to subsidize motor vehicles is okay, but a few million to help get people out of their cars isn’t.

A Fontana cop discusses how cars and bikes can share the road. And gets it right.

Goleta votes to build a one-mile median-protected bike lane, replacing an existing painted lane.

Caltrans recommends lowering the speed limit by 5 mph near a Lompoc homeless shelter where a man was killed earlier this year. Although chances are, he’d be just as dead if he’d been hit at 50 mph as he was at 55 mph.

A bighearted Salinas cop splits the cost of a new bike with the local Walmart to replace one stolen from a young man who volunteers with foster children.

 

National

Streetsblog calls the GOP Transportation Platform a disaster, including a plank to eliminate all funding for transit and active transportation.

A new mini-bike trailer sleeps four and unfolds in minutes. Thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the heads-up.

A Seattle hospital gets multiple sclerosis patients out on adaptive bicycles, sometimes for the first time in years.

Tucson develops a master plan for a network of bike boulevards through 63 residential corridors. LA has a mobility plan calling for the same thing, but that doesn’t mean they’ll actually build it.

A ghost bike was installed at the Idaho site where a Bike and Build rider was killed recently. Although the local press oddly called it an Angel Bike; maybe they don’t believe in ghosts.

A Wisconsin writer recalls a 250-mile bike trip across the state in the ‘70s, which could have ended badly except for the kindness of a stranger.

The FBI has joined the search for an Ohio college student who went missing Tuesday night; her bike was found in a cornfield later that night.

A trio of Vermont teenagers will ride 500 miles to raise funds to fight Duchenne muscular dystrophy; they’ve already raised $15,000 in pledges before starting their ride. A subject close to my heart; the son of a long-time friend is battling Duchennes.

The owner of North Carolina’s First Flight Bicycles, as well as the Mountain Goat Cycles brand, was killed by a drunk driver Wednesday while walking across a street.

 

International

The Canadian resort town of Banff is lowering speed limits and building a short, two-way bicycling greenway to improve safety and encourage more transportation riding.

For a change, the British press is justifiably appalled when a salmon cyclist jumped a red light with his nine-year old son on his handlebars.

Life is cheap in Wales, where a tractor driver was fined a whopping £80 — the equivalent of $105 — for killing a 72-year old bike rider.

A new $3,500 Italian smart bike features a 96-decible horn that’s as loud as some train whistles. Which has to be as painful to the person using it as it is to everyone within earshot.

A Kiwi truck driver was convicted of killing a bike rider for the second time in less than 10 years. Let’s hope the court gets him off the road before he goes for three.

 

Finally…

Evidently, bears really are out to get us. If you’re going to rob a bank, wear a helmet, but don’t ditch your getaway bike; unless maybe it wasn’t yours to begin with, of course.

And this is what you’d look like if humans had evolved to survive car crashes.

 

Morning Links: Actor doors bike rider, PCH cyclist seriously injured in Malibu crash, and the science of bicycling

Did an actor get special treatment from the LAPD?

In a story that seems to have made news everywhere — except right here in Los Angeles — actor Jeremy Piven allegedly doored a bike rider when he flung his car door open without looking after parking his Cadillac near the Grove.

Yet despite the rider suffering a serious chest injury, Piven escaped without so much as a ticket because the police didn’t see it happen.

Even though CVC 22517 makes it clear that it is the driver’s responsibility to open a door only when it is safe to do so.

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 on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.

Which means that if the rider was hit by the door, the driver was at fault.

Whether or not anyone saw it.

………

A bicyclist suffered major injuries in a crash on PCH in West Malibu Wednesday afternoon; the rider reportedly lost control and swerved into the path of a pickup in the northbound traffic lane. Thanks to James Johnson for the heads-up.

………

Great piece from Scientific American relates the story of the researcher who finally unlocked the secrets of why a bicycle remains upright and able to balance itself even without a rider; next on his agenda is trying to solve the terrifying speed wobble.

Meanwhile, physics suggests that stopping and starting with both feet on the pedals is more efficient than pushing off with your foot.

………

A Chinese bike rider somehow miraculously dodges a barrel-rolling van.

………

Twenty-four-year old Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe is making an impact at the Tour de France, while Nairo Quintana is unexpectedly struggling. Five riders could still make the podium in Paris, but no matter what happens behind him, Froome seems to keep his hold on the yellow jersey.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner says claims that Froome’s Team Sky is dominating the race thanks to marginal gains is “bollocks.”

Peter Sagan will be the world’s best paid pro cyclist after jumping teams next year; he’s reportedly earn $6.6 million. He’s worth it in movie take-off videos alone.

………

Local

Investing in Place calls Metro’s upcoming transportation ballot measure a huge leap for walking and biking in Los Angeles County, while recapping just what advocates were able to win in negotiations over the measure.

Streetsblog interviews CicLAvia Executive Director Romel Pascual.

KPCC examines whether it’s better to ride a bike or drive in polluted air.

CiclaValley reminds us that the annual Tour de Laemmle rolls this Sunday.

An employee with the LADOT Bikeways Program describes her multimodal commute to work.

LA cyclist Nick Brandt-Sorenson, aka Strava’s Thorfinn-Sassquatch, was due to be sentenced Wednesday to up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine for peddling performance-enhancing drugs, just days after receiving a lifetime ban from US cycling’s governing body.

The Daily News says you’re a step closer to being able to ride your bike from Canoga Park to Griffith Park. Only one of which actually is one.

 

State

Bikeshare and ebikes factor into California’s aggressive zero emissions goals.

New bike lanes are planned for West Newport Beach, along with improvements to sidewalks and landscaping to encourage people to walk and bike.

Garden Grove’s draft Active Transportation Plan envisions a city where cars, bikes and pedestrians can move in harmony.

Authorities say 25-year old Zachariah Doll was wearing dark clothing, had no lights or reflectors on his bike and was riding salmon when he was killed in an early morning collision in the Riverside County town of Winchester last week.

A San Francisco survey shows most drivers want protected bike lanes, too.

Calbike is hiring a Communications Director to work in their Oakland office.

Pleasanton cyclists call on the city to improve a dangerous intersection where a 72-year old woman was killed recently while riding in the crosswalk.

Redding police arrest a junkie bank robber who tried to make his escape by BMX bike.

 

National

A new report from NACTO says that as cities build bike infrastructure, the rate of bicycling goes up while the risk to riders goes down.

If you build it, they will come. A real estate website says the belief that Millennials are eschewing suburbs ain’t necessarily so — as long as those suburbs have good sidewalks and bike lanes.

An 81-year old Denver driver who kept driving after fatally striking a 14-year old boy standing in a bike lane was still allowed to behind the wheel despite a previous hit-and-run last year — even though family members promised she wouldn’t drive anymore. It’s up to family members to keep older drivers off the road when they can no longer drive safely, since the government is unable, or unwilling, to do it.

Apparently, a Dallas bank was robbed by a bike-riding pirate.

Apparently taking a cue from Donald Trump, Skokie IL will allow residents to build fences up to ten feet high along a new bike path. No word on whether Mexico will pay for it, however.

Atlantic City police arrested an alleged serial hit-and-run driver for DUI after he crashed into a street sign, followed by a cyclist, followed by a car, before finally coming to rest after striking a toll booth. Fortunately, the bike rider only suffered bruises; no word on whether the sign, car and toll booth survived.

A New York driver faces 136 years behind bars for killing one man and injuring two others when he smashed into a business at 50 mph while high on meth; a bike rider was also injured by flying debris.

When Charleston SC approves a controversial bike lane over a local bridge, the local paper approves of their approval.

Bighearted Alabama cops buy a new bicycle for a child after he unintentionally bought a stolen bike with his $7 allowance.

Only 850 miles of the planned 3,000-mile East Coast Greenway are currently ready to ride; plans are for 95% of the off-road bike path to be completed by 2030.

 

International

Bikes are enjoying a renaissance and bridging class barriers in Santiago, Chile.

Vancouver finally rolls out a delayed and truncated bikeshare system, with just 260 of the promised 1,500 bikes currently ready to ride.

Like bikes that pass in the night, a single speed cyclist seeks a fixie rider she met under the Thames.

More anti-bike sabotage in the UK, as someone strung fishing wire neck high over a popular Belfast bike trail.

An Indian computer professor was forced to abandon a long-distance bike tour across the country due to illness after riding 2,200 miles in 23 days.

Singapore becomes the next city to embrace bikeshare with a 1,000-bike system using 100 docking stations.

 

Finally…

Call it Fifty Shades of Bicycles. Don’t ride your bike off a cliff into the ocean, bro.

And if you’re carrying stolen credit cards and a meth pipe on your bike, ride your damn bike on the right side of the road.

Seriously.

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.

Phelps-Bike-InfoGraphic

……..

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.

HPimage004

 

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.

Delete.

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.

%d bloggers like this: