Tag Archive for Foothill Blvd

Morning Links: Multi-tool bars Streetsblog editor from Metro meeting, and Lyft re-envisions Wilshire Blvd

Streetsblog editor Joe Linton was kept out of a Metro meeting to discuss the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor Project until he agreed to throw his “dangerous” multi-tool and wrenches into the trash.

And was told he could fish them out after the meeting — after one of the security officers dumped coffee into it.

Just another sign of how bike riders are treated in this city.

Never mind how easy it would have been for someone, anyone, to agree to hold them for him until he came back out. Or just how stupid it is to talk about encouraging bicycling, while actively discouraging bicyclists.

And never mind the kneejerk opposition he found to including bikes in the project once he finally got inside the Metro meeting.

Photo from LA Streetsblog.

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Lyft envisions a redesigned Wilshire Blvd that reduces the street’s 10 spacious lanes down to just three narrow one, along with dedicated bus lanes, to show what life could be like in a world of shared, self-driving vehicles.

The plan also includes wider, park-like sidewalks and protected bike lanes.

The company says the narrowed street could accommodate twice as many road users and carry four times as many people as it currently does.

Wilshire capacity before redesign

Wilshire capacity after redesign. Charts from CNN

No word on whether the forces attempting to roll back road diets in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey plan to recall the president of Lyft or file suit to stop the concept while it’s still in the vaporware stage.

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A report on KABC-790 radio says evacuees fleeing the La Tuna fire earlier this month were delayed due to traffic jams caused by the road diets on Foothill Blvd. Although it’s surprising they would have been so surprised by changes that were made five months ago.

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Three-time US Olympic track cyclist Sarah Hammer retired at age 34, ending a career that began with her first junior title 22 years ago.

Next year’s Giro d’Italia will start just a little outside the country in the ancient Roman suburb called Jerusalem.

It’s official. Scottish cyclist Mark Beaumont rode around the world in less than 80 days, finishing in 78 days, 14 hours and 40 minutes — smashing the previous record by 44 days.

A memorial was unveiled in the English hometown of fallen cyclist Tom Simpson to mark the 50th anniversary of his death on the slopes of Mont Ventoux during the 1967 Tour de France.

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Local

An Op-Ed in the LA Times calls the cars the third rail of California politics, saying people will revolt if you slow them down or make driving more expensive. Which, as we’ve seen recently, is all too true.

Pasadena’s Art Center in planning a bikeway inspired by the historic California Cycleway to connect its separated campuses.

Parisian haute couture menswear brand Berluti has opened in Beverly Hills, with a made-to-order bespoke bicycle among the shop’s offerings.

Simon Cowell is one of us, as he goes bike riding with his family in the former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills, which is finally starting to show some promise.

Curbed calls the Marvin Braude Bike Path through Santa Monica LA’s most beautiful bike path, even though the Santa Monica section is actually in… wait for it… Santa Monica. I’ve heard the beachfront bike path called many things in my many years here, but never The Strand.

The South Bay’s Easy Reader News looks at the controversy over Vista del Mar and the Playa del Rey lane reductions, albeit from a mostly windshield perspective.

Long Beach police are looking for a bike-riding scumbag who’s been exposing himself to underage girls.

 

State

UberEats will now be delivering some of their food orders by bicycle in San Diego.

This is why you shouldn’t chase a bike thief yourself. A pair of Visalia men nearly got shot by a bike thief after they chased him down when they saw him take a bike from their garage.

A Modesto Op-Ed calls for greater enforcement of bike safety laws, especially California’s too-often ignored three-foot passing law

The International Cycling Safety Conference in Davis will explore how smart city technology can help make urban areas more bicycle friendly.

A homeless Redding woman was stabbed by another homeless woman following an argument as the victim was riding along a canal.

Eureka police are looking for a fleeing DUI suspect who hijacked a woman’s bike at gunpoint, before trading down by jacking a car as he rode her bike through a mall parking lot.

 

National

Bicycling talks with cyclists who credit their helmets with saving their skulls.

Seattle permanently removed a traffic lane on a downtown street to make room for protected bike lanes. Despite mixed opinions, no politicians appear to have been recalled and no one’s filed suit to stop it yet, unlike a certain SoCal city we could name.

Bicycle Retailer says this week’s Interbike show in Las Vegas is still the best way for smaller brands to get noticed.

A popular Colorado man was found shot and killed three days after he disappeared while on a bike ride this past Thursday; police are treating the case as a homicide.

Counter protesters interrupted a press conference by a New York state legislator who wants to halt plans to install a protected bike lane on a deadly Queens boulevard.

 

International

A new study shows triathletes face twice the risk of dropping dead during a competition as marathon runners, with the greatest risk occurring during the swimming leg of the race.

Brakeless fixie-rider Charlie Alliston has been sentenced to 18 months after being convicted of wanton and furious driving for killing a London woman as she was crossing the street. Thanks to Allyson Vought and John McBrearty for the heads-up.

Caught on video: Nothing like a little no-hands dab and dance while riding on a British street.

British bike historian Carlton Reid examines why the country’s most bike-friendly urban design failed to encourage bicycling; short answer, they made it too easy to drive.

Bicycling deaths and serious injuries are down 20% since UK police began an undercover operation to catch drivers passing too close to bicyclists. Maybe that will convince the LAPD to finally give it a try.

Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland, will receive the equivalent of nearly $30 million dollars to convert their city centers to bike-friendly mini-Hollands.

German police are looking for a cyclist who interfered with rescue personnel to film a dying motorcyclist, rather than offering assistance before paramedics arrived as the law requires. Seriously, WTF is wrong with some people?

An Australian news site looks at what happens in the aftermath of a bicycling collision, including the obvious observation that it’s always the person on the bike who loses.

Aussie authorities blame tourists using GPS devices for a crash that injured a bike rider. So naturally, social media blames the people on two wheels.

Caught on video two: A dog sits upright in the saddle behind a bike-riding girl in an undisclosed Asian country, with its paws wrapped around her waist like a child trying to hold on.

 

Finally…

Who needs motor doping when you can just fire up the afterburners. Or maybe just let hurricane-force winds give you a gentle little nudge.

And now you, too, can own your very own Beastie.

Unless you’d rather ride a bike made of whisky casks.

 

Morning Links: The unholy battle over road diets in City of Angels, free range kids on bikes, and JuJu is one of us

LA’s bruising street fight is starting to get international attention, as World Magazine looks at the battle over road diets in Los Angeles. And has the good taste to quote yours truly.

Meanwhile, the battle to undo those road diets has spread east, where a petition calls for removing the bike lanes and bollards on deadly Foothill Blvd, as well as Sunland Blvd.

As of this writing, it had garnered over a thousand signatures. Not to mention a lively, if somewhat misinformed and frightening, debate on the local Next Door.

And someone should tell them those bollards are flexible, and can be driven over in case of an emergency.

Thanks to Doug Moore for the heads-up. Road diet photos from the USDOT Federal Highway Administration website.

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Speaking of debates, David Wolfberg forwards one from the Free Range Kids site asking if kids are learning to ride their bikes at an older age. Or maybe not at all.

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Former USC and current Pittsburgh Steelers star JuJu Smith-Schuster is one of us.

https://twitter.com/TeamJuJu/status/904857339827597313

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Don’t try this at home. A hi-viz clad Aussie salmon cyclist decides to make a sudden U-turn across, and through, three lanes of oncoming traffic.

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The lead stays the same, if a little less so, following a brutal climb in the Vuelta. Cycling Weekly offers five talking points from the stage.

More carnage from the Tour of Britain, where several riders crashed into the back of a car parked on the race course. Meanwhile, two cyclists have been disqualified for riding on the sidewalk to attack the peloton.

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Local

In the latest settlement due to LA’s crappy roads, the city council voted to pay a Sherman Oaks bike rider $6.5 million for injuries suffered when he hit a pothole on Valley Vista Blvd. Money that could have been much better spent trying to prevent crashes like this in the first place.

Bono tells KROQ that Brandon Flowers of The Killers is one of us, after he wiped out on his bike like the U2 front man did awhile back.

CiclaValley questions whether the planned East Valley Transit Corridor will underwhelm cyclists and the Valley alike.

Not only will Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles measure your butt to find the perfect saddle, they’ll also keep a digital record of your nether regions stored for future reference. At least when someone builds a statue of me after I’m gone, they’ll have a perfect record of my ass.

 

State

The San Diego Union-Tribune offers an in-depth look at the removal of 15 beachfront bikeshare stations.

A Calabasas letter writer says the purpose of a planned bike lane is solely for safety, not recreational riding.

Caught on video: The local paper offers a thrilling — and bouncy — firsthand view of mountain biking down the highest peak in San Luis Obispo County. Meanwhile, a local man  goes on an epic 3,500 word rant accusing San Luis Obispo of “ramming a bicycle freeway” through an unwilling neighborhood, destroying residents’ quality of life and apparently ending life as we know it.

A Ceres man leaves a note thanking the cop who arrested him, saying he needs help after he was busted for meth while riding a stolen bicycle.

Santa Clara County’s $6 billion transportation project is on hold, thanks to a single woman who is suing to stop the whole thing to protect an ancient aquifer under a planned BART station. As opposed to all those modern aquifers, evidently.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Portola driver won’t be charged, despite being found at fault for plowing head-on into a group of cyclists last month, injuring six people.

 

National

When an Albuquerque street turned out to be narrower than expected, planners naturally responded by narrowing the bike lane while leaving the spacious traffic lanes intact.

An admitted Massachusetts gang member accuses police officers of harassment after he was stopped for riding without a helmet, which isn’t illegal, and riding salmon, which is.

Next time you’re in New York, take a 38-mile bike tour around Manhattan.

A Jersey Shore bike rider won a $1.58 million judgment after she was struck by the driver of a city-owned vehicle.

 

International

Residents of a Canadian town complain that bicyclists continue to ride abreast in the traffic lane, instead of single file in the new, apparently substandard bike lane. Just a thought: If you want bicyclists to actually use it, don’t build a crappy, poorly marked gutter bike lane in the first place.

Let’s see if I’ve got this one right. After she’s released from prison two years early for the drunken death of a bike rider, an English woman gets drunk at a concert, and proceeds to punch a stranger who told her boyfriend to stop peeing on the woman sitting in front of him.

Britain’s prime minister says the country may consider new laws to target dangerous cycling, after a woman was killed by an out-of-control fixie rider. Meanwhile, no charges are expected after a British bike rider was killed when a “reckless” pedestrian stepped in front of him; in fact, there’s currently no law against wanton walking. And unlike the bike case, no plans to create one, either.

A cyclist in the UK says horses don’t belong on modern roads, sounding just like the drivers who say the same thing about bicyclists.

The mayor of Paris plans to make it the world’s most bikeable city.

Riding the boardwalk on the Israeli coast from Tel Aviv to Jaffa.

An Aussie writer calls for relaxing the country’s strict bike helmet law, because he says we need more cyclists.

Caught on video too: Seriously, don’t run a red light right next to a Kiwi motorcycle cop. Or better yet, just don’t run red lights, period.

 

Finally…

Enjoy your Yellowstone ride, but keep your distance from the bears and wolves — and the bison. Nothing like having your bike crash recorded for posterity on Google street view.

And it’s probably more credible to claim you’re not a violent man if you don’t get caught on video threatening to follow a cyclist and fuck his life.

I’m just saying.

 

Morning Links: $4.5 million settlement in broken street death, new laws aren’t helping OC, and windshield bias in CD7

LA’s poorly maintained streets and lack of safe bicycling infrastructure will cost taxpayers $4.5 million dollars.

And cost a bike rider his life.

The city council agreed to a settlement in the 2014 case of Edgardo Gabat, who struck a two-inch ridge of concrete on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, and was thrown over his handlebars.

Sadly, the city knew about the problem after other riders had been injured there, but failed to fix it. Yet continued to list Colorado as a bicycle-friendly street, despite a lack of any bicycling infrastructure or warning signs.

As the LA Times points out, this settlement comes as Los Angeles debates whether to invest Measure M local return funds in fixing the streets or supporting Vision Zero projects.

Clearly, both are necessary. Because sometimes, it’s the same thing.

And as large as this settlement is, I have a feeling Gabat’s family would gladly give it all back just to have him with them again.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from David Whiting of the Orange County Register, who says new laws and thousands of dollars spent improving safety haven’t cut the county’s bicycling death toll, averaging one rider a month killed in traffic collisions.

Yes, he stresses the need for bike riders to be polite and obey the law. And he’s not wrong about that, although no one ever seems to suggest that every driver has to obey all the laws and be ambassadors for motoring.

But he does point the finger where it belongs, at distracted drivers and dangerously close passes that violate the state’s three-foot law. And notes that fines for littering exceed the penalty for nearly killing another human being with just inches to spare.

The kicker to the story, which ends with a call for Wednesday’s Ride of Silence, is that his own wife returned home from a ride as he was writing it, and reported that a man in a truck yelled an obscenity at her.

Which really shouldn’t surprise anyone, unfortunately.

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Streetsblog considers the new protected bike lanes on Foothill Blvd in Sunland-Tujunga, which were installed as a Vision Zero measure in response to the death of bike rider Jeff Knopp. And how they entered the debate between CD7 council candidates Karo Torossian and Monica Rodriguez, as the formerly bike-friendly Torossian offered a windshield-perspective comment about bike lanes being “rammed down our throats.”

Meanwhile, the Eastsider repeats questions for the candidates for CD1, and once again, gets crickets from incumbent Gil Cedillo.

For all the problems that have surfaced recently with Joe Bray-Ali, it’s hard to imagine he could be any less responsive or more out-of-touch with the district than Cedillo has been.

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This is why you don’t retaliate against drivers, no matter what they do or how pissed off you are.

A Santa Clarita man was sentenced to 188 days behind bars for throwing a bottle at a car after the driver apparently cut him off as he rode his bike on the sidewalk.

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CNN visits the Madonna del Ghisallo chapel above Lake Como in Italy and its shrine to cycling and the Giro d’Italia.

A major crash took down 50 riders in the Giro, sending a number of riders out of the race and into the hospital. Meanwhile, Vincenzo Nibali’s homecoming was ruined when one of his teammates got the cycling equivalent of a red card for shoving another rider off the road.

The Modesto Bee previews the Amgen Tour of California, which starts this weekend, and says keep an eye on Peter Sagan. French rider Julian Alaphilippe won’t be defending his title, or competing in the Tour de France, for that matter, after knee surgery knocks him out for at least four weeks.

Southern California’s Coryn Rivera returns to compete in the four-stage women’s Tour of California after becoming the first American the Tour of Flanders; full rosters were released for the women’s teams.

The course for this summer’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix will go backwards.

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Local

Metro invites you to attend the grand opening of the long-awaited Hollywood Bike Hub on Friday the 19th at 9 am.

CiclaValley looks at last weekend’s NBA Reunion and BMX Bike Show, which oddly had nothing to do with basketball.

The LACBC will be hosting a pair of bike safety classes in Inglewood this afternoon and this evening.

The Bikerowave bike co-op invites you to bring your bike in on Saturday to get ready for Bike to Work Day, and score some swag from Metro.

Santa Monica gets serious about reducing traffic fatalities, including hiring a Vision Zero Czar, increasing funding, improving infrastructure, updating the bike action plan, and addressing the city’s speeding problem. Maybe LA could take a few hints from them.

The year’s first Redondo Beach TEDx talk addresses the city’s transportation issues, like how to reduce driving and where more bike lanes are needed; sadly, the discussion came just two days before a 13-year old girl was killed riding her bike along PCH.

Speaking of the young victim in that case, the Easy Reader News offers the most complete account yet of what happened that tragic night, and the heartbreaking impact Ciara Smith’s death has had on the community. If the story doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, you’re a stronger person than I am.

Long Beach approved plans for a new 2.5 mile bicycle boulevard in the southeast part of the city. Thus demonstrating to its much larger neighbor that it is in fact possible to build the things that are included in a city’s bike plan.

 

State

Good question. The Human Streets website asks if it’s possible to get the data needed to pass the Idaho Stop Law in California without actually trying it first.

An injured mountain biker was airlifted after falling off his bike at the top of Coyote Run Trail in Wood Canyons Wilderness Park near Laguna Nigel.

Laguna Beach is looking for more input to create a more inviting entrance to the city, including a multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists.

Cal State Fullerton police are looking for a bike-riding man who threatened to kill a woman who rejected his sexual comments.

Newport Beach boldly backs out of plans to improve safety on Bayside Drive, canceling plans for a roundabout, as well as an alternate plan for a road diet. Because obviously, you don’t want to do anything to save lives if it might possibly inconvenience someone.

Sixteen bike repair stations will be installed at fire stations throughout Ventura County over the next year; a 10-mile family friendly ride will be held on Monday to celebrate the first one.

Bakersfield police are still investigating a member of a prominent local farming family in the January hit-and-run death of a woman riding her bike; police found an empty vodka bottle in the SUV of the driver, who has at least one previous DUI.

A Bay Area TV station offers advise on what you need to start cycling, albeit from a strict roadie perspective.

 

National

A new study shows increasing bicycling infrastructure can reduce fatalities and severe injuries as much as 75%. It includes Los Angeles as an example, even though LA has drastically cut back on building bikeways, and largely forgotten its 2010 bike plan.

People for Bikes says living plants make great diverters and traffic calming measures while doubling as on-street storm drainage.

Oregon considers a new 4% – 5% excise tax on the sale of new bicycles to fund transportation projects; while bike advocates may not like the idea, they’re not going to the mattresses.

Chicago is about to get its first contraflow bike lane, on a road where people frequently ride salmon to avoid busier streets.

As we mentioned awhile back, Pittsburgh-based ultracycling legend Danny Chew is back on track towards his goal of riding one million miles in his lifetime, now using a handcycle after a crash that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Hundreds of police officers are riding from New Jersey to DC for the annual Police Unity Tour to honor officers killed in the line of duty.

The homeless man who stabbed a Connecticut man to death as he neared the end of a ride to Miami to propose to his girlfriend won’t stand trial after being declared incompetent by the judge.

 

International

A writer for Cycling Tips says there’s no such thing as “just” a concussion, and every brain injury has to be taken seriously. I concur, from experience.

London’s Telegraph shares ten cycling routes you should tackle on your next trip to the UK.

After former three-time Tour de France champ Chris Froome was intentionally hit by a car while training in France, the BBC asks how safe the roads in the UK really are for people on bikes.

The Guardian says police have to crack down on vicious drivers, because bike riders don’t deserve to be killed by bike-hating motorists for jumping lights or hopping curbs.

Caught on video: Yesterday we mentioned the road raging London mother-to-be who will be having her baby behind bars after running a bike rider off the road and into a tree; today, horrifying security cam video of the crash was released. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

A Dutch art student left her bike in an English town when she returned home, with a note encouraging people to use it and return it for others to use.

The Paris Velib bikeshare goes electric with a new operator, ebikes and a new parking scheme that doubles dock capacity.

 

Finally…

The best way to lose a race — and get laughed at — is to celebrate your victory a lap early. Unless it’s nearly getting run over by the peloton posing for your Instagram pics.

And if you’re going to flee the scene after a drunken crash, make sure the cyclist you hit wasn’t a bike cop.

They take that shit seriously.

 

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!

 

Update: Bike rider killed in Sunland crash; second rider killed on Foothill Blvd in less than a week

Yet another bike rider has been killed on deadly Foothill Blvd.

Just days after a bicyclist was killed on Foothill Blvd in Pacoima, another rider has lost his life in a crash just five miles away in Sunland.

According to the Daily News, a man was struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle on a 9100 block of Foothill Blvd at 5:15 pm Tuesday.

The victim, who has been identified only as a man approximately 60 years old, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver remained at the scene.

No other information is available at this time.

A street view shows a wide road with two lanes in each direction and a center turn lane, with a 40 mph speed limit and no bike lanes.

This is the 67th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 27th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the ninth in the City of Los Angeles. And this is the fourth bicyclist killed on Foothill Blvd in just the last three years.

Update: According to the LAPD, the victim, who has still not been publicly identified, was struck from behind while riding on the eastbound shoulder of Foothill Blvd.

The driver remained at the scene and called for help. He or she was found at fault for the crash, and the case will be presented to the DA’s office to determine if charges will be filed. 

Update 2: The victim has been identified as Jeffrey Knopp.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jeffrey Knopp and his loved ones. 

Bike rider killed in Pacoima collision Wednesday night

The LAPD is reporting that a bike rider was killed in a collision in Pacoima late last night.

According to the press release, the victim was crossing Foothill Blvd mid-block between Van Nuys Blvd and Carl Street around 11:10 pm when a driver headed south on Foothill struck the back of his bike.

The rider, who has not been publicly identified, was thrown a considerable distance by the force of the impact, coming to rest in the center of the roadway. He was taken to Holy Cross Hospital with injuries to his head and upper torso, where he was pronounced dead at 11:36.

The Daily News reports police estimate he was 39 years old.

The driver remained at the scene and was cooperating with investigators. The force of the impact would suggest the driver may have been traveling faster than the posted 35 mph speed limit.

There’s no word on whether the victim had lights and reflectors on his bicycle, which should have made him visible as he crossed the street.

Anyone with information is urged to call Valley Traffic Division Office Martinez at 818/644-8032 or Det. III Bustos at 818/644-8021.

This is the 65th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, the 26th in LA County and the eighth in the City of Los Angeles. He also the third bicyclist killed on Foothill Blvd in the last three years, which suggests a need for significant safety improvements.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

lapd-pacoima-bike-death

Details on the August death of cyclist and scientist Doug Caldwell; driver walks with no ticket or charges

For months, it’s been one of the mysteries of L.A. cycling.

Late last August, word slowly broke that a popular cyclist and leading scientist had been killed while riding to work, and his companion injured.

Then nothing.

No news coverage. No additional information. Not one single mention in the local media. And nothing about what happened, or why.

For weeks afterwards, Google’s seemingly infinite well of information came up dry, returning only the story I’d written myself. Had it not been for a brief Facebook comment from the man who’d been riding with him, I might have questioned whether it actually happened.

However, I received confirmation from a number of sources, publicly and privately, that the information I’d reported was true. I held back one piece of information I’d received privately, though; I was told that Caldwell was married to KCRW host Chery Glaser, but because the family had not come forward, I left that out to respect their privacy.

Since then, people have come to my site almost every day looking for more information about what happened, and every few weeks I’d get an email asking for details.

And every time, I’d have to send my apologies, because I didn’t know any more than I did before.

Last weekend, though, I received an email from LAPD Sgt. David Krumer, who’d been asked to look into the matter by Colin Bogart, LACBC PLACE Grant Coordinator in the City of Glendale; evidently, he’d been getting the same requests for information that I had.

And after answering them, he forwarded the information to me, as well.

The driver of the vehicle was traveling eastbound on Foothill Blvd at approx 7:10 a.m. on 08/20/2010  He rear-ended Doug and another cyclist.  It appears he was going the speed limit but too fast for given conditions.  The driver indicated that he had the sun in his eyes and did not see the cyclists.  If glare was an issue then even if he was going the speed limit he was traveling at an unsafe speed and therefore he was in violation of 22350 VC (Basic Speed Law).  The driver was not cited because we can not write a ticket for a violation we did not observe.  The driver was not arrested as there was no evidence that a crime occurred.  Doug died the following day from massive head trauma.  The other cyclist had scrapes and abrasions with the most serious injury being the loss of some front teeth.

Right there, amid the dry details of the tragedy, you’ll find one of the biggest problems cyclists face on our streets.

There’s no shortage of laws already in place to protect us on the roads. But most are unenforceable unless a police officer actually witnesses the infraction. And while they can clearly conclude after the fact what violations occurred, there’s not a damn thing they can do about it unless the infraction rises to the level of a crime.

Sgt. Krumer goes on to note that the collision occurred on a clear day, and the riders were properly positioned in the right-hand lane. And while the driver failed to see two adult cyclists, he had not been drinking and wasn’t using a cell phone at the time of the collision.

And yes, they verified that.

And while it’s commonly assumed that a driver who hits someone else from behind is almost always at fault, that refers to civil liability, rather than criminal culpability. So even though the family may have a wrongful death case, the driver won’t face any criminal action.

It seems beyond comprehension that someone can continue driving — without slowing down — despite being unable to see what’s directly in front of him. And as a result, kill one cyclist and injure another, yet face no criminal charges. Or even a traffic ticket.

But that’s the way our laws are written.

And that’s something that has to change.

.………

In another horrible tragedy, seven cyclists were killed in Southern Italy on Sunday — early reports indicated eight deaths — when a driver hit the riders head-on as he was attempting to pass another vehicle.

Reports indicate that the driver was speeding; he also tested positive for marijuana and had been banned from driving just seven months earlier. Two additional riders were injured, one very seriously, as well as the 21-year old driver and his 8-year old nephew, who was also in the car (earlier reports indicated the injured passenger was the driver’s 10-year old son, which seemed unlikely given the age of both).

Road.cc quoted the one of the paramedics on the scene:

“What we found on our arrival this morning was a terrible scene. Indescribable,” said Silvio Rocco, one of the first paramedics on the scene. “Not even a bomb could have caused something like this.”

He continued: “We were had been alerted about an incident in which, according to initial reports, only one cyclist was involved. Arriving on the scene, however, we saw that we were dealing with a massacre. They were all people whom we knew personally, so the blow was even more distressing. We alerted other emergency staff and the helicopter. It’s something that is truly disturbing.”

Meanwhile, two brothers were killed Sunday in Britain’s Cumbria region when their bikes were run down from behind by a bus, on what is considered the most dangerous road in the country.

And a North Carolina woman remembers her late husband, killed while bicycling last October, by endowing a chair in his honor at the local symphony.

.………

The Elysian Valley segment of the L.A. River Bike Path is now open; Will suggests that we should all cooperate in not being an impediment to other peoples enjoyment on shared-use bike paths, while Bicycle Fixation points out the plusses and minuses of bike paths along the water.

.………

Fourth Street gets sharrows from Hoover to Cochran, while York Blvd gets new bike lanes from Eagle Rock to Highland Park. The UCLA Bicycle Academy revives to stir campus bike advocacy; next meeting is July 7th. Altadenablog looks at the kickoff of Saturday’s Tour of Altadena. Turning your trainer into an Epic Ride. Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles hosts Red Bull Pro Rebecca Rusch, the Queen of Endurance Cycling, on Wednesday the 8th at 7 pm. The Inland Empire Women Cyclists will hold a toy ride on Sunday, December 12th. A writer says a planned tunnel to complete a key Marin County bike route makes sense, just not right now.

Cycle chic circa 1945; raise your right hand, and repeat the Cycle Chic Manifesto. The Alliance for Biking & Walking opens nominations for their 2011 Advocacy Awards. People for Bikes says it’s time to make biking contagious, too. Learning to ride just below the sweat threshold. Evidently, human beings just look better on a bike. A planned Mississippi River Bike Route could take riders from the Minnesota headwaters to the Gulf of Mexico. Bike riders must rank below dogs in the moral zeitgeist. An OpEd in the Daily News says New Yorkers should learn to love their bike lanes, but the paper editorializes that NYDOT commissioner Janette Sadik Khan needs to back up bike lanes with facts; what, a 40% reduction in serious injuries and death isn’t good enough for them? In a classic example of government in action, a Boston neighborhood paints — then removes — bike lanes. Thanks to the efforts of local businesses, a sheriff’s supervisor and inmates at a county work farm, a six-year old girl with cerebral palsy will get a custom-made bike for Christmas.

Peter Gabriel rides a bike. How to stay safe on winter rides. Copenhagenize lists the world’s most bicycle-friendly cities based on usage; the only American city on the list is Davis, CA. Bike lane snow removal in Copenhagen. Auckland cyclists say they’re in an undeclared war, as a motorist is charged with careless driving in the deaths of three cyclists last month, and a widowed husband says the driver is a victim, too. A 19-year old Indian woman was killed for not bringing a bicycle as her dowry.

Finally, just a slight boo boo in London, as someone forgot to order the track for the 2012 Olympic velodrome. And a Tennessee PSA says you better be pimpin’ with that helmet on tight.

No really, I think they’re serious.

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