Tag Archive for hit-and-run

Morning Links: Judge may release Gardena police video, BOLO alert for Ford pickup in Montebello hit-and-run

The LA Times reports that a federal judge says he’s inclined to release the dashcam video of the shooting of an unarmed man in Gardena.

Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino was coming to the aid of two friends helping to look for his brother’s stolen bike when he was shot and killed by Gardena police last year.

The judge agreed there was a clear public interest in releasing the video, as requested by the Times and other media companies, noting that it’s hard to argue that the shooting was legal after the city agreed to a $4.7 million settlement to be funded by taxpayers.

Maybe he should tell that to the LA County DA’s office.

A final ruling on releasing the video could come as soon as today.

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Montebello police are looking for a Ford pickup in the hit-and-run death of 24-year old Steven Garcia as he was riding his bike home from work last week. Anyone with information is urged to call Montebello police Cpl. J. Dresser at 323/887-1212, ex. 353 or Cpl. R. Yap, ex. 337.

Although they could have offered a little better description of the suspect vehicle. There are a lot of Ford trucks out there.

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KCBS-2 picks up yesterday’s lead story about the CHP officer dangerously buzzing two cyclists on Glendora Mountain Road.

I’m told the CHP’s Southern Division HQ is looking into the video, so something may actually be done about it for a change.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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VeloNews looks at the highs and lows of the first full week of racing in the Tour de France. A TV station reports on the day’s happenings on the Tour’s first rest day, while Teejay van Garderen makes it the Fab Five.

Sadly, Ivan Basso was forced to drop out after he was diagnosed with a testicular tumor; there’s a high probability it’s cancerous, but more tests are needed to be sure. His withdrawal could adversely affect teammate Alberto Contador’s chances, but what really matters is his full and fast recovery.

A Billings MT cyclist endures rain, hail, snow, calf-deep mud and hallucinations to compete in the 2,745-mile off-road Tour Divide; another rider says the hardest part is knowing when to quit.

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Local

It’s been a busy day for the Times, as they look at the PCH safety study recently approved by the Malibu city council; the study lists 120 proposed improvements to the roadway, including bike lanes on part of the highway, along with another 30 recommendations for Caltrans.

KPCC’s Air Talk program discusses the Times’ report on the county’s 817 most dangerous intersections.

CiclaValley appears on the Bike Talk internet/radio program.

A new Replace Your Ride program will give you transit vouchers up to $4,500 if you turn in your gas-guzzling car. But not a penny if you trade it for a bike, damn it; thanks to Day One for the link.

Black Kids on Bikes and the Ride On! Bike co-op bring the Leimert Park community together with an open air tune-up session.

The 12-year old daughter of a space shuttle astronaut was found riding her bike in the Torrance/Redondo Beach area after being missing for 24 hours.

 

State

It took a bike-riding tourist to save the life of a 37-year old woman who collapsed from a massive heart attack while jogging in Carlsbad last year.

The wife of the Afghan refugee killed by an allegedly distracted driver while riding his bike in Sacramento feels lost without him; the family arrived in the US just a few weeks ago, after the electrical engineer risked his life by aiding US forces in Afghanistan. His 8-year old son also suffered life-threatening injuries.

A 36-year old man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding on the coast highway near Fort Bragg in NorCal.

 

National

California’s retiring Senator Barbara Boxer wins support for bike lanes and sidewalks in the new federal transportation bill.

Good news and bad news, as a new bikeshare study says yes, it provides economic and health benefits and encourages new cyclists, but there’s no proof that bike-sharing programs reduces congestion, gets people out of their cars or helps the environment.

The New York Times looks at the national trend of bike training classes for bicycling-challenged adults.

Not everyone supports Boulder CO’s removal of traffic lanes to make way for wider bike lanes. Shocking, I know.

An Illinois cyclist is nominated for ESPN’s ESPYAward, 20 years after losing his right arm in a construction accident.

Don’t try this at home. A 46-year old Pennsylvania man was killed trying to jump a homemade bike ramp on a children’s bike. Actually, it was probably a BMX bike, which most police departments don’t seem to be familiar with.

An exhibit at the Smithsonian looks at the impact bicycles have had on modern society.

A New Orleans man faces manslaughter and felony hit-and-run charges in the death of a bike-riding artist last week.

The Florida bike rider who crashed hard after slipping in the remains of a dead alligator on the roadway is making a slow recovery, with new titanium plates in his cheeks, forehead and clavicle; his wife calls him Titanium Tim. Now all he needs is a new Ti bike when he gets back to riding.

 

International

Toronto police bust a man for stealing a $19,000 custom made racing bike. Of course, that’s only $14,800 US.

Brazil’s Pan Am cycling team is escorted off a major highway by police after taking a very wrong turn.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: A BMX rider lands the first quadruple backflip. A Pasadena motorist is caught on video playing acid jazz on a recorder while driving with no hands in moving traffic — and right next to a patrol car, no less.

And speaking of distracted driving, a Brit woman rear-ended a van, apparently because she was pleasuring herself with a vibrator while driving.

Then again, I once encountered something similar, myself.

 

Wednesday night hit-and-run death of Montebello bike rider confirmed

Sadly, we’ve gotten confirmation of another bicycling fatality.

Last night we mentioned unconfirmed reports that a bike rider had been killed in a hit-and-run earlier this week.

Scene of the collision; all photos by Danny Gamboa

Scene of the collision; all photos by Danny Gamboa

Today, the Whittier Daily News reported that 24-year old Steven Garcia was hit by a car around 10:30 pm Wednesday at the intersection of Whittier Blvd and Bluff Road in Montebello.

The driver — or possibly more than one, according to a Gofundme page set up to help raise fund to pay his funeral expenses — fled the scene, leaving him lying severely injured in the street.

He was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he died early Friday morning.

No description was available of the vehicles or drivers involved. And no details on how the collision occurred or who might have been at fault.

According to the paper, he lived in Montebello and worked at a local painting and sandblasting business. The Gofundme page says he was returning home from his job when he was struck.

Ghost bike and memorial for Steven Garcia

Ghost bike and memorial for Steven Garcia

A ghost bike ceremony was held in his honor Saturday night.

This is the 36th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 17th in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy for Steven Garcia and his family and friends.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the heads-up.

 Steven-Garcia-Crowd

Weekend Links: Unconfirmed report of fatal Montebello hit-and-run; the tragic fall of the Godfather of BMX

Still waiting for official confirmation, but it doesn’t look good.

A Gofundme page is raising funds to help pay burial expenses for a bike rider named Steven. The page says he was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike home from work near Whittier Blvd and Bluff Road in Montebello.

A Facebook post identifies him as Steven Garcia, and says a ghost bike dedication and vigil will be held in his honor at 8 pm tonight.

Hopefully we’ll get more information soon.

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A heatbreaking story in the Desert Sun recounts the rise and tragic fall of Scott Breithaupt, revered as the Godfather of BMX racing. And tells how addiction eventually led to his death under a tent in a vacant lot.

Meanwhile, his mother describes his final months.

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As expected, Wednesday’s Tour de France leader Tony Martin crashed out with a broken collarbone just before the finish line on Thursday. Then again, Alberto Contador hit the pavement before he even made it to Friday’s starting line, when Mark Cavendish rode to his 26th career Tour win.

Chris Froome inherited the yellow jersey, but didn’t wear it Friday out of respect for Martin; American Tejay van Garderen sits a surprising third. Daniel Teklehaimanot donned the polka dot jersey as the first black African to lead the competition for King of the Mountain.

The doping era still casts a shadow over this year’s TdF, as Italian rider Luca Paolini was bounced from the tour after testing positive for coke. And not the bottled kind.

Legendary photographer Frank Capa turned his lens towards the Tour de France in 1939, while Bicycling continues the tale of the man who punched the great Eddy Merckx in the ’75 Tour. And Business Insider recommends 10 can’t-miss movies to watch when the day’s racing is over, even if you think you don’t care.

Evidently, an apology and a donation to charity is enough to make up for a racist slur uttered by a cyclist “in the heat of battle.” In the US, that would be followed by a stint in rehab.

Checking in on stage six of the Gira Rosa, the only women’s Grand Tour stage race, as American Megan Guarnier still holds the leaders pink jersey; just 14 seconds separate the top three riders. Meanwhile, American time trial specialist Carmen Small had her custom Cervelo stolen, along with other bikes belonging to her teammates.

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Local

The Times looks at the lawsuit over the single-sidewalk redesign of the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge.

Richard Risemberg says a road diet isn’t worth the pavement it’s painted on if the city doesn’t bother to maintain it.

CiclaValley looks at bicycling improvements that may be coming to the Valley as part of Metro’s biennial Call for Projects.

LA Street Services addresses the problem of how to keep protected bike lanes clean with a petite new street sweeper.

Santa Monica police bust a homeless bike thief on Pico Blvd.

Apparently not grasping the irony, Westside Councilmember Paul Koretz will officially name the intersection of Westwood Blvd and La Grange Ave for the man who started LA’s leading riding group this Sunday, labeling it as Raymond Fouquet Square in honor of the late Velo Club La Grange founder. Even though, thanks to Koretz, Westwood remains unfriendly to bike riders, officially and otherwise.

Help the East Side Riders Bike Club build bikes for children this Christmas on the 18th.

Also on the 18th, Long Beach is hosting a bike-in screening of the Wizard of Oz; not the least bit ironic since the only bike rider in the movie turns out to be a wicked witch.

The San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments discusses transportation funding on the 23rd.

 

State

Orange County bike riders get the shaft when NIMBYs pressure a county supervisor and parks staff to unexpectedly oppose a long-planned bike trail in Peters Canyon.

A San Diego Amazon delivery driver is out of a job after being mistaken for a bike thief.

An 18-year old San Diego cyclist is expected to be okay after breaking his lower back in collision. Naturally, the driver claimed she never saw him riding his bike in the crosswalk, and needless to say, no charges have been filed.

A Coronado letter writer complains about visual pollution caused by bike lanes, and suggests that unused bike racks should be removed. Good idea; let’s do the same with excess parking spaces.

Cyclelicious points out some cyclists have opposed separated bikeways since 1898.

A Berkeley-based HuffPo writer says maybe it’s time for bike licenses to curb all that scofflaw riding.

 

National

Bill Nye the Science Guy is one of us, too.

A new series of videos will help you improve those mad mountain biking skills.

Caught on video (sort of): A road raging Chicago driver jumps out of his car to pummel a cyclist, after trying to squeeze the rider out of the bike lane to bypass stalled traffic, then punches another rider who tried to intervene.

A Minnesota cyclist offers advice on how to avoid a right hook. Although he failed to mention moving out into the traffic lane at intersections to avoid being overtaken and cut off by turning vehicles.

Minneapolis approves plans for 30 miles of new protected bike lanes.

Times are good for Boston’s high-end custom bike makers.

New York’s Citi Bike employees become the nation’s first bikeshare employees protected by a union contract.

Caught on video: A passing bike rider reaches out and snatches a smartphone from the hands of a New York woman crossing the street.

Blocking motor vehicle access around the White House is bad enough; a local pol says blocking bike and pedestrian access has got to stop. Meanwhile, DC cyclists form a human shield to press for a protected bike lane.

New bike racks in Richmond VA would honor Union soldiers held prisoner in the Civil War.

The hit-and-run driver who nearly killed a bike-riding three-year old Florida boy was only 14-years old and driving a van he borrowed from his mother without permission; a kind-hearted vet bought the victim a new bike.

 

International

Vancouver’s Chris Bruntlett says expecting drivers and cyclists to play by the same rules is like equating shotguns and water pistols.

A Canadian cyclist injured in the First Responders race that took the life of a Brazilian investigator earlier this month has been released from the hospital.

The Guardian looks at the gender imbalance on London streets, and asks if the city can make them safe for everyone.

The Brits threaten to bring back the Road Tax, just as cyclists were finally starting to convince drivers it doesn’t exist; a bike rider says he’d gladly pay if the numbers just added up.

A UK site asks if cyclists should be allowed to jump red lights, saying tests show it reduces collisions, while noting Paris has virtually eliminated cycling fatalities. So yes, it can be done.

A British letter writer says cyclists should rein it in on the Promenade or else ride in the road, rather than people just, you know, reining in their dogs. Another urges cyclists to slow down after her kitten is killed on a pathway by a rider who didn’t stop.

A Brit cyclist thinks he didn’t do anything wrong in spitting at and racially abusing a motorist; the judge disagreed to the tune of £1,500 — the equivalent of $2,300.

A British cyclist’s planned seven-week tour of the UK with his dog is still ongoing a full year later, and he sees no reason to stop now.

Sixteen months and 14,000 miles later, an Irish rider completes his journey around the world to raise attention for suicide prevention; he was the only one of four cyclists who set out on the World Cycle Race last year who actually finished.

In Denmark, even royals ride cargo bikes.

A Malaysian writer questions if cyclist safety is being taken seriously enough, after witnessing the aftermath of a fatal hit-and-run. Even there, some drivers refuse to take responsibility for their actions.

 

Finally…

Cyclists on a San Jose area bike trail will now ride past a mammoth sculpture, and not just in the big sense. Lots of criminals make their getaway by bike these day, although not many flee from New Hampshire to Florida.

And who knew bikes had steering wheels? Let alone that they could fall off?

 

Morning Links: Statewide hit-and-run alert bill in trouble; Gil Cedillo shares the outrage at tragedy he helped cause

As we noted last week, today is the last day to voice your support for the proposed California hit-and-run alert system before Tuesday’s vote in the state senate.

The bill faces unexpected opposition from the CHP, which evidently favors letting fleeing drivers get away with it.

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Boyonabike says the death of a bike rider in Friday’s Highland Park hit-and-run is another outrage. As was the cancellation of the road diet that might have saved him; Richard Risemberg blames city council overreach for keeping our streets dangerous.

Meanwhile, Councilmember Gil Cedillo, who was single-handedly responsible for that cancellation, says he shares the outrage over this tragedy, and suggests we have to make better choices.

Let’s hope he takes his own advice.

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Looks like LA had a big turnout for Saturday’s World Naked Bike Ride.

LAist offers all the NSFW photos you could want, although the best photo might just be a mirror image; thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Meanwhile, a Portland writer describes what it’s like to ride buck naked, while Breitbart doesn’t seem to get it — or the difference between #pdx and #lax, for that matter.

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An Aussie site looks at the big four in the upcoming Tour de France, which kicks off on Independence Day. Ours, not theirs.

Vincenzo Nibali is on a mission to defend his title, while some seem to question Chris Froome’s mental fortitude. In the absence of sprinter Marcel Kittel, it should be Mark Cavendish’s time to shine. And a parcel service offers an infographic explaining the tour’s logistics.

A team of Baltimore cyclists bike like a girl over 3,000 miles across the US while setting a team RAAM record.

Thankfully, the Danish cyclist critically injured in a collision while competing in the Race Across America is showing some improvement. Something is seriously wrong when someone can’t come to this country to compete without an American driver putting his life in jeopardy.

And UCI, cycling’s governing body, is seriously out of control as they fine an amateur racer for tweeting his objections about a lack of water and neutral support at the amateur national championships, where several cyclists succumbed to heat stroke.

Maybe someone should fine UCI for risking the safety of their riders.

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Local

Evidently, California’s police chiefs don’t want you to see what really happened when Gardena police fatally shot an unarmed man whose brother’s bike had been stolen.

 

State

The LA Times’ David Lazarus asks why bike riders aren’t entitled to free air at gas stations, like motorists are.

The Orange County Register explains how to report bad or hostile drivers to the DMV.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to get your stolen bike back, including reporting the theft for free with Bike Index. Which you can do right here; you can also register it before it’s stolen, which is a lot smarter.

One cyclist finds serenity riding the Columbia River Gorge outside Portland, while another loses his life there after losing control of his bike on a descent.

Apparently, Albuquerque bikes climb light poles.

Denver police say if you steal a bike, it just might be one of theirs; over 20 would-be thieves have taken their GPS-equipped bait so far. On the other hand, Georgia sheriff’s deputies go low tech by using scent dogs to track a 15-year old thief.

An Iowa City paper asks if removing traffic lanes can curb aggressive driving and promote bicycling. That would be, yes.

Hats off to a team of Houston cops riding to New York to raise awareness for leukemia and lymphoma, who stopped along the way to save the life of an Alabama driver after he’d gone off the road.

Vermont’s transportation secretary says the recent deaths of three bike riders should be a catalyst to further safety in order to meet the state’s goal of zero traffic fatalities.

Boston gets a new bike counter. Not that we’re going to get one, but where would we put it if we did?

A Connecticut teen steals a $3,000 bike because he got tired of walking. On the other hand, what kind of idiot who leaves a bike like that unlocked on the porch at two in the morning?

A Bethlehem NY boy gets a new bike as a reward for quick thinking after his is destroyed in a collision where he could have been collateral damage.

 

International

A new Canadian study says those scary reports that bike riding can cause prostate cancer are probably wrong.

A Canadian recreational cyclist offers tips on bicycling etiquette — including advice to ride in the door zone.

A new bike light projects symbols on your back — like a stop sign, turn signals or a bicycle — while you ride; it can also be programed to project your own symbols. Yes, even that one.

Good article from London’s Telegraph, asking why serious bicycling injuries are increasing while fatalities are going down — and at a rate greater than the rise in ridership.

Brit bike riders go back to the future. Or maybe forward to the past.

Someone stole a $100 bike 20 minutes after it was donated to a British charity store. They seem to define racing bike a little oddly, though.

The Times of London looks at Dublin’s plans to ban cars from the city center and convert traffic lanes to segregated bike paths. Riots would break out if anyone suggested that here.

A New Zealand paper says if the country’s planned bikeways do what they’re supposed to, everyone wins.

 

Finally…

At least we only have to worry about LA drivers; six Florida cyclists were injured, one seriously, when his bike slipped on the remains of a roadkill gator. When you’re chasing a bike-riding suspect on foot, be sure to lock your patrol car first.

And when you’re riding with a digital scale, meth and heroin on your bike, put some damn lights on it. And don’t ride on the sidewalk.

And don’t crash into pole trying to get away.

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It has nothing to do with bicycling. But just thought I’d share the view out our window last night.

Dusk-6-28

 

Update: Arrest made in horrifying high-speed Highland Park fatal hit-and-run

North Figueroa was supposed to be safer by now.

Had LADOT been allowed to carry out it’s plans, the street would have undergone a road diet. Not just to install bike lanes, but to calm dangerous high-speed traffic.

Now a bike rider is dead, the victim of a speeding hit-and-run driver.

According to the LA Times, two bike riders were crossing Figueroa at Marmion Way in the crosswalk at 3:02 am when one was hit by car traveling at what police estimated as 80 mph, based on witness reports.

At that speed, there is virtually no chance of survival. Especially since the victim was dragged several hundred feet underneath the car as it sped away.

Witnesses say the driver never braked, before or after hitting the victim.

The second rider wasn’t struck. No word on whether they were riding or walking in the crosswalk.

The victim has not been publicly identified; he is described only as a man in his 20s.

The car’s bumper was left lying in the road, which should make the car easy to identify if it can be found. Police are looking for a small black sedan, possibly a Nissan Altima.

There should be an automatic $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver, based on the hit-and-run reward program recently passed by the city council.

Despite overwhelming support in public meetings, plans for a road diet to improve safety on North Figueroa were halted by Councilmember Gil Cedillo.

Cedillo claimed he was canceling the plans for safety reasons, an argument this morning’s wreck has proven wrong.

Now he has to answer to the victim’s family. And the rest of us.

This is the 34th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th in LA County; it’s also the eighth in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: An arrest has been made in the case.

According to KTLA-5, a witness tipped police to the location of the abandoned vehicle, which had biological matter from the victim on it.

That led them to 21-year old Alexis Virto, who was found asleep in bed with his girlfriend at 7:15 am, roughly four hours after the collision.

Virto was still drunk when he was taken into custody. He insisted that he wasn’t the driver; however, he had injuries consistent with a crash, and windshield debris clinging to his hair.

He was booked on suspicion of second-degree murder and felony drunk driving with great bodily injury.

The LA Times reports the victim is a 33-year old man, whose identity is being withheld pending notification of his family.

The Times also says there were 68 collisions that resulted in severe injuries to bicyclists on that stretch of North Figueroa between 2002 and 2012; there were also nine pedestrians killed in that time period.

Meanwhile, anti-bike Figueroa activist and Boulevard Sentinel editor Tom Topping had this to say:

Why was this person on the street at 3am? Usually only meth-head criminals looking for something to steal are riding around on bikes at that hour.

Update 2: The LA District Attorney’s office has finally identified the victim as Jose Luna, also known as Bizzy.

According to the press release, his alleged killer, Alexis Virto, has been charged with one count each of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage causing injury, driving with a .08% blood alcohol content causing injury and hit and run driving resulting in death or serious injury to another person. Not surprisingly, he entered a plea of not guilty to each count.

Virto reported drove the length of two football fields with Luna on the hood of his car.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jose “Bizzy” Luna and his family. 

Thanks to everyone who tipped me off to this story. And thanks to fig4all and Terri Moore for their help in IDing the victim.

Update: Bike rider run over and killed in Stanton hit-and-run after falling in the street

More bad news, in what has been a very bad few days.

According to the Orange County Sheriff’s department, as well as various news reports, a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run after falling in Stanton early today.

In a press release sent out earlier this morning, the department reports deputies discovered a man lying in the street at 4:43 this morning after receiving reports of a traffic collision involving a bicyclist.

The victim was dead when officers arrived.

He had apparently been riding in an alley next to Beach Blvd between Cerritos Ave and Main Street when he fell off his bike for some reason, and was run over by an SUV headed south on Beach.

The driver reportedly slowed for a few minutes, then sped off down Beach, and was last seen approaching Katella Ave. The vehicle was described only as a dark colored SUV; no description of the driver.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s Traffic Bureau at 714/647-7000 or 949/425-1860.

This is the 30th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in Orange County. That compares with nine in the county this time last year.

It’s also the seventh SoCal bicycling death this month, and the fifth in just the last six days.

Update: The Orange County Coroner’s office has identified the victim as 40-year old Jorge Covarrubias. 

Update 2: A witness who saw the wreck says he ran up to help after seeing Covarrubias fall off his bike, and got within a few feet before the SUV ran over him. He leaves behind a girlfriend and two children. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jorge Covarrubias and his loved ones.

Thanks to James Johnson of the Johnson Attorneys Group and Amy Senk of Corona del Mar Today for the heads-up, and thanks to Bill Sellin for the first update.

Update: 22-year old alleged sidewalk rider killed in South LA hit-and-run

Another bike-riding LA man has lost his life in yet another bloody hit-and-run.

According to the LA Times, 22-year old LA resident Manuel Enrique Mendoza-Hernandez was riding on the sidewalk along Slauson Ave in South LA, when he rode out into traffic and was killed by an unknown driver who fled the scene.

The collision took place on Slauson Avenue east of San Pedro Place around 8:25 pm Sunday.

LAist reports Mendoza-Hernandez was riding on west the sidewalk before veering onto the street, where he was hit by a car turning right onto Slauson from San Pedro Place. The driver hit Mendoza-Hernandez’s bike, knocking him into the street, before running over him and fleeing east on Slauson.

He was pronounced at the scene.

There were no apparent witnesses. However, evidence found at the scene indicates the suspect may have been driving a Toyota Corolla; no word yet on year or color.

This would have been the perfect opportunity for the LAPD to use the new hit-and-run alert system recently approved by the city council. No alert appears to have been sent out, though; the last update on the LAPD blog was nearly a week ago.

A tweet from Marccaz correctly notes there is no sidewalk on the westbound side, suggesting that the police report may have been wrong.

However, there is a sidewalk on the south (eastbound) side of the street. And nothing in the news reports indicate what side of the street Mendoza-Hernandez was riding on.

If he was riding on the south sidewalk against traffic, he could have been forced out into the street by several poles obstructing the sidewalk, where he would have been hidden from the view of the turning driver by the building that comes within a few feet of the intersection.

It would make sense then if the driver continue east on Slauson to make his or her escape, since that’s the direction the car was already headed.

Had the driver simply stayed at the scene, there likely wouldn’t have been any charges, since police investigators probably would have found Mendoza-Hernandez at fault for riding against traffic once he entered the street.

Although the fact that he was unable to stop after hitting the cyclist, so soon after making a right, would suggest the he was traveling at some speed and may not have come to a full stop at the stop sign before making his turn.

Instead, the driver could now face time in prison for a fatal hit-and-run, assuming police make an arrest in the case.

This is the 25th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in LA County; six of those have been in the City of Los Angeles. That compares with 45 in SoCal this time last year, and 17 and 4, respectively, in the county and city.

Update: Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Central Traffic Detective Felix Padilla at 213/486-0753.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Manuel Enrique Mendoza-Hernandez and his loved ones.

Morning Links: Hit-and-run driver gets limp slap on wrist, bike riders under attack, and Ride of Silence rolls tonight

Four times virtually nothing is still virtually nothing.

After a hit-and-run victim pled for a stiffer sentence for the man who ran her down, got out of his car to apologize, then got back and fled the scene — leaving her lying helpless in the street with a broken hip — the judge increased his sentence from 10 days of community service to a whopping 40 days, along with two years probation.

And not one day in jail.

Even though a hit-and-run resulting in serious injury is supposed to be prosecuted as a felony, with up to one year in jail.

Instead, Spencer Lofranco was allowed to plead down to a misdemeanor, and walk out of court without even a sore wrist.

He was ordered to pay $161,000 in restitution. But as we’ve seen from other cases, it’s unlikely his victim will ever see more than a fraction of that, if anything.

Just one more example of the courts and prosecutors failing to take traffic crime seriously.

And why drivers continue to leave their victims on the side of the road, making LA the country’s hit-and-run capital.

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There’s a tragic common theme to today’s news.

Word of a Colorado cyclist fatally shot while riding near my hometown — and on a roadway I’ve ridden more than once — has made waves around the world. In an unusual move, the FBI is joining in the investigation, suggesting that this may be more than a random shooting.

A Savannah teenager was shot and wounded while riding his bike on April 1st; the shooter who targeted him early Tuesday was more successful.

A Tampa bicyclist suffered non-life threatening injuries in a drive-by shooting.

A Salinas man was shot and killed by unknown assailants while riding his bike Saturday night.

And right here in Los Angeles, a woman was shot in the arm while riding in South LA early Tuesday morning; she was able to make it back home before being taken to a hospital, where she’s in stable condition.

Meanwhile, a man riding to work on an Anchorage bike path was attacked by three teenagers who hit him in the face with a tree branch, resulting in skull fractures, a broken nose and orbital socket, and cuts to his face; a 15-year old boy was arrested in the case.

The only significant difference from the other attacks was the choice of weapon.

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The Ride of Silence rolls to honor the victims of bicycling collisions tonight, with rides at the Rose Bowl and four in Orange County.

Visit the website for more locations throughout California.

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KCET looks at the city council’s attempt to rush through approval of Option 1 for the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge, which would preserve all traffic lanes while putting a sidewalk on just one side.

Both candidates in Tuesday’s CD4 election prefer the third option, which would remove a traffic lane to allow sidewalks and bike lanes on both sides. (Breaking news — it looks like David Ryu won with 53% of the vote; less than 21,000 Angelenos even bothered to cast a ballot.)

Streetsblog’s national edition correctly notes LA’s Great Streets will be nothing more than talk if Mayor Garcetti won’t stand up for good design.

So far the city has successfully managed to avoid any of the tough choices necessary for the safe, livable city we’ve been promised.

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CalPoly students call for greater bike and pedestrian safety, as school administrators hide behind semantics.

An administration spokesperson says the idea that school streets are not safe is a “pretty vague statement,” and that Kellogg Drive on campus is up to code for all city and state standards.

Which is a long way from being safe.

Boyonabike notes that instead of improving safety and promoting alternative means of transportation, the college is spending $41 million on a new parking garage.

……..

Alberto Contador says he’s getting better every day following a dislocated shoulder; bad news for his competition in the Giro since he’s already in the leader’s jersey.

In a gesture of sportsmanship, Simon Clarke gave fellow Aussie Richie Porte a front wheel after Porte flatted, despite being on competing teams. However, accepting the wheel cost Porte a two minute penalty, knocking him out of contention. Or maybe it was just a brilliant tactical move by Clarke.

The Giro d’Italia is once again considering a US start; VeloNews offers an in-depth analysis of how US racing can reshape pro cycling.

Amgen is expected to remain the title sponsor of the Tour of California for the long haul. And Sunday’s final stage of the Amgen Tour of California apparently took some Highland Park residents by surprise.

……..

Local

A writer for the Daily Bruin says it’s time for UCLA officials to demand bike lanes on Westwood Blvd so students and faculty can get to campus safely. And politely points out the hypocrisy — my word —of Councilmember Paul Koretz opposing bike lanes while calling for the need to confront climate change.

Turns out the new portion of the Expo Line bike path is on track to open along with the rail line next year.

LADOT issues a new and improved 2015 Bikeways Guide. Or three.

The Downtown News calls on the LAPD to go after bike chop shops and the ringleaders behind them to stop the rash of bike thefts in DLTA. The DA also has to start taking the crime seriously, finding a way to prosecute thieves instead of bargaining the charges away.

A mountain biker had to be airlifted from the Angeles National Forest after suffering critical injuries when he fell 50 feet off a trail.

The Times looks at the steady growth of bicycling in Long Beach, where 40 miles of off-road bike paths, and bikeways on 10% of the city streets, has lead to a 30% increase in bicycling since 2008.

Volunteers are still needed for Wolfpack Hustle’s Short Line Crit in Long Beach on the 30th.

 

State

Pedal Love is giving away two bikes to women with stories to tell.

A Hesperia couple is riding across the country with their four Yorkies to raise awareness of the dangers of prescription drug use. Somehow, I don’t get the connection.

San Bernardino County opens the final leg of a 21-mile bike and walking path from Claremont to Rialto on the 28th.

A Santa Barbara writer says to improve safety, cyclists need better infrastructure, more helmets and less booze.

Eureka could kick bikes off the sidewalk next week.

 

National

In something that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, the Federal government issues guidelines for separated bike lanes.

Drivers are more distracted than ever; one in 10 admits to video chatting behind the wheel. Although in most cases, drivers don’t want to hit us any more than we want to get hit by them.

Spokane is offering a new bike registry.

A Seattle woman recognizes a stolen bike listed on Bike Index, and returns it to the owner during her costume birthday bike parade. You can register your bike with Bike Index — or report a stolen bike — for free right here, no matter where you live.

A new Minnesota study suggests the US census undercounts bike use.

Chicago cyclists get a new curb protected bike lane.

In yet another example of keeping dangerous drivers on the road until they kill someone, the upstate New York woman charged with the texting hit-and-run that critically injured a teen bike rider has faced two previous DUI charges, as well as four charges of driving without a license and seven other infractions.

No bias here, as a PA website says an 8-year old boy crashed into the side of an ambulance; never mind that it’s just possible the ambulance might have cut him off.

 

International

Mashable lists the world’s seven best bike routes, including one in our relative back yard.

Calgary will send a group of Bicycle Ambassadors to offices and events to explain the city’s new cycle track network. Note the key word, network.

Who was that that masked man? A heroic London bike rider jumps into a river to save the life of another rider who had fallen in, then rides away without giving his name.

London’s Royal Parks continues to stand in the way of the city’s planned cycle superhighways.

UK police single out cyclists for riding irresponsibly, ignoring the lawbreakers in the big, dangerous machines. And it’s not the bike riders who are stringing fishing line across bike paths at head level to garrote unsuspecting people.

There’s a special place in hell for someone who’d steal a Brit bicyclist’s bike just minutes after he was hit by a car.

Virgin’s e-bike riding Richard Branson calls on cities to close down entire streets to all vehicles but bicycles.

Luxembourg climbs to 13th in the ranking of bike friendly European nations; not surprisingly, Denmark and The Netherlands come out on top.

 

Finally…

Somehow, I don’t think a campaign that says, in effect, “Come to the darkside, wear a bike helmet” is an effective safety message. Police Down Under won’t respond to a hit-and-run involving a cyclist if no one bothers to call them.

And in the UK, ducks get their own lanes, which the Royal Parks service doesn’t seem to object to.

 

Hundreds turn out in Hollywood for Sunday’s Finish the Ride

Sometimes it’s better to let the pictures tell the story.

So here are a few images and random thoughts from the start of Sunday’s Finish the Ride.

Hundreds of people turned out to join the fight against hit-and-run.

Despite the early morning start, hundreds of people turned out in Hollywood to join the fight against the epidemic of hit-and-run.

People of every description came together to ride, roll, walk or run; two LAPD officers ran the 10k route in full uniform.

People of every description came together to ride, roll, walk or run; two LAPD officers even ran the 10k route in full uniform.

State Assemblymember Richard Bloom: "You have a right to feel safe on the road."

State Assemblymember Richard Bloom: “You have a right to feel safe on the road.”

Nice to see new LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds and Executive Officer Bruce Gillman in the front row, a sign that the city is finally taking hit-and-run seriously.

Nice to see new LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds and Executive Officer Bruce Gillman front row center, a sign that the city is finally taking hit-and-run seriously.

Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell: "Damien, you're changing the world."

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell: “Damien, you’re changing the world.”

Council members Joe Buscaino and Mitch Englander worked together to create a standing reward program for hit-and-runs, saying the hit-and-run epidemic "is a huge moral problem."

Councilmembers Joe Buscaino and Mitch Englander worked together to pass a standing reward program for hit-and-runs, saying hit-and-run “is a huge moral problem.”

Seleta Reynolds: "We should not accept hit-and-run as a natural consequence of just trying to get around."

LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds: “We should not accept hit-and-run as a natural consequence of just trying to get around.”

FTR Skaters

Surrounded by a sea of bikes, two women waited for their chance to skate the route.

Not all the participants were human. Because even a dog knows leaving someone lying injured or bleeding in the street is inhuman.

Not all the participants were human. Even a dog knows leaving someone lying injured and bleeding in the street — or worse — is inhuman.

The ride marshals gathered before the start to discuss the routes and keeping the participants safe on streets that were shared with cars.

The ride marshals gathered before the start to discuss the routes and how to keep the participants safe on streets that were shared with cars.

Finish the Ride founder Damian Kevitt joins the assembled riders for the start of the 50-mile ride; it was only two years ago that he lost his leg in a horrific hit-and-run.

Finish the Ride founder Damian Kevitt joins the assembled riders for the start of the 50-mile ride; it was only two years ago that he lost his leg in a horrific hit-and-run.

Kevitt sets off to lead the ride, just as he has lead the fight against hit-and-run since recovering from his life-threatening injuries; the driver who fled the scene after dragging him onto a freeway onramp has never been found.

Kevitt sets off to lead the ride, just as he has lead the fight against hit-and-run since recovering from his life-threatening injuries; the driver who fled the scene after dragging him onto a freeway onramp has never been found.

 

Morning Links: El Monte rider victim of vicious attack, hit-and-run rewards passed, and why sharrows don’t work

Not too long ago, it was hard to find enough bike news to post. Now some days. there’s just too much news.

Like today, for instance.

So let’s not waste any time and just get started.

……..

An El Monte bike rider was critically injured in a frightening attack earlier this month.

Security camera footage shows the April 6th assault, as five men beat and stabbed the 36-year old South El Monte man for a full 45 seconds before getting back in their car; one of the men can’t resist the temptation to turn back for one last kick.

Most disturbingly, there appears to be no reason for the attack.

Police report the victim, who remains hospitalized, was an innocent bystander who was simply riding his bike on Elliot Ave at 12:15 am when a car passed him in the opposite direction, and one of the passengers shouted at him. The driver then made a U-turn, following the rider before stopping alongside his bike to confront him.

He tried to run away, but his attackers caught up and repeatedly hit, kicked and stabbed him.

Anyone with information is urged to call the El Monte Police watch commander at 626/580-2109.

Thanks to Megan Lynch and BikigninLA sponsor Michael Rubinstein for the heads-up.

……..

As expected, the proposal to offer standing rewards in hit-and-run cases passed the LA City Council on Wednesday.

Witnesses providing information that leads to a conviction in a hit-and-run case will now be eligible for rewards ranging from $1,000 for a property damage collision up to $50,000 for a hit-and-run resulting in death.

However, as with the city’s anti-harassment ordinance, the new law only applies with the Los Angeles city limits.

So if a driver leaves you lying broken and bleeding on the street in Beverly Hills, East LA or Compton, or anywhere else outside the LA city limits, you’re on your own.

……..

If you’ve ever wondered why I think most sharrows aren’t worth the paint they’re made from, Michael Schinderling, aka Mykee Steen, provides graphic proof.

The video was taken on Fountain and Avenues in Hollywood and Los Feliz, which is my new bicycling territory. And clearly demonstrates the lack of comfortable riding routes in the area.

Schinderling notes that Hollywood Councilmember that ‪Mitch O’Farrell told him that the sharrows were low-flow and safe, and that bike lanes are unnecessary.

Right.

Actually, I think the real purpose of those arrows with a bike symbol on such busy streets is just to help drivers improve their aim.

……..

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton offers a great interview with new LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler, who explains her focus on equity and social justice.

Nice to see a growing commitment to the whole community from SoCal’s leading bike advocacy group.

……..

Great ad from Cycling Canada shows bikes riding themselves to urge potential riders to just hop on. An accompanying video explains how it was done.

……..

Too much sad news today.

BikeSD reports that one of their founding members passed away; Hans Wangbichler was just 54.

The three-year old Kings County boy who was seriously injured when the bike trailer he was riding in was rear-ended by a driver doing at least 50 mph has died; no word on the condition of his father, who was riding the bike.

A 54-year old Pleasanton cyclist died while riding just weeks before he was due to retire; friends who were planning a retirement party will now be attending his memorial.

And a Humboldt County bridge has been renamed as a memorial for a cyclist who was killed in a February collision.

……..

Local

Bicycling offers a great interview with LA cycling legend Road Block, aka Don Ward. If you ask me what riders and bike advocates I admire most, local or otherwise, he’d be pretty near the top of the list.

CiclaValley attends the mayor’s State of the City speech; evidently, everything is awesome in the city of Angels.

The CSUN Sundial looks at the new protected bike lane on Reseda Blvd; not all bike riders are in favor.

RadPad’s blog explains how to avoid gridlock with breezy, mostly off-the-street biking in the east end of the SFV.

The South LA bike rider caught on a security camera allegedly being beaten by police claims that LAPD officers are harassing him in retaliation for his lawsuit.

BikeSGV is raising funds for the San Gabriel Valley’s first Bicycle Education Center and Co-op.

Long Beach police bust two bike thieves after they fall for a bait bike; the suspects already had two other suspected stolen bicycles in their possession at the time of their arrest. And yes, LBPD recommends using a U-lock and registering your bike.

 

State

Cyclelicious discovers Calbike has lost sponsors as a result of its successful fight against the proposed mandatory helmet bill. Anyone would pull their support from the state’s leading advocacy group over that needs to seriously rethink their commitment to bicycling.

That triangle curb protruding into a new San Diego protected bike lane is being removed, after a new paint job failed to pass muster.

Paso Robles hosted an Italian mayor last weekend as part of this country’s first L’Eroica. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Caltrans installs barbed wire next to a San Mateo County bike path in an apparent effort to keep people and deer off a freeway — or possibly ensure painful injuries to anyone who falls or rides off the path.

A Sausalito councilwoman continues to push for a limit on rental bikes, evidently preferring that all those people drive and take up even more space instead. I guess creating space for those tourists to safely ride and park their bikes is out of the question. 

 

National

The Federal Highway Administration finally gets serious about helping local transportation planners count bikes and pedestrians; needless to say, LA is left out of the first round of the pilot program.

Nice to have bike lawyer Bob Mionske back online; today’s advice is to stay out of the door zone. But you knew that already, right?

A Portland paper explains why cyclists are attempting to get the bike-friendly ranking for the former-bicycling paradise downgraded.

Even Boise gets bike share before LA.

Minneapolis votes to keep their 10 mph speed limit for bicycling in parks, even if it’s unenforceable.

A Chicago alderman tries to force the city to move a protected bike lane from a busy street. Unlike LA, he apparently doesn’t have the near-dictatorial power to kill it all by himself.

Once again, a Florida-based gym co-opts the ghost bike movement by placing orange copies around Ann Arbor MI to promote their new location. Maybe they should place orange tombstones, instead; the message to cyclists would be about the same.

A suspected drunk driver is charged with the head-on collision that killed a popular Vermont cyclist after the driver drifted onto the wrong side of the road; in addition to the fatality, he’s charged with his fifth offense for driving with a suspended license. Once again, the system allowed a dangerous driver to remain on the road, legally or not, until he killed someone.

A New York councilmember comes out against a proposed ban on texting while bicycling. Gothamist notes that it’s actually already illegal, but rarely enforced; however, they’re wrong about it being illegal in California, where a proposed ban failed to pass.

Writing for the Washington Post, New York’s Bike Snob says they’re trying to turn us into cars. And that mandatory helmet laws and glow-in-the-dark spray paint show who really owns the roads.

The Atlanta Braves encourage bike riding instead of driving to their new stadium, due to open in 2017. Maybe the Dodgers should demand safer cycling routes to encourage more people to leave their cars at home.

 

International

British cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins lines up to be the next in a long string of riders to attempt the hour record.

Swiss cyclists will now have to dodge Segways in the bike lane.

Ride recklessly in the UAE, and your bike could be seized by the state; police in one Emirates city took 117 bikes from cyclists in just four days.

An Aussie paper looks at the controversy over Volvo’s reflectorized Life Paint, and why bike riders aren’t rushing to spray themselves before riding.

 

Finally…

Two Arizona teenagers are arrested for trying to smuggle 3.5 pounds of marijuana across the border hidden in their bike tires; but how was the ride? Mazda is the latest car maker to design a bike, which appears to be a disc-wheeled single speed; I look forward to the day when the Cannibal introduces a new car model.

And yes, it is possible to ride a bike with a Corgi in a backpack.

No, I’m not going to try it.

 

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