Tag Archive for hit-and-run

Another drunken hit-and-run, another bike rider left to die in the street

We should all be sick of this by now.

Another drunk driver. Another hit-and-run. Another bike rider left to die in a crumpled heap on our streets.

This time, it happened in Oxnard, at 2:09 this morning, when 43-year old Gerald Garcia of Oxnard was riding south with a friend in the bike lane on Rose Avenue, just below Raider’s Way.

A 2000 Volkswagon GTI driven by 29-year old Oxnard resident Policarpio Diaz was traveling in the bike lane and rear-ended Garcia’s bike. Garcia was thrown off, while Diaz fled the scene with the bicycle still trapped beneath his car.

It’s entirely possible the wide bike lane may have looked like a travel lane in the early morning hour. To a drunk, anyway.

Witnesses aided police in locating Diaz’ car — apparently with the bike still trapped underneath — and they took him into custody a short distance away. Diaz was booked into Ventura County Jail on felony counts of DUI, Hit and Run and Vehicular Manslaughter, as well as two outstanding misdemeanor DUI warrants.

That’s right.

Diaz had two outstanding warrants for DUI, yet he was still allowed to remain on the streets to kill another human being.

Tragedies like this will keep happening as long as our legal system refuses to take drunk driving, hit-and-run and other traffic crimes seriously. Garcia is just the latest in a long string of traffic victims, with no end in sight.

And if that doesn’t piss you off, maybe it should.

This is the 11th confirmed bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Ventura County. It’s also at least the fifth bicycling fatality in Oxnard in the last 38 months.

My deepest sympathy to Gerald Garcia and all his family and friends.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa and Kelly for the heads-up.

And no thanks to the California DMV and a legal system that continues to value the rights of drunk drivers over the right of the rest of us to simply stay alive.

Horrific DUI hit-and-run case goes on trial, bicycling may be safer than you think, and a Saturday San Gabriel ride

Before we start, a little housekeeping.

Note the addition of four new pages at the top of this site. Hopefully, they’re self-explanatory.

Facts & Stats is exactly that, a random collection of bike facts and statistics that will continue to grow as we stumble upon useful and/or interesting information — including the bit about bike safety a little further down this page.

Resources is a listing of things bicyclists may need, from information on the city’s cyclist anti-harassment ordinance and the seemingly dormant Cyclists’ Bill of Rights, to the LAPD’s Bike Liaisons and a listing of lawyers experienced in bike cases.

Organizations lists bike advocacy groups on the national, state and local levels, as well as local riding groups.

Bike Shops & Co-ops provides links to a small listing of local bike shops that I recommend, or that have been recommended to me; obviously, there are too many shops in the LA area to list them all. In addition, you’ll find bike co-ops and other bicycle services, as well as locally based manufacturers and online retailers. Other online retailers may be added down the road, but the idea is to support local bike shops and builders.

All of these should be considered works in progress. So if you have any suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or email the address on the About page.

And I promise to update the Events page now that things are finally getting back under control.

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Somehow, I’d forgotten all about this case. Maybe because it didn’t involve a bike rider.

Just a drunken Torrance drug and alcohol counselor who hit a pedestrian so hard she knocked him out of his pants and boxers. Then drove two more miles with her dying victim lodged in her windshield, naked from the waist down. And turned away from the emergency room that could, maybe, have saved him.

Consider this from The Awl.

When Wilkins had pulled into the gas station with a pantless (Phillip) Moreno embedded in her windshield, her blood alcohol level was .17. That’s twice the legal limit. There were traces of THC and benzodiazepine in her bloodstream. When police searched her car they found two empty mini-bottles of Absolut Vodka and a 40-ouncer, along with a receipt that showed it’d been purchased that evening.

That driver, Sherri Lynn Wilkins, is on trial now in a Downtown LA courtroom in a case that’s expected to take three weeks.

With two prior felony convictions, she faces life in prison if convicted of vehicular manslaughter, which would be her third strike.

I have a lot of sympathy for people who struggle with drug or alcohol addiction. But anyone who could do what she did deserves to go away for a long time.

Take a few moments, and read Natasha Vargas-Cooper’s story from The Awl. It’s very well-written, and a very powerful read.

Though perhaps one that’s best done on an empty stomach.

Thanks to Geoff Stiltz for the heads-up.

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Ever wonder how safe bicycling really is?

According to the 2010 National Bicycling and Walking Study, Americans took 4 billion bike rides in 2009; resulting in an estimated 52,000 injuries, while the national FARS database recorded 628 deaths.

As a result, the odds of returning home unscathed that year would have been nearly 77,000 to one in your favor, while the odds of surviving any given ride were an overwhelming 6.3 million to one.

And yes, deaths and injuries have gone up since then, but so has ridership. If anything, your odds could be even better today.

So don’t let the bad news scare you off. Even if you’ve seen far too much of it here lately.

As for me, I’ll gladly take those odds. Especially when the health benefits of bicycling significantly outweigh the risks.

Thanks to People for Bikes for the top link.

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City leaders are finally talking Vision Zero. Just not in this city.

New York’s new mayor follows through on his campaign promise for a Vision Zero; even if new NYPD Chief Bratton’s famed data blames the victims. And San Francisco steps up to the plate to stop killing cyclists and pedestrians.

Even new US DOT Secretary Foxx says it’s time to make bike and pedestrian safety a priority.

Los Angeles?

<crickets>

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Update: Ride cancelled due to smoke from the Colby fire.

This Saturday my friends Jon Riddle and Sarah Amelar, authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles, are hosting their latest monthly ride through the LA area — this time a tour of the San Gabriel foothills.

Saturday, January 18, 2014 – 8:30am

When: Saturday, January 18;  Meet at 8:30 a.m., ride at 9:00 a.m.

Where: Classic Coffee – 148 North Glendora Avenue, Glendora, 91741 (Meet in the public parking lot behind Classic Coffee)

This is the 2nd edition of our very first Touring LA County ride—a tour in the San Gabriel foothills along the northeastern fringe of urban Los Angeles. Rich in history, variety and natural beauty, the area is home to some of LA County’s earliest small cities: Monrovia (incorporated in 1887), Azusa (1898) and Glendora (1911). Two river bike-path systems — along the San Gabriel and the Rio Hondo — tie together the ride, passing along the Emerald Necklace, an evolving string of pocket parks and greenways. The route also includes the Royal Oaks Bike Trail (a rails-to-trails path on the old Red Line trolley right-of-way) and a foray into Monrovia Canyon Park, with its forest and streams.

Ride Length: 46 miles

Ride Duration: About 5-6 hours, including stops

Hopefully, the Colby Fire will be out by then, and everyone can enjoy some good air to breathe.

And mark your calendar for a new Los Angeles Bicycle Commuter Festival and Summit on Sunday, February 16th.

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Streetsblog’s Damien Newton finds problems with the mayor’s recent traffic collision. LA City Council members want to set rules for how long ghost bike should stay up; how long do the victims stay dead? New Virgil Ave bike lanes officially open on Saturday. New semi-green bike lanes on UCLA campus. Neon Tommy explains why traffic sucks in Century City. Looks like a massive Boyle Heights roundabout is finally moving forward; no word on whether they plan to accommodate bikes or use us as bumper fodder for speeding drivers. Great idea, as a last-minute effort attempts to save the Figueroa-Riverside Street bridge as an elevated parkway for cyclists and pedestrians; as usual, the city says no. On the other hand, we should get a new bright orange Taylor Yard bike and pedestrian bridge soon. UCLA Today interviews parking meister Donald Shoup. Glendale gears up for the 2014 Jewel City Ride next May. Massive new Burbank Ikea will have 1,726 parking spaces — and 86 for bikes.

When your bike becomes your frenemy. San Diego’s acting mayor sees a world-class bike city in the town’s future. A 71-year old Riverside County rider is injured when she allegedly turns into the path of an oncoming motorcycle. Thousand Oaks cyclists get new bike lanes on a bridge, but no safe way to get to them. UC Santa Barbara student committee works on improving bicycling on campus. It takes a real schmuck to assault an 11-year old Bakersfield boy to steal his BMX bike. A 70-year old Antioch cyclist is killed in a collision; witnesses report he ran a red light, not something most 70-something riders are normally prone to do. Napa cyclist responds to hate speech graffiti.

Four 5x goals from People for Bikes. Protected bikeways mean business. Elly Blue writes about riding out your period. High speed Seattle road ragers crash multiple times, on purpose. Washington farmers say bikes and trees are incompatible; seriously, I can’t make this crap up. Headline of the day: If smartphones are so smart, why don’t they tell drivers to watch the road? Chicago lawyer goes after taxi that apparently hit a cyclist, only to find the real culprit. Chicago celebrates winter Bike to Work Day; strange that we don’t have one when our weather is so much better. Unlicensed Illinois teenager gets five years for killing a nine-year old bike rider. Tennessee teens pepper spray a cyclist from a passing car. A Massachusetts cyclist is run down by a drunk driver early New Year’s morning after his mother warned him not to go out. Utica NY driver ticketed for failing to pass safely after running down a 74-year old woman with a reputation for “recklessly bicycling in the street;” no, really, that what they said. Cars don’t kill people, irresponsible drivers do; amen brother. Florida police catch a bike riding cross-dressing bank robber. Miami cyclists want the mayor to ride with them to see why riders are getting run down on a city causeway.

In a case eerily reminiscent of the Torrance tragedy above, a Brazilian motorist drives 6 km — 3.73 miles — with the body of his bicyclist victim embedded in his windshield. Maybe bike forks don’t have to be angled after all. Brit motorcyclist tries to kick a bike rider into traffic. Britain needs more cyclists. Britain’s bicycling minister sees a future for everyday riders the current streets can’t support; at least they have a cycling minister, unlike some countries I could name. As long as we’re introducing crazy laws for cyclists, here’s three more. We don’t need no stinking elevated bikeways. Spaniards riot over plans for a bike-friendly boulevard. Think your ride’s tough? Try a 12,000 km race across Africa. Kiwi driver gets 32 months for pushing a triathlete off his bike in a road rage attack. Family of a fallen New Zealand cyclist forgives the driver she collided with, saying he did nothing wrong; that’s class. Aussie pro quits his comeback due to a dangerous heart arrhythmia. Australian judge loses her license for a whole eight months after hitting a cyclist while driving under the influence, but at least she’s barred from hearing alcohol and traffic cases.

Finally, CNN looks at the future of bicycling, which oddly doesn’t include just getting on a bike and going for a ride. And that would probably please a Santa Monica letter writer, who wants to rein in all those killer bike riders on the boardwalk.

Sadly, I’ve gotten word of yet another apparent bicycling fatality, but haven’t been able to get confirmation yet. Let’s hope Friday will bring better news.

Good news and bad news: LAPD makes hit-and-run arrest; bike rider killed in Compton

Ghost bike for Compton victim Pete; photo by Danny Gamboa

Ghost bike for Compton victim Pete; photo by Danny Gamboa

Let’s start with the bad news.

No details yet, but I’ve received confirmation that a bike rider was killed in Compton Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

As if the photo that’s circulating online wasn’t confirmation enough. And no, I’m not going to share it here.

According to the reports, he was killed while riding his bike at Compton Blvd and North Dwight Ave. Friends of the victim, who identified him only as Pete, confirm that he was hit by a car sometime before 5 am Wednesday morning and died at the scene; the driver remained at the scene following the collision.

Judging by the photo of the victim, he appears to be a bearded white male with grey hair, possibly in his 50s or 60s.

No other information is available at this time.

This is the 7th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, as we maintain the horrific every-other-day pace since the first of the year. And it is the third cycling death in LA County this year, which suffered an intolerable 39 bike-related deaths in 2013.

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

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the heads-up.

Update: I didn’t recognize the corner, but Gamboa points out it’s the same intersection where Ovidio Morales was killed in a still-unsoved hit-and-run in 2010; his ghost bike is still there across the intersection. 

He reports one of the victim’s friends said he was a good man who struggled with alcohol, and was in and out of treatment programs.

As the photo suggests, neighbors have placed candles in his memory.

………

Gamboa also forwards word that an arrest has been made in the hit-and-run death of a Panarama City man, who has not been publicly identified at the request of the man’s family.

According to a press release from the LAPD,

Fatal Hit And Run Driver taken into custody

On January 13, 2014 at 6 PM Valley Traffic Division Detectives arrested a 46-year old male, Rene Amaya of Panarama City on suspicion of the felony hit and run (20001(a)VC) death of a bicyclist, which occurred on December 23, 2013, at the intersection of Burnet Ave and Lanark St in the Community of Panarama City, California. Bail was set at $50,000.

Maybe someone can explain to me why we continue to grant such a low bail to someone who has already demonstrated a willingness to flee after taking a life.

Update: 16-year old bike rider killed in Desert Hot Springs hit-and-run

Then there were three.

Just 10 days into the new year, Southern California has already suffered three cycling fatalities, continuing the bloody pace from last year, when at least 88 riders lost their lives on SoCal streets.

The latest came last night, as a 16-year old bike rider was killed while riding with a friend in Desert Hot Springs.

According to The Desert Sun, Reuben Guzman was sharing a single bike with another boy when they were hit by a Nissan pickup at 5:35 pm at the intersection of West Drive and Desert View Ave. One boy was pedaling the bike north on West Drive while the other rode on the handlebars; no word on whether Guzman was on the seat or the handlebars, or whether the other rider was injured.

The boys reportedly veered into the traffic lane where they were struck from behind by the truck; the driver fled the scene, leaving the victims bleeding in the street.

Guzman died at 11:05 pm at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.

Police are looking for a blue or gray Nissan pickup with major front end damage.

This is the third bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Riverside County already this year; there were 11 bicycling deaths in the county last year.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Desert Hot Springs Police Department at 760/329-2904.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Reuben Guzman and all his loved ones.

Update: According to KESQ.com, Guzman was pedaling the bike while his friend rode on the handlebars on their way to a local bike park. The other victim has been released from the hospital.

Update: Panarama City hit-and-run victim dies; 17th confirmed LA bike fatality in 2013

Yet another bike rider’s life hangs in the balance, in one of the worst holiday periods in memory.

According to a press release from the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division, a cyclist was riding west on Burnet Ave when he was struck by an unknown vehicle headed south on Lanark St in Panorama City. A street view shows a typical Valley intersection.

Investigators were called around 7 am; no word on when the collision occurred or how the victim was discovered. The rider was transported to a local hospital with serious injuries. No arrest has been made, and no description of the suspect vehicle was provided.

The LA Weekly reports that the victim’s son has identified him as a 57-year old man, but asked than his name be kept private for the time being.

According to the paper, the victim is in grave condition and not expected to survive.

He told the Weekly his father sustained a “severe brain injury” and that his “condition deteriorated” to the point where family members were told his chance of survival was essentially “zero.” He said he’d keep us updated.

He also requested the media’s help in finding the person who left his father in the street to die.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Valley Traffic Division Detective William Bustos at 818/644-8021 or Officer Scott DeWitt at 818/644-8027; anonymous tips can be given to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800/222-8477).

This comes after at least three bicycling fatalities in the past 10 days.

Update: According to the LAPD, the victim, who has still not been publicly identified, has died.

This is the 87th — and hopefully last — bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 38th in Los Angeles County. It’s also the 17th confirmed bike death in the City of LA, over three times the total for 2012, and four times the total in 2011.

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

Update 2: The victim has been identified as Dimitar Batchiyski

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Famed bicycle tool maker Paul Morningstar was found dead in his booby-trapped home on Saturday morning.

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Storage company contributes $17,000 to Bahati Foundation, founded by Compton’s own former US Crit champ Rahsaan Bahati. Ride the Santa Monica Mountains on New Years Day. CORBA invites you for a little off-road riding on January 11th. The New York Times looks at the LAPD’s idiotic crackdown on DTLA pedestrians; thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the heads-up.

Camarillo reaches the final phase of a four-mile bike path. Wildomar will get bike lanes and sidewalks on two major streets. The Badwater Ultramarathon race will bypass Death Valley this year due to the National Park Service moratorium; the Furnace Creek 508 bike race will likely suit. Thirteen reasons you should make a resolution to ride to work. English research scientist killed by big rig truck in Oakland. There’s more than one way to celebrate Christmas.

The boom in bicycling causes the old bike tax suggestion to rear its ugly head once again — despite the fact that bikes cause little or no wear and tear on the streets and cyclists already overpay for their share of the road. Michael Eisenberg also forwards news of the hot rod of electric bikes. Building a better fat bike for Arctic riding. Colorado tests a new way to measure bicycle traffic. Cyclists petition for bike lanes near Colorado National Monument. Turns out there’s another bike swallowed by a tree, this time in Oklahoma. An Alexandria VA resident says trading parking spaces for bike lanes in a worthy sacrifice.

Pro cyclists pick the best and worst of the recent racing season. New safety devices can’t cure bad road design. Motorized traffic is declining in London, but so is bicycling. Kiwi rider hit by egg from moving car.

Finally, in a pair of stories worthy of the season, a Mesa AZ cop rescues a little girl from a kidnapper — then buys her a new bike after the one she was riding is impounded as evidence. And a Good Samaritan buys a Chicago woman a new bike after she posts a very public notice when hers is stolen. 

Michelle Mowery in the LA Times, the most heartless hit-and-run driver yet, and a Saturday memorial for Milt Olin

The Times’ Patt Morrison interviews LADOT Senior Bicycle Coordinator Michelle Mowery.

It’s a good piece for the most part, with an eye on where we’re going; using Copenhagen as a role model can’t be a bad thing.

Although I have to admit, I cringed in a few places.

Like where she responded to a question about licensing cyclists by correctly addressing the need for better education, without discussing why licensing is a bad idea. Let alone questions about bikes running red lights, without pointing out most riders don’t, and we’re not the only scofflaws on the road.

Others readers I heard from objected to a seemingly flip response to the question of parents who don’t wear helmets even though their children do.

And Morrison brings up the nonexistent traffic jams on 7th Street following the road diet that added bike lanes, with no refutation from Mowery — let alone a tacit admission that it could have resulted in a significant increase in pollution from idling cars.

Right.

Still, she has some good things to say, and it’s a good look at the woman who’s the closest thing this city has to a bike czar.

And who deserves a lot of credit for the changes we’ve seen on the streets in recent years, as the city has done the seemingly impossible by becoming officially bike friendly.

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In the single most horribly heartless report I’ve ever seen, a Florida man drives for two miles after striking a cyclist, with the rider embedded in the car’s rear window. Then after arriving home, he pried the rider out of the glass, and dumped him behind a dumpster to die before hiding his damaged car from his girlfriend.

Fortunately, a landscaping crew found the victim nearly over two hours later, albeit in critical condition with a deep gash in the forehead, nearly severed ear, and spinal injuries that could leave him paralyzed.

Police arrested the driver at a body shop later that same day, as he attempted to get his car fixed before the damage could be discovered.

If there’s any justice, he’ll face an attempted murder charge for deliberately dumping the victim and leaving him to die.

And a very long sentence in a very unpleasant pen.

Wait. Attempted manslaughter? Seriously?

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A memorial will be held for fallen cyclist, entertainment attorney and former Napster CEO Milt Olin at 2 pm this Saturday at the Jim Henson Company Lot, 1416 N. La Brea. The family asks attendees to carpool and RSVP here.

Still no word on the official cause of the collision that took his life, though rumors are rampant that the 16-year veteran sheriff’s deputy behind the wheel was using the patrol car’s laptop computer while he drove.

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The LA Times says the LAPD should focus on riskier behavior than jaywalking; Streetsblog’s Damien Newton offers arguments against the crackdown. Meanwhile, Streetsblog Sahra Suliaman asks for community involvement in the planned Slauson active transportation corridor. Better Bike reviews the recent meeting to remake bike-unfriendly Santa Monica Blvd; there may be hope for Beverly Hills yet, thanks largely to the efforts of Better Bike’s Mark Elliot. Santa Monica hosts an important meeting on the planned MANGo project on Saturday, January 7th. Downey’s new mayor has supported bike lanes since he was eight years old; let hope he still does. Wolfpack Hustle announces the official results of their 2013 race series. As we’ve been telling you, wayfaring signs really are coming to the LA River; no, really. Celebrate the season with the LACBC’s East LA Holiday Bike Parade. A bird-flipping Benz driver threatens to kill a Highland Park cyclist; could be another test case for the city’s anti-harassment ordinance.

Coronado’s temporary bike corrals may not be. Annual National City bike giveaway needs more bikes. Now you can ride the last leg of the Amgen Tour of California just like the real pros. but without the EPO and clenbuterol and stuff. Trek’s John Burke backs plans for a Santa Barbara bike network. San Francisco’s fire department opposes safety measures that could protect cyclists and pedestrians. More green lanes in San Francisco, and a parking protected bike lane. Oakland truck driver fatally drags a cyclist two blocks after hitting her; he may not have known he hit anyone. Sonoma County sting stops people driving away from the courthouse after their licenses have been suspended; wait, you mean the judge was serious about that?

Alta offers advice on how to avoid collisions, and what to do if you don’t. The seven habits of highly effective bike cities. Now you, too, can honk your horn in an obnoxious manner, or not. Drunk ND driver hits a cyclist, then backs up and runs over a pedestrian coming to the rider’s aid. Wisconsin hit-and-run driver who killed a 61-year old bike rider had 13 previous traffic violations in the last four years; so why was he still allowed to drive? Maybe bike lanes aren’t the cause of Buffalo’s traffic congestion. New York’s DOT launches a new campaign against reckless driving. Road raging New York cyclist arrested for bashing in a driver’s window for no apparent reason, if you believe the story. Philadelphia now allows you to tweet about blocked bike lanes, and they’ll actually do something about it. Boston police still won’t identify the officer who killed a cyclist last July. Bikes are the new enemy for misguided conservatives.

Canadian bike safety taught via Legos. UK driver gets six years for killing a cyclist while driving drunk and without a license. Riding a bike cross-county, and with a pig. Riding a London bike share bike up Mt. Ventoux before the rental period expires; then again, Boris Bikes are turning up in Gambia, too. UK bike rider takes the long way home — from South Korea. New German fitness shirt promises to manage your e-bike for you; but if you’re riding an e-bike, why do you need a fitness shirt? Ninety-four percent of Turkish motorists think they’re better drivers than they really are; I suspect that would hold true everywhere. Kolkata bans bikes, or maybe not. Saudi groom rides his bike into his wedding hall on a dare. Gambia cracks down on dangerous cyclists. Aussie world-champion time trialist Michael Rogers claims his positive drug test for clenbuterol resulted from tainted meat; why not, it’s worked before. An Australian concrete company bars a bike path. Road raging Kiwi driver gets 32 months in prison for attacking a triathlete.

Finally, a Missouri woman won’t face charges for fatally running down a bike rider at 82 mph. But her ex-boyfriend will, after flashing a gun and chasing her through the streets; he’s charged with second degree murder in the rider’s death.

Seriously, there are no words.

Thanks to John McBrearty and Rich Alossi for their generous donations to help support this site.

Bike-riding dancer suffers broken leg in Westside hit-and-run

A broken leg is a serious injury. Especially for a dancer.

A broken leg is a serious injury. Especially for a dancer.

LA yoga maven and bike rider Joni Yung forwards word of a nearly month old hit-and-run that left a dancer with a broken leg.

This is from the victim’s husbands Facebook page:

As some of you know, on Nov 6th, my wife was involved in an hit and run accident while riding her bicycle. As a result of the accident she has a broken fibula in two places. We are posting this to activate our community of friends to help locate the driver and/or car. Luckily, we have a couple witnesses that were able to get a description of the driver and a partial plate number. The car involved was a Black Mercedes with the partial plate 7AF65. (not sure the placement of digits missing) The driver description: female, early 20’s, around 5’5-5’6, with long wavy brown hair. The accident was at the intersection of Federal and Rochester in West Los Angeles. Feel free to share and please contact the police department at 213-473-0222 case number 130816261 with any information regarding the car or driver. Thank you for your help.

The driver reportedly stopped to check on the victim, then said she had to move the car. And took off.

That’s definitely someone who deserves to be found.

And held accountable for her tiny, cold, hard heart.

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An innovative new kickstand design promises to support bikes born without them; the project just passed it’s Kickstarter goal with less than three days to go.

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The LA Times takes a belated look at the controversy over the killer redesign of the Glendale-Hyperion bridge complex, and adds to the story, including news of a possible road diet. Sweet Ride USA reviews their most recent sweet ride. Firestone Walker Brewing plans a bike-friendly Venice beer tasting room; I’m in. SaMo city councilmembers want better bike and wheelchair access to the planned replacement for the new pier bridge. A Long Beach paper asks if bicycling has a future in the city; aka trolling for controversial comments to boost readership. Burbank will hold a meeting on the Channel Bikeway Project on the 11th, while the San Gabriel Valley will hold a series of meetings for their proposed bike plan. Is it just me, or are there too many bike meetings to keep up with these days? Either way, it’s a good problem to have.

Caltrain makes it easier to park your bike and ride the train. Laguna police are looking for a stolen $10,000 mountain bike; seriously, what kind of person would leave any bike, let alone one worth that much, in an unlocked pickup bed overnight? Bakersfield city councilman promises a better bike plan and rides one himself — a bike that is, not a bike plan — while the local paper calls for better bike infrastructure.

A new Bike League infographic looks at women and cycling. A Seattle letter writer says the hilly city will never be a cycling city, despite plans to spend $500,000 on bike infrastructure and programs. A PA driver faces charges for intentionally running down a bike rider following an argument — with his dad sitting next to him. Safety isn’t the only concern many cyclists have to deal with, as women and LGBT riders face harassment on their bikes. Former Auburn Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson will ride to the school’s spring football game as his third annual bike ride for tornado relief.

After London cyclists stage a die-in, the city’s cycling czar says bike safety advocates are spreading fear; actually, six riding deaths in nine days will do that. A BBC poll shows one in five bike commuters has stopped riding as a result. London prosecutors drop charges against a rider who stopped ahead of a bike box because there was a car in it. UK residents call for a crackdown on “lunatic” ninja cyclists. Former cosponsor Oleg Tinkoff buys the Saxo Bank team, and proclaims cycling’s doping era is over; yeah, right. Former TdF champ Jan Ulrich is at peace with his doping past, while the cutback in drug use seems to have produced more grand tour winners. Bangalore bike commuting questions answered. Qatar introduces a women’s cycling team; the question is whether they will be permitted to dress in a way that allows them to be competitive. Eritrea wins the African Cycling Championships for both men and women. Queensland cyclists will get the equivalent of a three-foot passing law, with more space required at higher speeds. Aussie judge loses her license and faces charges after hitting a cyclist while driving drunk. A Brit pro cyclist is punched out in New Zealand because a local didn’t like his T-shirt. Three-hundred Singapore cyclists ride for better safety.

Finally, an Aussie paper jumps on the bike hate bandwagon, offering 14 reasons why they hate cyclists, aka “cockroaches of the road.”

Nice.

Yet another driver kills a cyclist and flees the scene; 3rd fatal Ontario bike hit-and-run since July

News is just breaking that yet another bike rider has been killed by a hit-and-run driver, this time in Ontario.

According to the Daily Bulletin, the victim was riding on Euclid Avenue at Budd Street shortly after 2 pm Sunday when he struck by a Ford pickup traveling north on Euclid. No word on which direction the victim, who has not been identified pending notification of next of kin, was traveling or how the collision occurred.

He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Meanwhile, the driver fled the scene, but was captured shortly later thanks to information provided by witnesses. Police arrested 29-year old Ontario resident James Manuel Avalos; no word yet on any possible charges.

This is the 78th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in San Bernardino County. That compares to 74 SoCal deaths, and 10 in the San Bernardino County, for all of last year. It is also the third bicycling fatality in the City of Ontario since July — all hit-and-runs.

Clearly, something is seriously wrong there.

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

Correction: I initially left off the last name of the suspect; he should have been identified as James Manuel Avalos, as I’ve now changed it above. Thanks to Allyson Vought for the catch.

Update: Cyclist found dead on side of the road in San Bernardino County, apparent victim of hit-and-run

If this doesn’t piss you off, maybe it should.

According to the Lucerne Valley Leader, an unidentified man was found dead on the side of the road in eastern San Bernardino County this morning, the victim of an apparent hit-and-run.

The victim was discovered with his bike on the south side of Highway 18 just east of Post Office Road in Lucerne Valley around 8 am; paramedics declared him dead at the scene after arriving about 10 minutes later.

According to the CHP officer investigating the death, it appeared his mountain bike was hit from behind as he rode along the white line on the right side of the highway. His bike showed damage to the rear end, and there was evidence that the driver veered off the road after striking him, then continued without stopping.

The collision most likely occurred sometime during the night, which means the victim could have been lying there for several hours before he was discovered — which could have been the difference between life and dead.

All because some heartless son of a bitch didn’t have the basic human decency to at least stop and call for help before running away like the coward he — or she — is.

As far as I’m concerned, once the driver is found, he or she should face a murder charge on the assumption that the victim might have lived if they hadn’t made a conscious decision to let him die.

This is the 77th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in San Bernardino County. That compares with 10 in the county for all of last year, and six in 2011.

Update: The Victorville Daily Press identifies the victim as 47-year old Angelo “Andy” Douglas Azzato of Lucerne Valley.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Azzato and all his loved ones.

Update 2: According to the Victorville Daily Press, the CHP reports Azzato was hit by a truck between 5 pm and 10 pm on November 6th, which means his body was on the side of the road for 10 to 15 hours before he was discovered. Authorities are looking for a silver 1999 or 2000 Dodge Ram pickup with damage to the right front bumper and/or headlight assembly. 

Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP Victorville office at 760-241-1186.

 

Alleged hit-and-run killer of Jesse Dotson faces charges; LA bike share dead in the water

Last night’s breaking news meant a couple other important stories got pushed aside.

Like the news that we may finally see some justice for the death of Gardena bike rider Jesse Dotson.

According to the LA Times, Vanessa Marie Yanez, the 23-year old daughter of an LAPD Sargent, pled not guilty to charges of vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run, as well as a perjury charge for lying to police investigators by claiming her car had been stolen.

Dotson was riding to work at the local post office just before 10 pm on Wednesday, October 26th when he was allegedly run down by Yanez’ car. She reportedly left him to die in the street, then drove to meet a friend at a Huntington Park club before reporting her car stolen in hopes of evading responsibility.

Her father was not charged, despite extensive speculation that he may have actively aided in the cover-up, or at least been aware that his daughter had been involved in a hit-and-run.

According to the Daily Breeze, Yanez faces up to six years in prison.

Meanwhile, Dotson’s family faces a lifetime without their husband and father.

Thanks to Jim Lyle, Linda Campbell and Mike D for the heads-up.

……..

In news that should surprise absolutely no one, LA’s long-promised Bike Nation bike share program appears to be dead in the water.

The announcement of the bike share plan was unexpectedly made at the April, 2012 CicLAvia, apparently with no competitive bidding — or much thought, for that matter.

Now the Downtown News reports that the program appears to be on terminal hold due to the city’s famously burdensome permitting problems, as well as a contract giving exclusive rights to advertise on sidewalk furniture to another company. Without the income from advertising, it would be impossible for Bike Nation to make a profit on the program, which they had promised to provide at no charge to the city.

The good news is, without the Bike Nation program in the way, Metro is free to explore a county-wide bike share program, which may or may not include Bike Nation as a participant. And which could prevent the Balkanization caused by each city developing their own incompatible bike share systems.

……..

Connecting UCLA is attempting to start a conversation on traffic and mobility surrounding the campus, and how that affects the livability of the neighborhoods around it.

So far, the conversation is surprisingly civil.

Then again, there’s only two comments up to this point.

……..

Finally, a San Bernardino patrol car left crosses cyclist, resulting in minor injuries. And of course, the local press blames the rider. The question is whether the SBPD will hold their own accountable for cutting off the bike rider, or follow the Sun’s lead in blaming the victim.

And a Brit writer complains — tongue-in-cheek, by his own account — that far too few bike riders are being killed on the country’s roads. Is hate any less ugly when it’s well written, or when you’re supposed to get the alleged joke?

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