Tag Archive for Irvine

Breaking News — Cyclist killed in Irvine collision

This is exactly what I was afraid of.

Maybe it was the distraction of Valentines Day. But there was an unusually high number of bicycling collisions reported over the weekend, continuing through this morning. And sooner or later, it’s almost inevitable that one  or more of those collisions will turn out to be life-threatening.

That’s exactly what happened today, as a 28-year old cyclist died as a result of a Tuesday morning collision in Irvine.

According to the Orange County Register, Christian Rhineer of Irvine was hit by a Volvo Sedan at the intersection of Von Karman Avenue and Michelson Drive just before 8 am. He was taken to Western Medical Center with severe injuries, where he died at 6:30 pm.

The 26-year old driver remained at the scene. It was unclear who had the right of way; no one was arrested or cited at the scene.

And yes, the Register notes that the victim was not believed to be wearing a helmet; whether it would have done any good under the circumstances is not clear. Hopefully, we’ll get more details later.

This is the sixth traffic-related cycling fatality so far this year, and the second in Orange County; a third Orange County cyclist died of natural causes after a fall while mountain biking.

My sympathy and prayers for Rhineer and his family and loved ones.

Update: An anonymous source confirms that Rhineer was wearing a helmet at the time of the collision. And thanks to Vinh Nguyen for the heads-up on the Register story.

Update: Comments to the original article in the OC Register from a man who claims to be a witness indicate that Rhineer ran the red light. In addition, he was reportedly wearing headphones, which is against the law in California; a single headphone in one ear is allowed, but not in both while riding.

People who knew Rhineer describe him as a great guy and former Mormon missionary who recently moved to Irvine from Salt Lake City along with his wife.

Bear in mind, though, that witness reports can be wrong, and comments on internet news stories aren’t always true. When I was injured in a road rage collision, a supposed witness lied to the police to make it look like I was at fault — even though the way he described the events was physically impossible.

There’s no reason to suspect that the witness in this case isn’t telling the truth, but take all unconfirmed reports with a grain of salt.

Thanks to ValleyBall1 for the tip.

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On a related note, the driver who ran down a 13-year old girl in Santa Ana earlier this month, leaving her bleeding in the street as he fled the scene, has finally turned himself into the police.

According to KABC-7, the family of Arif Abdul Sattar convinced him to turn himself in after seeing news reports, along with his admission that he may have been in a collision.

Don’t expect me to get all teary eyed because he did the right thing. The right thing would have been to stop at the scene and try to help the little girl he nearly killed, rather than run away like a coward before surrendering to the police over a week later  — after retaining an attorney, of course.

Fortunately, his victim, Teresa Pham, is recovering and has been released from the hospital. Let’s hope she continues to improve.

And that the man who put her there gets the justice he so richly deserves.

Los Angeles, Orange County named Honorable Mention Bike Friendly Cities(?)

We’ll ignore the fact the Orange County is, well, a county. Not a city.

Or if you prefer, a lot of cities, even if they do tend to blend into one another at times.

But O.C. and L.A. have made the League of American Bicyclists list of Bike Friendly Cities, if only just barely. Both were named Honorable Mention, a step below the Bronze designation, in recognition of the steps each has made.

And just how far they have to go.

Los Angeles makes its claim on the basis of the new-found support from City Hall that has resulted in a widely praised new bike plan — which is just starting to result in new paint on the street — as well as the groundbreaking bicyclists’ anti-harassment ordinance.

But as Bikeside’s recent survey suggests, local cyclists face far too many unfriendly streets and drivers to deserve a higher ranking; I would read this more as recognition of the possibilities, rather than what’s already been accomplished.

Sort of like Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize. And I’ll let you decide how that’s turned out.

If — and it’s a big if — the city manages to stay on course, it may legitimately deserve a bronze designation next year.

Meanwhile, someone else who actually rides there will have to address whether the collection of cities and towns behind the Orange Curtain deserves its designation.

There seems to be an unfortunate tendency to blame rude and scofflaw cyclists for the county’s unacceptably high fatality rate, including a crackdown on the victims — even though the overwhelming majority of Orange County fatalities have been the result of careless, drunk or distracted drivers, rather than lawbreaking riders.

And at least one OC city seem to have an inexplicable fear of sharrows.

But there must be progress being made; Irvine and Huntington Beach have already made the list as Bronze level cities, joining northern neighbors Long Beach and Santa Monica.

And even though SaMo’s designation was widely derided at the time — including by yours truly — they seem to be making every effort to live up to it now.

So maybe there’s real hope for L.A. and O.C., after all.

We’ll just have to wait a few years and see.

Breaking news: Cyclist killed by SUV in Irvine Wednesday afternoon

According to the Daily Pilot, a 42-year old cyclist was killed while riding in Irvine this afternoon.

The collision occurred around 1 pm Wednesday on northbound Shady Canyon Drive south of Quail Hill Parkway when the rider, who has not been publicly identified, was struck from behind by a Mercedes SUV.

The Orange County Register reports that two other cyclists were performing CPR when authorities arrived; the rider was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Not surprisingly, the unidentified 35-year old driver and her infant passenger were uninjured.

The collision is still under investigation. Anyone with information is urged to contact Sgt. Dennis Maisano at 949-724-7023.

This is the 7th cycling fatality in Orange County this year, and 47th confirmed traffic-related fatality in Southern California.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the tip.

Update: The Contra Costs Times identifies the victim as Duane Parkinson of Irvine, a detective with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department; he leaves behind a wife and three children.

Update 2: According to the Contra Costa Times, a co-worker says Parkinson may have fallen in front of the SUV that killed him; the 15-year veteran is described as someone who was loved by everyone.

“People say `oh he was a great guy,’ about someone but Duane was that really, really great guy,” said Sgt. Phill Dupper who started his career with Parkison at the county jail. “Everybody loved him. He treated everybody the same, from grounds keeper to council members. He loved being a detective, always smiling.”         

Bike counts, toy rides, another near-fatal OC hit-and-run

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first.

Donald Murphy of Irvine was critically injured in yet another hit-and-run around 6 am Wednesday while riding in the northbound bike lane on Jamboree Road near the intersection with Ford Road in Irvine. According to police, a driver indentified as Patricia Ann Izquieta entered the bike lane he was riding in while making an “unsafe turning maneuver,” striking him and leaving a 300-yard pattern of debris.

That’s three football fields of bike parts strewn along the roadway from the bicycle trapped under her car as she fled the scene.

Izquieta was stopped by police a few blocks later with damage to the windshield and front undercarriage of her car, and is being held in Orange County Jail on $50,000 bond. Police reports indicate that she was not on a cell phone and alcohol does not appear to be a factor.

Witnesses said Murphy was wearing a helmet and riding in a safe and legal manner when struck. A passing driver stopped to give CPR along with one of his riding partners

Murphy was transported to Western Medical Center ­– Santa Ana. The Orange County Register quotes Lt. Rob Morton of the Newport Beach Police as saying “He’s in pretty bad shape.”

Update: Today’s OC Register reports that Murphy died at Western Medical Center on Thursday; there was no comment from the family. My deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.

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The LACBC finally has preliminary results from the city’s first bike count.

What I find interesting is that only 12% of the riders were female — less than the number of children counted — while 54% of riders weren’t wearing a helmet, 38% were on the sidewalk, and 6% were riding the wrong way.

They also offer an LACBC-centric report on Wednesday’s semi-bike-only Transportation Committee meeting.

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There’s no shortage of big hearts in biking community.

But I never fail to be impressed by gull rescuer and stray dog wrangler Will Campbell — although his odd attachment to ‘Bama football does make me wonder sometimes. So I wasn’t surprised to learn that the Midnight Ridazz All-City Toy Ride was his idea, though he gives much of the credit for organizing the first ride to Ridazz co-founder Roadblock.

The ride kicks off tonight — appropriately enough on the first night of Channukah — from various points throughout the city, converging on the Plaza Gazebo on Olvera Street around 10 pm. Riders are asked to bring an unwrapped toy valued at $5 to $25 dollars for free admission to the after party; toys will be donated to the East L.A. Women’s Center.

Click here or visit the Ridazz website for more information.

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Recently I included a link to the excellent Bike San Diego website, for a story about a cyclist who was ticketed for passing a short row of stopped vehicles on the left, even though that is not prohibited under California law.

The judge upheld the ticket, convicting Andrew Woolley for violating CVC 21202, despite the fact that his actions were explicitly allowed under the statute. According to the judge, the exceptions allowed under 21202 did not apply, since the speed limit on the road is 35 mph, which he determined was the normal speed of traffic — even though 21202 specifically refers to the speed of traffic “moving in the same direction at that time.”

Writing on Bob Mioske’s website, Rick Bernardi offers a great examination of exactly why the judge was in error, while noting that it sometimes doesn’t make any difference if the law is on your side. And contrasts it with a Utah case, in which a cyclist was cited for doing exactly what the judge in the Woolley case said he should have done.

So let me see if I’ve got this right. You can’t pass on the right, and you can’t pass on the left. Or maybe you’re required to break the law one way in Utah, and another in California. Or the judge is allowed to misapply the law one way in one state, and another in the other.

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

You can read the full transcript of the Woolley case here, and see the opening brief to his appeal here.

And buy a copy of Catch 22 — which seems to be the new judicial standard — here.

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Last week’s Ballona Creek Gateway opening included an announcement of the planned Mar Vista Greenway. Lance commits to two more years. Traffic author Tom Vanderbilt suggests that cyclists should consider the Adopt a Highway model for bike lane maintenance. Cycling fashion dilemma: to wear a day-glo vest or not? Denver re-writes its bike laws to conform with the new state laws; Tucson Bike Lawyer notes that it’s now legal to ride to a bike rack on the sidewalk. The police can’t — or won’t — keep cars out of NYC bike lanes, but maybe a bunch of clowns will. New York’s DIY bike lanes have already been painted over; the alleged artists reportedly will plead not guilty. UPS is making some holiday deliveries by bike. Austin struggles to find consensus on the city’s first bike boulevard. A Utah cyclist is under arrest for groping another rider. London’s Evening Standard reports work has begun on “Mayor Boris Johnson’s cycle-hire scheme;” no bias there, huh? An Indian student is murdered by his friends after buying a new bike. Some friends. Finally, it’s 13 degrees in Chicago, and cyclists are still riding — even if that means riding on studded bike tires.

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