Tag Archive for Jim Lyle

Morning Links: Three-foot passing law sign bikelash in PVE, train bike racks in Seattle, and more kindhearted people

That didn’t take long.

Over the weekend we shared a photo forwarded by Jim Lyle showing the new signs promoting the three-foot passing law that went up in formerly bike-unwelcoming Palos Verdes Estates last week, replacing bike-unfriendly signs warning that bike laws are fully enforced in the city.

Now local residents have already taken to social media to bemoan the “ugly” signs besmirching their streets. And of course, complaining that bike riders never stop for stop signs.

Which, apparently, makes it okay to pass at less than three feet and run them off the road. Or worse.

However, since the complaining is being done on a website exclusively for residents of the exclusive Rolling Hills Estates, Lyle was kind enough to forward a sample of the comments.

image

PVE 2

PVE 3

PVE 4

Meanwhile, Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson posts multiple pages of the same anti-bike and anti-bike-friendly-signs vitriol, while reminding readers that the small victory represented by the signs only resulted from bike riders willing to turn out in force to ask for change.

………

Hap Dougherty forwards photos of Seattle’s train system, where bikes actually have racks, rather than just an empty space at the back of the car.

Seattle bike racks 1

Seattle bike racks 2

With something like this, the relatively petite cars on the Expo Line could easily hold four bikes, rather than fitting two at best in the space currently available.

Or just one if the rider insists on standing with his or her bike.

………

More kindhearted people.

After a 10-year old boy’s bicycle was stolen during a bike rodeo at a local school, Clovis police replace it for him.

After a 11-year old Canadian girl’s bike was stolen, the investigating officer slipped her mother some money for a new bike, and a family friend left a new bike on their doorstep.

………

Local

CiclaValley says there’s an important meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers to discuss future flood control measures on the LA River, which hopefully won’t result in more closures of the bike path.

A bike rider was shot to death in broad daylight on a Bell bike path Saturday afternoon.

 

State

The Orange County Register paints bikeshare as just a “hip idea to central planners,” and a trendy and “most unnecessary boondoggle” that shouldn’t be the recipient of public subsidies. Unlike driving, which is only possible with massive public subsidies; apparently, the paper feels a desperate need to reaffirm their shaky conservative credentials after a change in ownership.

The Big Bear Cycling Festival began over the weekend, and continues with events all week.

The Lompoc Valley Bicycle Club has been meeting weekly for over 25 years to ride to Buellton for breakfast.

A Chico bike rider says he lost his sense of community after he went over his handlebars on a busy street, as people continued to drive by without stopping to help as he lay there unable to move with a broken arm, and his bike on top of him.

 

National

Portland police ride a 21-mile trail surrounded with homeless encampments searching for stolen bikes. And not surprisingly, find them.

New York police are looking for a bike rider who returned fire when a man in a Jeep shot at him. So why aren’t they looking for the driver of the Jeep?

North Carolina ups the bike-friendly ante with a shiny new four-foot passing law; motorists who force riders off the road, make them crash or even just make bicyclists change lanes will now face increased fines.

Funds that had been raised for a homeless Georgia college student who rode his bike six hours to register for class have been put on hold, as the woman who started the gofundme account has concerns about his story.

 

International

So much for that famed Canadian politeness. A bike rider is the subject of racial slurs after a driver and his passengers get out of their car and tell him to get off the street; however, he reports an outpouring of support after the story went public .

A London columnist claims she came close to being killed by a bike rider when she stepped out of a building on a narrow street without looking. But instead of deciding she should be more careful next time, blames the bike rider who managed to avoid her — and by extension, everyone who likes to ride fast.

Over 26,000 cyclists turn out for the 100-mile RideLondon, though the event had to be cut short after two riders were injured.

A British medical professor says think twice about that acupuncture for cyclists.

British trucking companies are told to remove signs warning bicyclists to stay back.

The widow of a Maltese hit-and-run victim asks drivers to think of the person’s relatives every time they speed past a cyclist.

A Kiwi cyclist says riders are treated like second-class citizens in New Zealand.

Perth, Australia releases ambitious plans to create a Dutch-style bicycle network suitable for eight to eighty-year olds.

A Philippine woman writes an open letter to a road raging driver who fatally shot a bike rider following an argument; the shooter claims he was provoked by the “arrogant” cyclist.

A Taiwanese taxi driver had a blood alcohol level over five times the legal limit when he slammed into two bicyclists; police found four empty beer cans inside the taxi, suggesting he’d been drinking behind the wheel.

 

Finally…

Apparently, the key to remaining royally attractive in your 50s is to ride a bicycle. What do NASCAR drivers do on their days off? Ride bikes, of course.

And now you, too, can have your own Nobel Laureate parking space. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

South Bay cyclist victim of a hit-and-walk

One of the primary arguments used to attack bicyclists lately has been the alleged carelessness — or aggressiveness — some bike riders show around pedestrians.

Never mind that a solid  collision between a cyclist and someone on foot is likely to result in injuries to both. And while people can point fingers at a handful of cases where careless riders have seriously injured — or even killed — pedestrians, it is a problem that goes both ways.

As just about anyone who has ever ridden any of Southern California’s beachfront bike paths can attest.

Case in point, this email I received yesterday from frequent South Bay contributor Jim Lyle.

Nine days ago, I was returning home from my morning ride up the coast.  As I navigated the bike path under the Redondo Beach pier, a woman ducked under the chain that separates the bike path from the pedestrian walkway directly in front of me.  I slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting her and went down, hard.  As I hit the pavement, I heard a “pop” and knew it wasn’t going to be a good thing.  I unclipped and tried to get up, but couldn’t bear any weight on my left leg due to the pain.

Here’s where it gets surreal.  The woman, with a bunch of her friends, did not offer to help me, did not ask if I was OK, or if I was hurt; they simply walked away as if nothing had happened.  Does that qualify as a “hit and walk?”

I was able to pull myself up using the bike to lean on and hobbled to an open area where I had cell phone coverage.  I called a friend who lives near the pier and asked her to come get me.  She arrived, put the bicycle in the truck bed, but I couldn’t get into the cab, it was too high and it hurt too much to move the leg.  I started to go into shock, tunnel vision and losing consciousness.  My friend called 911.  The EMTs arrived, put me on a gurney, and transported me to emergency.  X-rays revealed I had snapped a bone on my femur, but there was no displacement.  They gave me pain meds and crutches and sent me home.  I return to the orthopod in a couple of weeks to make sure there’s been no movement of the bone and I’m on the road to recovery. Otherwise, they’ll have to do surgery.  Meanwhile, I’m moping around the house feeling sorry for myself.  It could have been worse, much, much worse.

As you know, it is illegal (CVC and city ordinances) for pedestrians to use the beach bike path.  There are signs posted and “BIKES ONLY” is painted on the path every few yards.  Because these laws are not enforced, pedestrians, nannies, dog walkers, skaters, illiterates, and scofflaws use the bike path instead of the pedestrian walkway which is often within spitting range.  I always knew this created a dangerous situation for cyclists and pedestrians. And, now, I’m a victim.

In the past, a polite “on your left” or “bikes only, please” would be sufficient.  In future, when I’m back riding, I am no longer going to be very pleasant when I encounter the brain dead idiots who insist on endangering my health.  Police chiefs in the beach cities are going to know my name.  All it would take is a little public education and the occasional ticket to make the beach safe for all users, on two wheels or none.

I’m still fuming about the lack of humanity shown by people.  Surely, they’re in a minority, or are they?

Make no mistake.

Pedestrians are the only class of road users more vulnerable than we are. And we need to go out of our way to protect their safety, especially when riding on sidewalks and through crosswalks, where they should have unquestioned right-of-way.

And yes, I’ve seen cyclists plow through a crowded crosswalk, seemingly oblivious to the harm they may cause. And a Santa Monica cyclist was recently convicted, fairly or not, of assault with a deadly weapon for doing just that.

But as Jim’s email suggests, we aren’t always the problem. And we are just as vulnerable to their carelessness as they are to ours.

One other point.

Had he been able to stop the woman, she could have been held liable for his injuries, just as a bicyclist can be held legally liable for injuring a pedestrian. Or another bike rider, for that matter.

But whether she could be charged with leaving the scene of a collision is a question I can’t answer.

%d bloggers like this: