Tag Archive for L.A.P.D.

Morning Links: Driver arrested in South LA hit-and-run, while victim holds on; 105-year man sets new hour record

There’s good news in last week’s Hyde Park hit-and-run that left a motorized bike rider critically injured.

Detectives with the LAPD’s South Division held a press conference yesterday where they announced an arrest in the case, and reported the victim is still fighting for his life at County USC Medical Center.

Unfortunately, the Periscope video of the news conference is no longer online.

The driver, Javier Saravia, was taken into custody four days after the crash, following several anonymous tips after video of the crash was posted online. The suspect vehicle was impounded after being found in a carport at his home.

Despite rumors to the contrary, 36-year old Los Angeles resident Mikail Hasan remains in the ICU unit in critical condition following emergency surgery to repair a crushed aorta. His older brother Gabrail reports he is surrounded by family, responsive, but unable to communicate.

The father of nine children under the age of 15, Mikail Hasan is a popular member of the Hyde Park community. The tattoo artist was riding a customized motorized bicycle made by the LA DTM (Doing The Most Club), where he serves as vice president, when he smashed into Saravia’s car in a left-cross collision the day after Christmas.

Saravia immediately fled the scene, leaving Hasan injured in the street, where he was tended to by several bystanders.

“You should stop, that’s it,” his brother said towards the end of the press conference. “Nobody cares if you’re messed up, as long as you just stop. Just make sure that whoever it is, is alright before you continue on your journey.”

Saravia didn’t, and now faces a felony hit-and-run charge and a $100,000 bond. Police report there is no way to tell if he was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

Unfortunately, he did not have insurance, which means the Hasan family will likely be saddled with massive medical bills before he’s released.

According to the LAPD, this was just one of over 5,800 hit-and-runs in the South bureau last year, and 27,000 in the city as a whole.

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It’s official. Frenchman Robert Marchand set a new senior’s hour record, riding 22.547 kilometers — just over 14 miles — in a single hour.

At 105 years old.

Although his physiologist says Marchand could have gone even faster if he hadn’t given up meat.

He’s not the only older rider making news, though.

Texas rider Fred Schmid won his 21st national age group cyclocross title at 83 years old, despite not owning a bike until he was 61.

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A former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency says cheating by Russian athletes is even worse than anything Lance did. Meanwhile, scientists are working on new ways to beat the dopers — if cycling authorities are willing to pay the price to use them.

Thirty-five year old Russian cyclist Alexander Kolobnev retires after 14 years in the pro peloton.

The first Israeli pro cycling team jumps to the second-tier Pro Continental level just three years after it was founded.

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Local

The LAPD West Division has recovered a number of hot high-end bicycles; most appear to have been taken from a single individual in Irvine.

Work is scheduled to begin next Wednesday on the reconstruction of Santa Monica Blvd in Beverly Hills, which means the busy, dangerous and pothole-filled road may be virtually impassable on a bicycle for the next couple years. And there’s still no commitment to install bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd through the Biking Black Hole.

The LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday ride will roll this Sunday with an easy-to-moderate ride exploring the history of the northeast San Fernando Valley.

Nice gesture from the cops with the Glendora Police Department, as kindhearted officers pitch in to buy a girl a new bike after the one she got for Christmas was stolen.

Santa Monica will host a community forum to discuss building out the eastern portion of the Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway, aka MANGo.

Police in Santa Monica will be conducting their semi-regular bike and pedestrian safety crackdowns this Friday and Monday, so ride to the letter of the law until you leave the city limits. Although someone could explain to me why the story is illustrated with a photo of bicyclists outside Langer’s Deli in MacArthur Park.

 

State

Laguna Woods votes to spend $2,200 on mountain bikes and accessories for their security officers, noting that they’re not intended as a replacement for their patrol golf carts.

The environmental impact report has been released for the proposed 50-mile lone CV Link bike, pedestrian, and yes, golf cart trail through the Coachella Valley.

A Woodside bike club discovers it’s not easy to clear trash off a highway when Caltrans is involved.

 

National

A robotics expert predicts children born today will never drive a car. Especially if we can get them hooked on bikes first — and provide them with safe places to ride. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Portland’s new mayor rode his bike to work on his first day on the job, even though it was just 25 degrees out.

The Guardian looks at the growing number of ghost bikes and hit-and-runs in America’s fourth largest city. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

Apple is being sued for the death of a Texas girl for not making it impossible to use its FaceTime app while driving. Because apparently, just telling drivers not to be idiots and use their damn mobile phones just isn’t good enough. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the link.

Life is cheap in Texas, where a hit-and-run driver won’t spend a day behind bars for a crash that left a bike rider with serious, long-term injuries.

A teenage Texas cyclist won’t let a Christmas Day crash deter her from her goal of riding in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Arkansas and Tennessee open a new bike and pedestrian bridge across the Mississippi River at Memphis, connected to an existing freight railway bridge; Arkansas hopes to become the bicycling hub of the South.

A Pittsburgh city councilwoman proposes creating a bike lane advisory committee to review bike lanes and allow the public to weigh in on them, because she wants to ensure they’re safe. And because she thinks they’re ugly. The bike lanes, not the public.

Massachusetts drivers could now face a fine of $50 for stopping in a bike lane.

The bike-riding victim’s family is outraged, as Florida authorities negotiate a plea deal giving a killer driver just one day short of a year in jail. Or at least they think he was the driver; three years later, they’re still not sure, despite the conviction.

A Florida cyclist was shot in the butt at least three times with a pellet gun as he was riding his bike.

 

International

A new study in the prestigious Lancet medical journal suggests people living near major roadways have a higher risk of dementia. Although apparently not as high as those driving on them.

Bike Radar says it’s time to stop mocking MAMILs, offering eight reasons they were right all along. Meanwhile, a college professor says he’s a MAMIL and very happy about it, thank you.

Now that’s more like it. A 23-year old repeat drunk driver gets seven years for killing a Canadian bike rider and fleeing from police at 124 mph; she also gets a well-deserved ten year ban on driving, which hopefully won’t start until after she gets out.

Edmonton, Canada’s new downtown bike lane network should improve safety for pedestrians, as well.

Halifax, Nova Scotia made it through 2016 without a single bicycle or pedestrian death; local bike advocates credit better infrastructure, education and enforcement.

The LA Times suggests riding Ireland’s rugged west coast and crossing the country’s highest mountain range for just $1,900 a person; more if you need to rent a bike.

A New Zealand man is bicycling around the country to put on a one man science show.

 

Finally…

Now even toddlers can pedal inside without actually going anywhere. No, seriously, who the hell would steal a tall bike?

And if you can’t avoid a DUI, just buy all the copies of the local newspaper so no one will find out about it.

 

Update: Hit-and-run driver critically injures Hyde Park bike rider; LAPD fails to send hit-and-run alert or mention reward

Once again, a heartless coward has left a South LA bike rider bleeding in the street.

According to press release from the LAPD, a 35-year old man was riding some sort of motorized bicycle on 48th Street at Ninth Ave in the Hype Park neighborhood around 3:40 Monday afternoon when he was struck by a car driven by an unidentified driver.

The driver had been parked at the eastbound curb when he suddenly pulled out, turning left across the traffic lanes and into the path of the westbound bike rider, in a crash captured by a security cam.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

There are bike lanes in both direction on 48th, though it appears he was traveling in the through lane at or near the speed of traffic.

Police are looking for a burgundy or red late 1990s Oldsmobile Cutlass four door sedan. The department reports the two people in the car had just left Kenny’s Liquor, where they were captured on security footage.

The driver is described as a male Hispanic, approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall, between 180 and 200 pounds with dark hair. He was seen wearing a gray baseball cap, a gray jacket, white t-shirt, and blue jeans.

The passenger is described as a male Hispanic, approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall, with black hair and a mustache. He was seen wearing a red long sleeve shirt, black pants, and brown shoes.

Anyone with information urged to call LAPD South Traffic Division at 323/421-2500.

Oddly, the press release does not mention the city’s standing reward program providing up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of hit-and-run drivers; in this case, it provides an automatic $25,000 reward for a collision resulting in a severe injury.

It’s also strange that the LAPD did not use LA’s hit-and-run alert system that was approved by the city council early last year alerting the public to be on the lookout for suspect vehicles. For some reason, the department seems reluctant to use the program, even though it was created for cases exactly like this.

There is also a statewide program that was signed into law last year allowing hit-and-run alerts on state highway signs.

Maybe someday the LAPD will actually use some of the tools available to them to enlist the public’s help to catch people like this.

We can dream, right?

Update: Police have made an arrest in the case.

Update 2: In an LAPD press conference, South LA detectives identified the victim as 36-year old Los Angeles resident Gabrail Hasan, the father of nine kids under 15. 

The tattoo artist and vice president of the LA DTM (Doing the Most) Motorized Bike Club remains in critical condition in the ICU following emergency surgery for a crushed aorta.

Weekend Links: Venice bike rider accidently shot by LAPD officer, and Westwood Greenway in the works

You’ve got to be kidding.

A woman was shot while riding her bicycle on the bike path in Venice beach because a cop forgot one of the most basic guidelines for use of force.

Make sure there are no innocent people in the line of fire.

According to multiple sources, LAPD mounted officers had approached a group of transients when one woman became angry, causing her pit bull to become agitated and bite one of the officers on the hand. He responded by shooting the dog, killing it.

Unfortunately, he failed to make sure there was no one else in the way. The bullet passed through the dog and struck a tourist in the calf as she passed by on her bike.

The good news is, she remained conscious and appeared to be okay as she was wheeled into an ambulance.

And she can expect a pretty big check from the city in the not too distant future.

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A sign went up Friday announcing the coming of the Westwood Neighborhood Greenway, which will follow long-wasted space along the Expo Line between Westwood Blvd and Overland. When finished, it will include a bikeway and pedestrian walkway on the south side, with another walkway on the north side.

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Local

LADOT unveiled their latest Venice bike corral on West Washington Blvd.

The first segment of the Rail to Rail/River trail connecting Inglewood with the LA River is scheduled to open in 2019.

The second location of Pittsburgh’s Banker Supply bike shop opens in Echo Park, designed to cater to people who ask “why am I driving?”

Pasadena will get bikeshare next summer; the question is whether the city will be ready for it.

Lucas Guidroz is expected to be sentenced to 10 year behind bars next week for the drunken hit-and-run death of cyclist, musician and math teacher Rod Bennett on Placerita Canyon in Santa Clarita.

The LACBC hosts their monthly Sunday Funday ride this Sunday, with an easy to moderate 16-mile loop from Highland Park to The Wheelhouse in DTLA. Thanks to Pedro Avalos for the heads-up.

 

State

Caltrans is asking for local bike and pedestrian count data to determine where improvements are needed.

Orange County’s Revolution Bike Fest kicked off yesterday, offering three days of bikes, music, beer, food and other spectator-friendly activities.

The nine-year old Murietta boy injured in yesterday’s hit-and-run is recovering after being knocked unconscious on the collision; he reportedly was released from the hospital with bumps and bruises.

The Camarillo Acorn talks with pro triathlete Jordan Rapp about his 51st place finish in Ironman World Championship, six years after he nearly died in a hit-and-run.

Bicycling collisions dropped by more than half in Hanford after police cracked down on bicyclists and visited schools to discuss bike safety; police in the wider Kings County area blame riders for eight of the nine collisions involving cyclists this year. Evidently, drivers there are nearly perfect, at least in the eyes of the local police.

Who was that flannelled man? A man in red flannel is credited with stopping someone from stealing a bike off a San Francisco bus.

A young man’s body was found buried on the campus of Sonoma State University recently, after he disappeared upon leaving his home for a bike ride last month.

Secure bike lockers will be available when the new Sonoma-Marin rail system begins operations next year, though bike advocates say it won’t be enough to meet demand.

Trial began on Friday for a Sacramento man facing 19 charges, including three counts of attempted murder, for running down three bike riders during an alleged meth-fueled rampage.

 

National

Protect your eyes. A new Johns Hopkins study shows female bike riders are more likely to suffer eye injuries than women participating in other sports.

Evidently accepting his inevitable defeat in Tuesday’s election, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson makes plans to ride in next year’s 2,745 mile Tour Divide.

Colorado puts its money where its mouth is, offering a total of $500,000 for ideas to stop the rise in bicycling and pedestrian deaths.

A Northwestern University professor is working on five bicycle dynamics projects, including eliminating the dreaded death wobble, and building a bike with rear wheel steering.

New York’s Mayor De Blasio says the city is fully funding Vision Zero efforts, but the numbers tell a different story.

Evidently, drivers in the Bronx are being terrorized by preteen bike riders.

 

International

CyclingTips looks at the rise of crowdfunding for bicycle projects, despite the cautionary tale of an Irish company that won’t ship its promised products or provide refunds.

A Toronto writer says drivers are horrible, but cyclists are the ones who scare her, and would it hurt you to wear orange and obey red lights?

The UK’s Trump-less version of The Apprentice tackles the crowdfunded bicycling industry.

Caught on video: A headphone-wearing British cyclist gets on the wrong busy expressway headed the wrong way, where bikes aren’t allowed anyway. So of course the kindhearted driver who says he was so worried about his safety tells him to just keep going.

A new British study finds that the handful of people willing to help a stranger after a fake bike accident are also more likely to help a stranger taking a survey. Apparently, though, the overwhelming majority of people just don’t give a damn.

Sorry Amsterdam scooter riders, your snorfietsen have been banned from the bike paths.

 

Finally…

All it takes is a little toilet paper to keep fresh tar off your tires. Your next track bike could be a steal at just $26,000.

And if you’re going to steal a bike, try not to take it from a champion cross country runner.

 

Morning Links: Road rage assault in San Diego County, and LAPD looking for shooter of Echo Park bike rider

Come back later today when we’ll have a guest post from Mr. CiclaValley himself as he talks with Toluca Lake resident and pro cyclist Phil Gaimon about next weekend’s inaugural Malibu Gran Cookie Fondo.

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This is who we share the roads with.

San Diego’s 10News reports a road raging driver intentionally knocked a local radio host off his bicycle as he was escorting a disabled cyclist on the Coast Highway in Carlsbad, just a few miles from the end of the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s 620-mile Million Dollar Challenge.

As the rider worked to make it up a small hill, an impatient driver began honking his horn, despite a support van warning cyclists were ahead. So KOGO host Bob “Sully” Sullivan rode back to explain that his riding partner was a paraplegic using a handcycle to get up the hill.

“‘We’ve gone 590 miles, give me 90 seconds, I’ll have him up and over this grade, you can be on your way,'” Sullivan said he told the man. “Completely agitated, he says to me, ‘I don’t care if it’s f-ing God up there. Get out of the f-ing road.'”

Sullivan said that’s when he stopped talking to the man and got back on his bike. The truck’s driver accelerated and hit Sullivan’s bike, causing him to fall to the roadway.

Yet despite the presence of an off-duty Carlsbad cop riding in the opposite direction, no charges have been filed.

“I think he needs to be arrested,” Sullivan said. “Somebody who purposely hits somebody on a bicycle using his car is either assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder, at the very least shouldn’t be driving a car right now.”

Seriously.

Thanks to Todd Munson for the heads-up.

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The LAPD is asking for the public’s help in finding the person who shot and killed a bike rider in Echo Park last week; 37-year old William Perea was hit with gunfire as he rode at Mohawk and Montana the night of October 17th.

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LADOT says safety remains the top priority on the LA River bike path, as they remind both walkers and bike riders about the statutes governing the pathway and the need to share it safely, in the wake of a collision with a bicyclist that sent an elderly woman to the hospital.

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Equity is the common theme of the day.

Momentum Magazine looks at the nationwide movement to build greater equity in bicycling.

People for Bikes says the massive racial wealth gap is a major barrier to bicycle use, noting that a bike can’t save you money if you don’t have enough to buy one.

And Curbed looks at the speech given by the LACBC’s Tamika Butler that brought down the house at last month’s NACTO conference.

The LACBC deserves a lot of credit for starting this conversation, even before Butler came on board, with its outreach to lower income immigrant communities in the last decade. Along with notable presentations at the National Bike Summit that marked the bike coalition as a national leader on the subject.

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Don’t forget to vote for LA Bike Trains and SAFE (Streets Are For Everyone) for this year’s LA2050 challenge grants; voting ends tomorrow.

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Local

KCET discovers the delicious marriage of bicycling and desserts that is Sweet Ride USA, with new episodes appearing online every Wednesday through November 16th.

KPCC discusses solutions to the first mile/last mile problem for transit users.

The Westwood Village Improvement Association discusses how to improve business and better serve the surrounding community. Oddly, making it safer to walk and bike there doesn’t seem to be an option, even though both would benefit the Village’s long suffering businesses.

Pasadena’s bikeshare system is expected to open next July as the Metro Bike system expands northward; the system is expected to have 400 bikes at 34 docking stations around the city.

The new and improved Agoura Road, complete with shiny new bike lanes, opens in Agoura Hills after a year of construction.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson recounts Tuesday’s civil obedience protest ride and lengthy council session in Palos Verdes Estates in his own inimitable style.

 

State

Hats off to OC’s Special Spokes and the San Clemente Rotary for providing special-needs kids with adaptive bicycles. With all the negativity this election year, it’s nice to see people working to make a real difference in kids lives.

A Clovis driver faces up to a year in jail for fatally rear-ending a bike rider last April.

An unidentified man was shot and killed as he rode his bike in Fresno Tuesday night; police are unsure if the shooting was gang-related.

 

National

There’s a special place in hell for someone who would steal a bicycle on loan to a vet from Ride 2 Recovery so he could ride across the US with his dog, who’s suffering from terminal cancer. And in my hometown, no less.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske writes about a new Close Call Database allowing bike riders to report punishment passes from angry motorists to establish a paper trail in case the driver does it again. Or worse.

A Texas rider says learn to ride safely and obey the law, or don’t ride at all.

A Maine newspaper says the technology for today’s carbon fiber bicycles got its start in the state with Aegis Bicycle, but the company couldn’t hold out against increasing competition and the demand for ever lighter frames.

New York tells cyclists and pedestrians to make themselves more visible, and drivers to pay more attention, in advance of the end of daylight savings time next month. Meanwhile, a new proposal would allow bike riders to get a head start at traffic signals by going with the walk signal for the leading pedestrian interval.

Who was that masked man? A Bronx bike rider is a hero after retrieving a woman’s stolen purse, then riding off before she could thank him. No word on whether he left a silver bike chainlink behind.

Philadelphia police arrested a 17-year old boy in the shooting of a Good Samaritan who got off his bicycle to try to stop an armed robbery; he faces charges including attempted murder and aggravated assault.

Bikes and dogs are now officially banned from Arlington National Cemetery.

A Charleston writer says the city deserves the distinction of being called America’s worst city for bicycling.

 

International

You know Calgary has a lot of bike riders when the city’s bike counter gets maxed out with 68 days still left in the year.

Ella Cycling Tips offers advice on how to recover mentally from a bicycling crash.

Life is cheap in Belize, where champion cyclist Marlon Castillo is fined just $13,000 for the careless driving collision that killed his friend.

Ottawa police release a new PSA campaign explaining how to use and drive around the city’s new bike box and bi-directional bike lanes.

Caught on video: A British cabbie clips a cyclist with his mirror, then launches into a foul-mouthed temper tantrum claiming the rider somehow hit him. And yet some actually question who was in the right.

Tom Cruise is one of us, as he reportedly rides through the English countryside with his new girlfriend.

A Brit cyclist born with just one arm is raising funds to buy a prosthetic arm so he can compete in the Paralympic Games; a Go Fund Me account has raised a little more than half of the £7,500 goal, the equivalent of $9157.

A nine-year old cyclist may be a better climber than most of us, topping Italy’s famed Mt. Ventoux and Stelvio climbs in under 48 hours.

An Aussie writer says Sydney needs to focus less on fining bike riders and more on building some decent infrastructure for them.

A German cyclist survives a night in the snake and crocodile-infested Australian wilds after taking a header over his handlebars and dislocating is shoulder.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use a bicycle to make your getaway after stealing a bag-full of booze, try not to ride into a lamppost. Why settle for a mere sag wagon when you can have your very own bike butler?

And in LA we have police chases; in London, it’s investment bankers biking away from bobbies.

 

Morning Links: A human speed bump at Sunday’s CicLAvia, and a miscarriage of justice in Ventura County

Sunday marked yet another successful CicLAvia, as thousands turned out for the shortened course on Wilshire Blvd despite the heat.

However, some aspects left something to be desired, as dangerd explains.

Vision Zero L.A Style at CicLAvia

Do you want to know how much the LAPD cares about your safety and “Vision Zero”?

At the Wilshire CicLAvia this Sunday my girlfriend and I were making our way back to where we parked mid-route at our hotel near MacArthur Park when at 3:30pm a LAPD motorcycle cop escorting the DOT truck reopening Wilshire Blvd. pulled up behind us an announced over his loudspeaker “Get over to the right, the street is re-opening, this is L.A. You are just a speed bump.”

I pulled aside the cop on my bicycle and said, “I am not a speed bump I am a road user and I would appreciate it if you enforced the traffic law. If someone runs me off the road I expect that you will give them a ticket.”

To which he answered, “How can I give them a ticket after they run you over, you will already be dead?”

In my opinion we will not achieve “Vision Zero” by 2035, IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN, Not with a police force who is unwilling to enforce traffic law even at a CicLAvia event, and makes jokes about cars running over pedestrians and bicyclists.

Are you listening Eric Garcetti?

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I got to CicLAvia late myself, but still managed to grab a few photos along the way, presented in no particular order.

Church-&-Bikes

Bike-Rodeo-Course-smallCicLAvia-Van-small

Nice to see the City Attorney's office represented

Nice to see the City Attorney’s office represented

Indodnesian-Band-small

An Indonesian band performed, drawing a large crowd

Gen. Otis, founder of the LA Times, not the namesake of MacArthur Park

Gen. Otis, founder of the LA Times, not the namesake of MacArthur Park

A very moving memorial to Robert Kennedy, steps from where he was assassinated

A very moving memorial to Robert Kennedy, steps from where he was assassinated

The LA Public Library book bike

The LA Public Library book bike

CicLAvia-Van-small

As usual, businesses that catered to CicLAvia participants were richly rewarded

As usual, businesses that catered to CicLAvia participants were richly rewarded

Soon to be the Left Coast's tallest building

Soon to be the Left Coast’s tallest building

KCBS-2 anchor Jeff Vaughn is one of us, as he rode the full route with his charming family

KCBS-2 anchor Jeff Vaughn is one of us, as he rode the full route with his charming family

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In a truly bizarre miscarriage of justice, a 27-year old Camarillo woman who killed two people while allegedly texting is allowed to plead out to misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charges.

The CHP concluded that Rachel Hill was “distracted by a portable electronic device” when she ran down Emmy Award-winner Maciek Malish as he rode his bike on the shoulder of Moorpark Road, then overcorrected and hit Jesse Cushman as his motorcycle came from the opposite direction.

Yet somehow, the Ventura County DA concluded that the death of two innocent people at the hands of a distracted driver really wasn’t that big a deal, and didn’t merit felony charges.

And can’t seem to explain why, other than to respond in an unsigned form letter to say the decision was not made lightly.

Which really makes you wonder just who Hill knows in the DA’s office.

She’ll be sentenced to a slap on the wrist on September 20th.

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BMX rider Kevin Robinson came out of retirement to set a world record with an 84” power-assisted backflip, after crashing hard on his first attempt.

Or maybe you’d be more impressed by a mountain biker leaping over a train gap — aka a railroad track running through a ravine —  in British Columbia; although that’s still not as impressive as doing it over an actual train.

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A Dutch cyclist rode on the wall — vertically — in an attempt to avoid a crash in the women’s keirin.

The Australian cycling team is going bust at the Rio Olympics.

A Detroit artist’s work was along for the ride when Kristin Armstrong won her third consecutive gold in the time trial. Although it does have some rather operatic competition.

The British women’s pursuit team pens a note of congratulations to their medal-winning countrymen, with a friendly reminder not to drunkenly stumble into the wrong room. And apparently, it worked.

Temecula’s Sarah Hammer was part of the silver medal winning US pursuit team.

A Brazilian cyclist was suspended for failing a drug test. Meanwhile, a columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune, looking oddly like Rodney Dangerfield, says Americans shouldn’t throw stones when it comes to doping at the Olympics.

And no, a Canadian parliament member did not win cycling gold in Rio.

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Local

Metro’s $22 million underpass connecting the Red and Orange Lines in North Hollywood is set to open today.

A San Marino man plans to ride 17,500 miles from Alaska to Argentina to honor his friend, who was paralyzed from the neck down in a Las Vegas traffic collision.

The Santa Monica Spoke will host an August “Go Public” Ice Cream Ride visiting three gourmet ice cream shops in the Santa Monica area on the 27th.

 

State

An Encinitas bike rider was hurt in a hit-and-run Sunday morning; fortunately, his injuries were not life threatening.

A Carlsbad dog escaped from its home and attacked a bike rider, then lunged at police, who had to use pepper spray and a beanbag gun to subdue him. Bad dog!

The madness continues in Coronado, where a candidate for city council says no to a proposed bike and pedestrian bridge under the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, because transients, homeless people, drug addicts and alcoholics would use it along with the bike riders and tourists. “I’m going to build a wall, a beautiful wall, across the bay. And I’ll make the homeless drug addicts pay for it.”

A bike rider was airlifted to a local hospital following a collision on PCH in Ventura County. Which seems unusual since she was listed as suffering just minor injuries.

A San Francisco bicyclist says it’s time to require bike riders to register their bikes, obtain a license and carry a minimum amount of liability insurance, using the money to design and build safer roads. In other words, the people most at risk, who do the least harm to the roads, should pay prohibitively to protect themselves from those who do the most damage and pose the greatest danger. Got it.

 

National

After a recording proves a Utah councilmember said bike riders should be run off the road, a woman writes that’s exactly what happened to her husband, and she wouldn’t wish that pain and sorrow on anyone.

Denver business owners are worried about how a new six mile, two-way cycle track will affect their businesses, even though studies show it could actually help.

Colorado authorities are investigating after someone spray painted messages on the roadway suggesting bike riders should be killed in advance of a Gran Fondo.

 

International

A Toronto driver complains that she was left with a $500 deductible payment after a careless bike rider scratched her car while she was stopped at a red light, and wants the law changed to hold bicyclists accountable. Which it already does, but she chose not to file a case in small claims court.

An Irish cyclist is nearing the finish of a 14 month bike tour from New Zealand to Ireland, through 23 countries on three continents.

An Aussie cyclist has his bike stolen three months into a one year, 12,000 mile charity ride around the continent.

A Wellington, New Zealand columnist pens a piece that could have been written here, saying that local leaders are reluctant to make the hard choices to improve bike safety, in a city where cars form the top of the transportation pyramid and everything else is on the bottom.

Philippine police are surprised when no admitted drug users show up for a bike ride with drug enforcement cops. The only real surprise is that the cops were surprised.

Bikeshare comes to Shanghai, even if some riders are hording the orange-wheeled bikes for their own use.

 

Finally…

Don’t buy meat from skinny Brits in hi-viz. If you’re going to wrestle a bike away from its owner, don’t hang around and watch when the police come to investigate.

And seriously, when you’re riding with outstanding felony warrants, don’t weave in and out of traffic.

 

Morning Links: BOLO alert for bicycling Hollywood robber, and celebrate the coming of bikeshare to DTLA on 7/7

The LAPD asks us to be on the lookout for a bike-riding robber victimizing Hollywood parking lot attendants.

Hollywood Bicyclist Robber Sought

Hollywood: The Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood Area robbery detectives are asking for the public’s help in providing any information that will lead to the identification and arrest of an armed suspect that was involved in a series of parking lot robberies.

From June 11, 2016 through June 25, 2016, between the hours of 11:35 A.M. to 10:50 P.M., there have been multiple robberies in the Hollywood area involving parking lot attendants.

The suspect armed with a handgun confronted the victims and demanded money from each of them. The suspect then fled with the victims’ money on a mountain bike. The mountain bike is described red and/or black in color.

The suspect is described as a 40 to 60 year old male Black. He stands approximately 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs between 130-150 pounds. He was seen wearing a ‘Flat Bill’ style baseball hat during the robberies. The suspect is to be considered armed and dangerous.

Hollywood Bicyclist Robber Sought

………

Bikeshare officially comes to Downtown LA on July 7th.

For people who sign up in advance, anyway; walk-up users will have to wait until August to take advantage of the system.

According to Streetsblog’s Joe Linton, Metro is teaming up with the LACBC and Multicultural Communities for Mobility on a $100,000 program to make bikeshare services available to low-income riders, making it one of the first systems anywhere accessible to people with limited incomes and no credit cards.

Meanwhile, you’re invited to join Metro for a grand opening celebration and ride-off at Grand Park on the 7th. You can learn more and RSVP here.

Metro-Bike-Share-Launch-Celebration-1

But how long before we see our very own NIMBY bikeshare bikelash?

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Today’s common theme is bike helmets.

Consumer Reports rates bike helmets for adults, including some with the relatively new MIPS technology to help reduce the risk of concussions.

A New York public health professor credits a bike helmet with saving his son’s life, and extrapolates that to mean every bike rider, everywhere, should be required to wear one — even on bikeshare systems, which have yet to experience a single fatality in the US. Of course, by that logic, everyone should wear a bulletproof vest, too.

And a Canadian coroner concludes that a helmet could have saved a cyclist’s life, even though the victim was hit by a car with enough force to throw him over 50 feet through the air. He fails to mention that stopping for the stop sign the rider ran would have done a lot more good.*

*Just a reminder for new readers: I’m a firm believer in bike helmets, and never ride without one. But I also recognize that they are designed to protect against slow speed falls, not high speed collisions, and should be seen a last resort when everything else fails.

………

A bike helmet probably wouldn’t have done a US Forrest Service officer any good, as the 38-year old mountain biker was attacked and killed by a grizzly bear; the victim and his riding companion surprised the bear while riding just outside Glacier National Park.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

………

The Fresno Bee looks at the contenders for this year’s Tour de France, which starts Saturday at Mont-Saint-Michel; the AP says Chris Froome may be on the cusp of greatness. Tejay van Garderen heads the diminished American contingent, as Taylor Phinney and Andrew Talansky skip the race, while Tyler Farrar and Ben King were left off their team rosters.

The Tour de France isn’t the only major race kicking off this weekend, as the last remaining Grand Tour in women’s racing, the Giro Rosa, starts on Friday.

Canadian pro Mike Woods talks about the journey that brought him to the threshold of the Tour de France and the Rio Olympics, starting when he had to give up his running career due to injuries and took up cycling just four years ago.

LA resident, Olympic medalist and seven-time national champ Dotsie Bausch credits bicycling with saving her life as she recovered from an eating disorder.

………

Local

A nitrogen-based draft coffee bike is raising funds on Indiegogo with plans to hit the streets of LA this summer; donate three grand and get your own nitro coffee bike, uh, trike.

Angelyne may drive a pink Corvette, but her assistant is one of us.

The ICanBike program teaches handicapped individuals how to ride a bike in Pomona.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson reveals that underneath his curmudgeonly façade, he’s a begrudging optimist when it comes to making Palos Verdes Estates a better, safer, more enjoyable place to ride a bike.

Obey the letter of the law if you ride through Hawthorne today, as they become the latest SoCal city to target violations that put bicyclists and pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them.

Long Beach cyclists are asked to try out temporary bike lanes in Bixby Knolls on Friday.

 

State

Shrink it, pink it and charge more for it. The so-called “pink tax” survives a challenge in the state legislature, allowing companies to continue overcharging charging women more for bicycles and other items that are virtually identical to less-expensive men’s models.

Legendary bike maker Masi will host screenings of Breaking Away in Carlsbad this weekend to celebrate its 90th anniversary.

An Arroyo Grande woman with a long history of drug and alcohol convictions gets 15 to life for killing a bike rider while under the influence; she had alcohol, meth and THC in her system, and was wearing an ankle monitor for a previous conviction at the time of the hit-and-run crash.

A San Francisco cyclist questions the safety of a buffered bike lane that resulted from a road diet on Golden Gate Avenue, as people continue to drive in it anyway. Such as the motorcyclist who punched him when told he didn’t belong in a bike lane.

San Francisco cyclists ride to remember the two women bicyclists killed in separate hit-and-runs last week; a witness to one of the wrecks writes a heartbreaking remembrance.

A columnist for the SF Chronicle calls for automated speed cameras, which are currently barred under California law, to improve safety on the streets.

 

National

Three women leave their husbands behind and tour Alaska’s Denali National Park by bicycle.

A Boulder CO drunk driver faces charges after fleeing from a fatal cycling collision; despite a witness’ assertion that she was laughing hysterically following the collision, she was actually hysterically freaking out. Or so her lawyer says, anyway.

Instead of bikeshare, Golden CO opens a bike library offering two styles of American-made Jamis bikes in various sizes for adults and children.

A Michigan driver tries riding a bike to get a better perspective on what cyclists experience, and gain some insight into how to avoid more tragedies.

A bighearted Louisiana sheriff’s deputy replaces a pair of stolen bicycles that were taken from two little kids in the same family.

 

International

A determined Toronto area mom rode her bicycle through two barriers of police tape to get to her daughter following a house explosion that killed one person.

A cranky Ottawa, Canada writer pens the bicycling equivalent of “get off my lawn,” while somehow concluding that cyclists are responsible for avoiding collisions, even when drivers are at fault.

A Canadian writer offers drivers advice on how to pass a bike without killing anyone or being a dick.

A man in the UK put in the winning bid on a bicycle listed on eBay. Then gave the seller’s address to the police, since it was his stolen bike.

Caught on video: A Russian cyclist looks away for a few seconds, and looks up just in time to plow into a pedestrian.

Police in Chennai, India are going back to bicycle patrols, which allows them to sneak up on miscreants at night.

Tragic news, as a South African cycling champ who finished fourth in the 1956 Olympics was tied up and shot in a home invasion robbery.

 

Finally…

Before you celebrate your victory, make sure the race is actually over. If you think roads are crappy now, wait until they pave them with pig shit.

And it is possible to ride a $180 Walmart Huffy down a double black diamond mountain bike trail. But barely.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

 

Morning Links: Good news on LA bike collisions, and Floyd Landis goes from doper to dope purveyor

My apologies for the late post; blame a late night Internet outage that kept me offline until this morning.

……….

A couple of interesting tidbits from yesterday’s LAPD bike liaison meeting.

While traffic collisions are up overall in the San Fernando Valley compared to last year, there’s been a 23% decrease in bicycling collisions. And a 37% drop in collisions resulting in serious injuries to bike riders.

Meanwhile, the proliferation of bike lanes in Downtown LA has resulted in an overall slowing of traffic speeds, as well as improved compliance with traffic laws by bike riders. Demonstrating once again that if you want bicyclists to obey the law, just give them a safe place to ride.

Speaking of the department’s bike liaison program, you can find email addresses for each of the bike liaisons for the city’s four traffic divisions listed on the Resources page.

These officers are here to help if you have any problems resolving bicycling issues involving the police. So feel free to reach out to them when you need help, whether it’s dealing with harassment or dangerous traffic conditions on your ride, unfair treatment by police, or officers refusing to accept a report or complaint.

No, seriously. That’s what they’re here for.

………

Disgraced ex-Tour de France champ Floyd Landis used to insist his Mennonite upbringing meant he wouldn’t have doped.

Now he’s in the dope business.

Landis, who won the 2006 Tour on an artificial hip, has teamed with former teammate Dave Zabriskie to create a new line of marijuana-laced lotions called Floyd’s of Leadville to treat pain and inflammation.

So far, it’s only available in Colorado, where virtually all things marijuana are legal.

But we may eventually see it here under California’s medical marijuana laws.

………

An Italian judge concludes that cycling great Marco Pantani really did die of a cocaine overdose and wasn’t murdered by the mob.

An Aussie pro cyclist says living the lifestyle isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, explaining why she’s stepping away, if not retiring, at the ripe old age of 20.

All those crashes in the Amgen Tour of California are finally explained; the riders were running on Microsoft.

………

Local

If you want your kid to perform well in school, buy ‘em a bicycle.

LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds testifies before the US Senate on the Internet of Things.

CiclaValley feels the sting of bicycling in bee season.

Monrovia is expected to adopt a new bike plan next month, including seven miles of protected bike lanes.

Just one day after a bike rider was shot and killed in Compton, another bike rider shot three men in a car, killing one.

Forty cyclists ride to protest a lack of infrastructure and police action to protect bike riders in Palos Verdes Estates by scrupulously obeying the letter of the law; one driver who clearly didn’t get it swore at riders because he had to go around them. Which is kind of the point.

 

State

Someone on a bicycle attacked two homeless people in San Diego using a rock and a golf club.

After partying all night, an Oceanside driver crashed into a pedestrian and kept going for nearly a mile — with his body still embedded in her windshield.

Solvang puts a planned bike and pedestrian bridge on hold after Caltrans finds deficiencies in a nearby vehicle bridge, which could require replacement while costing the city $600,000 in funds allocated for the bike/ped project.

A Visalia woman was critically injured when her bike was rear-ended by a car.

San Francisco cyclists pen a letter to the mayor asking for safer streets.

A Sacramento salmon cyclist is lucky to walk away from a crash with a light rail train.

 

National

The Atlantic says America’s automotive hegemony is insane.

An East Coast group is working on completing a continuous bikeway stretching from Florida to Maine. We can’t even get a continuous bikeway across Los Angeles.

An anonymous bicycling superhero rides to the rescue of a paint-covered kitten someone abandoned in an Albuquerque dumpster. Which is exactly what should happen to the person who put it there. Without the rescue part.

A Michigan paper asks if the Kalamazoo bike crash reflects a statewide trend, where bike-involved collisions were up 57% last year.

A Boston drunk driver gets eight to twelve years behind bars for the collateral damage death of a teenage bike rider, after he crashed into a car stopped at a red light and knocked it into the waiting cyclist. Although someone should tell Patch that when a person drives drunk, whatever happens as a result is not an accident.

No bias here. An upstate New York paper blames a cyclist for crashing into the side of a car, which apparently wasn’t moving and didn’t have a driver.

Famed bike-riding New York fashion photographer Bill Cunningham passed away at age 87 after suffering a stroke; a petition calls for naming a Gotham street corner after him, while the Financial Times says he should be admired for his principles.

A New York judge rules it violates a driver’s constitutional rights to require them not to crash into people.

A writer for the Washington Post offers tips on traveling in a car with a bike on the back.

Hammering out the Democratic Party platform be a messy process, but at least they reached unanimous agreement on the need for more bike paths.

Battling petitions circulate in Lafayette LA, calling for the removal, or not, of a bike lane that’s part of a citywide loop.

 

International

Who says Rapha doesn’t support women cyclists?

Cycling Magazine lists bicycling’s 14 most influential Canadians.

Police in Ottawa, Canada are using a sonar device to help catch drivers who pass too close to cyclists.

A crazed Brit cyclist who was deliberately holding up traffic reached in and stole the car keys from a BBC presenter who was acting in an entirely reasonable manner. Or at least, that’s his version of the story; something tells me the rider in question might see it a little differently.

Rome plans to create a 27-mile inner city bicycling route linking the city’s tourist attractions. Unlike LA, where there’s no viable way for most tourists to visit the city’s many attractions by bike.

Apparently, Pakistani bike riders need a helmet with front and rear cams, blind spot detection, brake lights, turns signals, Bluetooth and WiFi, and built-in GPS. But no word on whether it will actually protect your head if you fall off your bike.

An Aussie driver’s grandmother says he just made a mistake and he’s terribly sorry for fleeing the scene after killing a bike rider. Which makes it all okay, of course.

 

Finally…

It takes a real loser to slap a six-year old in the face in a dispute over a bicycle. Sometimes it’s nice just to ride your bike and fiddle around.

And congratulations, you are now superfluous.

 

Guest Post: Law Enforcement Needs to Understand Traffic Laws

Despite years of effort, we still have a long way to go in educating police officers on the rights of bicyclists. 

It seemed like we had solved the problem, in Los Angeles at least, five years ago when the LAPD worked with bike riders and the City Attorney to clarify the laws governing bicycling, and create a bicycle training module that all street level officers were required to complete.

Yet bicyclists still encounter officers who seem to have missed, or forgotten, that training. And as architect and bike commuter Michael MacDonald learned the hard way, we still haven’t made any progress with the Sheriff’s Department. 

lasd_interaction

By Michael MacDonald

I’m frequently the recipient of harassment, insults, and aggression from drivers who don’t understand that riding on the street is perfectly legal. Commuting by bike around Los Angeles — with little-to-no bike infrastructure within a 5-mile radius of my house, I’ve come to expect the regular rage-fueled driver. And yet as frustrating as this aggression is from the motoring public, it is even more demoralizing to receive similar harassment from law enforcement personnel. Too many officers in Los Angeles aren’t familiar with the fact that a person on a bike is perfectly within their rights to control a travel lane on almost all Los Angeles streets, and that cyclists take the lane for safety.

Before I started riding a bike in Los Angeles, I had thankfully had very few interactions with law enforcement. But then in 2013, I was detained in the back of a Sheriff’s Department squad car because 2 deputies thought that a person riding a bike on the street in Rosemead didn’t look right.

Over the last 2 weeks, motorcycle officers have twice stopped me – for riding in the street, legally.

The first incident was on returning from the wonderful CicLAvia Southeast Cities on May, 15 2016. On my way home by bike, still on a high note from the event, I took Central Avenue. Despite its lack of bike lanes, Central is a critical North/South connector within South L.A. Proposed bike lanes on Central are included in the City’s Mobility Plan 2035, have widespread community support, and are needed to address Central’s horrific safety record. But frustratingly, Councilmember Curren Price has blocked the bike lanes from being installed and is working with Councilmember Paul Koretz to try to get them removed from the Plan, so they won’t even be considered in the future.

While I was waiting at a red light in the rightmost travel lane on Central at 27th Street, an LAPD motorcycle officer approached at a rapid pace and stopped inches from me. He proceeded to aggressively explain, “This isn’t your lane – you can’t ride in the middle.” I have been riding long enough to have nearly memorized California Vehicle Code, not just CVC 21202(a)(3), but 21656, 21760, and 22400 too. I knew he was wrong. And yet his tone and demeanor made it clear this wasn’t a conversation. This was a stern demand with the threat of a ticket seconds away.

As he pulled off, I wasn’t even clear on how he expected me to ride since the lanes on Central are so narrow. I stopped and took some time to compose myself after this demoralizing experience of state-sponsored harassment. Then, I continued to ride in the middle of the lane: where it’s safest when bike lanes aren’t provided, and where California’s Vehicle Code says I have the right to ride.

……..

10 days later, I was again confronted with a similar situation – but this time I had my helmet camera rolling. During the Tuesday evening rush hour on May 24th, a Sheriff’s deputy pulled up alongside me as I rode in the Wilshire Blvd bus/bike lane through Koreatown (Wilshire & Kingsley). Just as before, the deputy clearly wasn’t familiar with relevant California traffic laws, but still felt the need to tell me what I was doing would not be permitted and that I would receive a ticket if I continued on.

First, as an aside, I will say that these Wilshire bus/bike lanes are so frequently filled with dangerous scofflaw drivers that it’s a tiny bit refreshing to see them actually being patrolled, and I commend Metro/the Sheriff’s Department for efforts to try to speed up the 20 & 720 buses on this route. But this deputy seems to be completely unaware that these lanes are also for the use of people on bikes, just as the lane’s signage says.

Photo of Los Angeles’ peak hour bus/bike lane signage, credit: Marc Caswell

Photo of Los Angeles’ peak hour bus/bike lane signage, credit: Marc Caswell

He started by claiming that cyclists are not permitted to use the bus/bike lane whatsoever. After I pointed out the sign ahead saying, ‘Bikes OK,’ he said that cyclists must ride the curb edge, which is dangerous and without legal basis. Finally, he claimed that cyclists are required to get out of the way of buses. Of course, how people on bikes are supposed to accomplish this feat within this tightly sized lane with no turnouts is a mystery to me.

Just to state the obvious: this deputy is wrong on all counts. First, LADOT has designated these lanes for the use of bicycles and accordingly posted signs stating “Bikes OK.” Second, there is no requirement to ride along the curb as CVC 21202(a)(3) applies, since the lane is too narrow to for a bicycle to be safely be ridden side-by-side with a vehicle, let alone a bus. Metro’s own “Bike Guide” even instructs people on bikes to ride at the center of the lane when proceeding straight. Third, there is no requirement for bikes or slower vehicles to turn-out on a multi-lane roadway. CVC 21656, the law requiring vehicles to turn out, only applies on 2-lane highways – and even then, it only is triggered when there is a queue of 5 vehicles behind.

This isn’t the first time someone has been pulled over by LASD in a bus/bike lane in Los Angeles. In 2014, my friend, Marc Caswell, was wrongly ticketed by a Sheriff’s deputy for legally riding in a bus/bike lane on Sunset Blvd. In the end, the deputy failed to appear at the hearing, so the ticket was dismissed.

But it isn’t just being pulled over. Twice last year, I was aggressively instructed by Sheriff’s deputies to ride up onto the sidewalk to let a bus pass while in the Sunset Boulevard bus/bike lane. And when I called to report Tuesday’s incident on Wilshire, the LASD Watch Commander also appeared to be completely unfamiliar that bikes might be permitted to ride in bus/bike lanes or centered within a lane.

If I have been the recipient of these types of incidents three times in the last year, how many other Angelenos have received the same dangerous misinformation, been ticketed incorrectly, or had an unwarranted traffic stop trigger other policing problems? If we are to look to officers to enforce traffic laws, it seems only reasonable to expect that they would understand the law. And, certainly, we should not accept these officers instructing people to endanger themselves by riding in an unsafe way just to speed up motor vehicle traffic.

……..

It’s obvious to me at this point that LADOT, Metro & the Sheriff’s Department need to sit down and get on the same page about bus/bike lanes and the Vehicle Code. There is a simple fix: Sheriff’s Department deputies, who are acting on Metro’s behalf, need to understand the laws they are sworn to enforce. Since these patrols are funded by Metro, the Agency has the responsibility to ensure that these deputies are performing enforcement in compliance with Metro policies.

The bigger picture is that all L.A. law enforcement needs to step up their game on bikes. I am not suggesting special treatment, just that officers take some time to better understand the laws they enforce. Different departments have made some commendable strides, recognizing that cyclists belong on the street and don’t deserve extra scrutiny beyond that which is applied to motorists. But we are well past the point where any law enforcement officer patrolling L.A. streets has an excuse to not be familiar with the fact that people are allowed to ride bikes in the street and legally afforded options to maintain their own safety.

The City, County, and State all have ambitious goals to increase bicycle commuting to increase public health and reduce greenhouse emissions. To paraphrase a friend of mine: People are not going to be attracted to cycling as long as you need to be a traffic law expert – capable of citing Vehicle Code chapter, line, and verse – just to ride on L.A. streets.

We need law enforcement to get on board. And fast.

……..

South Los Angeles-based architect Michael MacDonald is a frequent bike commuter and a steering committee member of local advocacy group, Bike The Vote L.A. His architectural practice, Studio MMD, provided design for Street Beats, one of 8 project teams awarded by the Mayor’s Great Streets LA challenge grant program to re-envision Los Angeles streets.

Morning Links: Blatant anti-bike bias from a director of the LAPD police union; LAX cyclist gets jet washed

We’re still at 19 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive following the weekend.

So we need four more people to sign up today or renew your membership to just to make it 23 new members by the 23rd, let alone meet our seemingly out-of-reach goal of 100 by the end of this month.

You only have to read the item below to realize how desperately the LACBC, and your fellow bike riders, need your support

………

If you ever wonder if cops are biased against bike riders, consider this from the director of the union representing LAPD officers.

Finally, if you ride a bike, you’re supposed to share the road, not own it. The bicycle lobby is small but loud. They have purposefully impeded our ability to enforce safe speed laws by blocking the City’s ability to update its engineering and traffic surveys. Without current and valid engineering and traffic surveys, speed-measuring devices cannot be utilized. Speed is the No. 1 cause of traffic collisions.

The bicycle lobby is doing this to force the City to add more bike lanes and to convert traffic lanes into shared bike/car lanes. Putting aside the absolute traffic nightmare this would cause, their actions are making it more dangerous for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Our elected officials have allowed this special interest group to prevent the enforcement of safe speeds in our neighborhoods. Common sense must prevail here.

That comes from Officer Mark Cronin, a director of the LA Police Protective League, in a post on the union’s website.

Most of what he says elsewhere in the piece actually makes sense, as he explains that improving safety on our streets calls for greater stability in the leadership of the department’s traffic divisions, allowing traffic enforcement officers to crack down on unsafe drivers, and increasing the number of trained collision investigators in the department.

It’s just the part about bicycling that doesn’t make any sense.

Like his comments about bicyclists blocking the city’s ability to update its engineering and traffic surveys.

As near as I can figure out, he appears to be referring to the speed surveys of city streets required every seven years under the state’s 85 percentile rule, which mandates that speed limits be adjusted to the rate travelled by the average of 85% of traffic on a given street.

In other words, if 85% of drivers drive 50 mph in a 30 mph zone, the speed limit has to be adjusted to the higher level (although a recent change in the law allows cities to round down by 5 mph).

In effect, that puts speeding drivers in charge of setting speed limits. Which is like putting burglars and safe crackers in charge of bank security.

Failing to do that means the police lose the right to use speed guns to enforce the law on that particular street, giving lead-footed motorists a free hand to travel virtually unimpeded at any speed they like, pushing average speeds up even higher and repeating the cycle.

So the boogeyman bicycle lobby has nothing to gain by stopping enforcement; the higher speeds go, the greater the risk to everyone on the roadway. Especially cyclists.

And to the best of my knowledge, we don’t have the ability to stop those surveys even if we wanted to, since they are required by state law.

On the other hand, I have, along with other bike riders, argued against raising speed limits on some streets as a result of those speed surveys. Just as countless pedestrians, homeowners, business owners, traffic safety advocates and neighborhood councils have.

And usually failed.

Yet no one seems to criticize the pedestrian, homeowner, business or safety lobbies.

Why he would single out the people on two wheels is confounding. Especially when we are natural allies in repealing the 85% rule, which is a dangerous and deadly relic of California’s recent auto-centric past.

In fact, it was a group of bicycle advocates who fought with then state legislator Paul Krekorian, now an LA city councilmember, in a failed attempt to repeal the law a few years ago in order to return speed limits to sensible levels and allow the police to effectively enforce them everywhere.

Yet somehow, in Cronin’s mind, we are doing this dastardly deed in order to force the city to put in bike lanes and convert traffic lanes into shared bike/car lanes.

Never mind that almost no one likes sharrows. And that under state law, bicyclists already have the right to use the full lane on any right-hand traffic lane that is too narrow to be safely shared by a car and bicycle traveling side-by-side — which is the case on almost all of the streets in Los Angeles, according to the LAPD.

Which he would know if he completed the LAPD’s bike training module, which every street-level officer was required to do in 2011.

As for those bike lanes, they aren’t being added due to “fringe politics.”

They are included in the city’s Mobility Plan precisely for the reasons he advocates for in the rest of this piece: to improve traffic safety and save lives.

Bike lanes are a traffic calming measure that has been repeatedly shown to slow speeding traffic and improve safety for all road users, not just bike riders. And in many cases, actually improves traffic flow, rather than causing the nightmare scenario he fears.

And they are absolutely necessary if the city is to ever reduce, let alone eliminate, traffic fatalities under Vision Zero.

I tried to explain that to him when he responded to a tweet from someone else Friday night, attempting to point out that we wanted to same thing and should work together to repeal the 85th percentile rule.

What I got was a series of terse, if not surly, one-word responses, before he tweeted I was “mistaken & above all else misinformed.”

About what, he refused to explain.

And by morning, he had deleted his side of the entire conversation.

It’s frustrating to see these kinds of attitudes still in existence within the department after more than six years of working with the LAPD’s bike liaison program to correct this kind of anti-bike bias among officers. Let alone when it comes from a union leader with sway over the rank-and-file, counteracting the ongoing efforts of the department’s leadership to improve relations with the bicycling community.

Officer Cronin is wrong about us, and about the objectives of people who ride bicycles in the City of Angeles.

We don’t think we own the road. And we don’t want to. We just want to get where we’re going in one piece.

And we need the help of the police — the officers he represents — to make that happen.

Note: For some reason, Officer Cronin included his contact information on his piece, most likely because he assumed no one outside the department would ever see it.

Feel free to express your anger here, but please don’t call him, or email to insult or threaten him. Let representatives of the so-called bike lobby at the LACBC , and his superiors at the LAPD, handle it.

Taking him on yourself will only harden his attitudes and make it worse for all of us.

………

As if LA’s drivers weren’t enough, now we have to worry about jet wash.

In a scene out of Top Gun, a bike rider heading home on last week’s Bike to Work Day was riding in the bike lanes on Aviation Blvd behind the runways at LAX, when he was knocked off his bicycle from the turbulence caused by an American Airlines jet taking off.

Fortunately, unlike Goose, there was no canopy to strike his head against upon ejecting, though he did get a good scare on his surgically repaired hip.

Maybe the airport should post some sort of warning for cyclists about the risk of riding there.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

………

Important advice in a must-read from Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson, who says if you’re ever threatened by a driver — or worse — report it. Period.

………

After an overnight scare, LA’s best known bakfiets was back with owner Josef Bray-Ali of the Flying Pigeon bike shop following an overnight theft on Saturday; someone in the neighborhood found and returned it to the newly minted city council candidate the following day.

………

Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff outsprinted Peter Sagan for victory in Saturday’s Stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California. Twenty-three-year old Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe held on Sunday to become the youngest winner of the AToC by a slim 23-second margin; his victory was forged on the slopes of Gibraltar.

Dutch great Marianne Vos sprinted to victory in the third stage of the women’s Tour of California by half a bike length, while US road champ Megan Guarnier took the overall title the next day.

Emigrants from Eritrea turned out to cheer a rider from their home country when the tour visited Santa Rosa. And the race gave a marketing boost to Lake Tahoe, as it created an estimate 4.25 billion — that’s with a b — impressions worldwide in over 200 countries.

………

Local

An estimated 2,500 cyclists are expected to take part in next month’s annual AIDS/LifeCycle ride from San Francisco to LA, which is on track to raise over $16 million to benefit HIV/AIDS services.

The Pasadena Star-News looks at last week’s Ride of Silence in Pasadena and North Hollywood. Thanks to BikeSGV for the link.

LA County sheriff’s deputies are searching for a man on a bike who shot an officer in West Covina Friday night; fortunately, he’s recovering from his wounds and expected to survive.

The monthly Pedal Love podcast interviews Hollywood Reporter Features Editor and former Bicycling Magazine Editor in Chief — and author of an always entertaining Twitter account — Peter Flax.

 

State

A car meet was held in Downtown Ventura to remember the 14-year old boy killed in a double hit-and-run earlier this year; one driver has been identified but not charged, while the second is still missing.

A San Francisco bicyclist was the victim of a strong arm robbery, as four men knocked him off his bike as he rode on a recreation trail, kicked and punched him, then took his “property.” Whatever that means.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever would steal a custom tricycle from a 13-year old Sacramento boy with special needs.

A Yolo County driver will face trial on 19 charges — including assault with a deadly weapon, hit and run with injury, DUI and vehicle theft — for a five-day crime spree that culminated in deliberately running down three bike riders before fleeing the scene.

 

National

Felt has developed a revolutionary bike for the US women’s pursuit team at the Rio Olympics, with the pedals and chain on the left, instead of the right, to compensate for the banking of the track.

Business Insider says this seven-foot long, neon green cargo ebike could be your new car.

A cross-Oklahoma bike ride will pay homage to five Native American tribes by riding through the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations.

New York’s new bikeshare bicycles may be sleeker and faster, but the frames may be bending, cracking and warping.

Illegal parking evidently takes precedence over bike lanes and traffic safety on a New Orleans street.

 

International

How to cheat death mountain biking down Bolivia’s Death Road.

London’s Telegraph lists nine Italian climbs every cyclist must ride in their lifetime. None of which you, or anyone else, actually need to ride, as much as you might like to.

Taking bike theft to the extreme, a British thief pushed a mountain biker down a 20 foot drop to make off with his custom ride.

A Dublin bike advocacy group argues that lowing speed limits to just over 18 mph will save lives; naturally, the Irish equivalent of AAA begs to differ. Meanwhile, the city sees a record 11,000 daily bike commuters.

A blind bicyclist celebrated his 80th birthday while raising the equivalent of over $17,000 by riding 160 miles to Paris.

A Monaco exhibition is all about the fine art of bicycles.

Police in Australia’s New South Wales are doing their best to discourage bicycling by dramatically ramping up tickets following the state’s draconian jump in bicycling fines; penalties for riding without an approved skid lid totaled $350,262 for March and April, compared to just $50,000 last year.

 

Finally…

If a cyclist is wearing a helmet, is he really naked? If you’re going to steal a bike, make sure you lock it up afterwards.

And who says bike racing is just for humans?

 

Morning Links: Police shoot at a K-Town bike rider, Prince was one of us, and bicycle heroes in the news

Now the police are shooting at bike riders.

In a somewhat bizarre story, the Eastsider reports LAPD officers opened fire after stopping a man riding a bicycle in Historic Filipinotown Wednesday night.

The website says it’s not clear why police attempted to detain the man, who fled on foot after the shooting, and no reason is given for why the police tried to shoot him.

Then again, if cops were shooting at me, I’d run like hell, too.

The man was taken into custody a few hours later after police cordoned off the area; as of Thursday morning he had not been booked, and there was no information on what charges he might face, if any.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the heads-up.

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As everyone most likely knows by now, Prince was found dead in his Minneapolis home yesterday, just days after he got on his bicycle to show the world he was okay after a brief hospitalization for flu-like symptoms last week.

He also rode his bike to leave the stage between songs during his March solo concert in Oakland — not San Francisco, as I wrote earlier.

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Today’s news features a few hero bicyclists.

After two Polish women steal another woman’s purse, a cyclist chases them down and crashes into them to recover it, while catching the pursuit on his bike cam.

Closer to home, an OC rider uses his bicycle to take down a thief who had just emptied the cash drawer in a Huntington Beach restaurant.

And a different kind of hero, thanks to the efforts of a USC student, 37 high school students in need will receive bicycles impounded by the university; she got the idea after her own bike was stolen. Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the link.

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Episode 1Momentum Magazine says those overly graphic Phoenix bike safety graphic novels are gruesome and straight up appalling, while noting that the tone deaf AZ Department of Transportation inexplicably considers them a success.

If you can call frightening little kids off their bikes for life a success, that is; Streetsblog simply calls the brochures insane.

Meanwhile, prinzrob points out they’re not the first to use the scary graphic novel approach, as a 1972 comic book tells the tale of kid and his bicycle from hell — literally.

Although it does have a happy ending, since he learns to ride safely and grows up to be a hipster.

03

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Local

LA City Councilmember Jose Huizar is working to create a more walkable, bikeable and livable Downtown. Contrast that with LA’s Westside and Northeast LA, where councilmembers have actively blocked any significant improvements in their districts.

CiclaValley takes a slide through Topanga State Park.

A person of interest in a rash of bike thefts at Cal State Long Beach has been temporarily banned from campus after police spotted him casing bike racks; he’s subject to arrest for trespassing if he’s even seen on campus before Monday.

Culver City Walk & Rollers hosts a seven-mile Family Sweet Streets Ride to visit bakeries and ice cream and sweets shops in the city.

 

State

The Dana Point Gran Prix returns to the city’s Lantern District at the end of this month, with two days of family bike activities before the pros hit the streets.

Competitive bike polo comes to Fresno.

In a brilliant display of police work, Clovis police fail to conduct a sobriety test after a driver fatally runs down a cyclist from behind, in a bike lane and without braking; police initially said the driver “accidently bumped into” the victim. Kind of makes you wonder how well they know the driver, doesn’t it?

A free training class for League Certified Cycling Instructors in Monterey County will likely be postponed for lack of interest.

Chico police are planning to install cameras on a dangerous bike path near the local university; so far, only $4,000 of the required $20,000 has been raised so far. Even in a small town like that, $20,000 should be little more than a rounding error in the city budget.

 

National

A new NACTO guide on siting bikeshare stations says they should be accessible and convenient, and located within a three to five minute walking distance of one another. Let’s hope LA Metro picks up a copy.

Bicycling Magazine offers safety pointers for urban bicyclists, as well as tips on how to prepare for your first bike ride; meanwhile the Oregonian suggests ways to get ready to bike to work.

Ohio pediatricians are teaming with the state DOT to distribute 10,000 free bike helmets to children. Hopefully they won’t include the Arizona bike safety brochures along with them.

Once again, the NYPD seems to be bending over backwards to exonerate a truck driver in the death of a bike rider; first they said the victim was hanging onto the truck, which was not supposed to be on the narrow residential street, then suggest that the non-existent “wind force” of the slow moving truck sucked the rider underneath.

The New York Daily News says the NYPD, and Chief Bill Bratton — former head of the LAPD — needs to get onboard with the mayor’s Vision Zero plan. As the above story shows, the department’s extreme windshield bias means drivers are seldom held accountable for collisions with cyclists and pedestrians, continuing to put both at needless risk.

Somehow I missed this story from the New York Times, which examines the problem of motor doping in the pro peloton; thanks to George Wolfberg for finding it.

A pair of New Orleans men fight bike theft one Facebook post at a time.

There’s a special place in hell for someone who’d steal a specialty handbike from a handicapped Tampa man.

 

International

Two people were killed when an elevated bike path built in advance of the Rio Olympics collapsed when it was it by a strong wave; a third person is missing while two others were rescued. ABC News says shoddy construction due to graft is an ongoing problem in the country, which could affect this summer’s games.

Montreal is working to improve safety for bike riders on 57 dangerous underpasses in the city, while Toronto’s war between cyclists and drivers seems to have ended.

A writer for the Telegraph says the UK could wipe out its national debt if they fined every driver who stopped in London’s bike boxes.

London cabbies team with cyclists to campaign for cleaner air.

Scotland expects a record turnout for the fifth Pedal on Parliament; last year’s ride drew 4,000 people calling for bike safety.

Caught on video: A London cop is enraged that a bicyclist chose to ride in the traffic lane rather than a crowded bike lane.

A new system in the Netherlands is designed to warn drivers that a bicyclist is approaching an intersection in order to help riders cross safely.

A writer for the Guardian looks at the war on bike riders in Australia’s New South Wales.

 

Finally…

Apparently, Americans aren’t too concerned about global warming because we like it. Is the shape of a bike-riding BBC presenter’s ass really more important than the ride she’s promoting to battle cancer?

And what if Chrissie Hynde was one of us, just a stranger on a bus?

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Thanks to Josh Cohen, aka Los Angeles Bicycle Attorney, for renewing his sponsorship for another year. Without the support of our sponsors, this site couldn’t exist in its present form.

And to all who observe Passover, Chag Sameach!

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