Tag Archive for Levon Avetisyan

Morning Links: LAPD still looking for hit-and-run cyclist, and a bike rider critically injured in SoLA hit-and-run

The hunt is still on for the bicyclist who left the scene after colliding with an elderly man on Glendale Blvd last month.

That’s the gist of the following email I received from LAPD Det. Felix Padilla on Monday.

On October 15, 2015, around 8:20 am, Levon Avetisyan, 77 years old and a resident of Los Angeles, was crossing Glendale Blvd just north of 1st Street when he was struck by a bicyclist riding northbound on Glendale Blvd.  Mr. Avetisyan suffered severe head trauma and was taken to LAC+USC Medical Center by paramedics from LAFD.  He was later transported to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center.  Despite lifesaving efforts, Mr. Avetisyan succumbed to his injuries on November 1, 2015. The unknown bicyclist left the area before he was identified by police.  The investigation is being conducted as a hit and run, however, I believe the bicyclist had no other option other than to leave once the scene was cleared by the paramedics.

The bicyclist was described as a male, White, in his 40’s and was attired with a cycling jersey and shorts. Anyone with information concerning the bicyclist is asked to contact the LAPD Central Traffic Division Detectives at (213) 833-3713 or Central Traffic Division Watch Commander at (213) 833-3746.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).

Padilla notes that the collision appears to be an unfortunate accident, and the rider involved is not likely to face charges.

However, the police still need to talk to him, and the family of the victim is asking the bicyclist involved to come forward.

So if you’re the rider in question, contact the police. Or if you know who it was, urge him to come forward so this case can be resolved, and Avetisyan’s family get the peace and closure they need.

It’s the right thing to do.

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Yet another bicyclist has been critically injured by a heartless hit-and-run driver.

According to KNBC-4, the victim, described only as a man in his 30s, suffered severe head trauma when he was struck by an unidentified vehicle around 3 am Monday at Vernon Avenue and Broadway in South LA.

Bystanders reportedly moved construction barricades to protect him until help arrived.

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Bicyclists aren’t the only two-wheeled riders endangered by road raging drivers, as a San Diego-area woman is charged with second degree murder for running down a motorcyclist she’d argued with while driving on a freeway.

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If we can build self-driving cars, it shouldn’t be that hard to develop a system to detect cyclists and keep car doors from opening until the rider has passed to prevent doorings.

At least, that’s what a new German study suggests.

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Local

No one really wanted those buffered bike lanes on Vineland, which were supposed to give riders safe alternative route on a quiet street, instead of the long-promised bike lanes on Lankershim that were killed by former Councilmember Tom LaBonge. Well, so much for that.

Writing on LinkedIn, urban planner Nathan S. Holmes says we’ve allowed the media to frame the LA Mobility Plan incorrectly; it’s not bikes vs. cars, but rather, all about choices.

A former LA city planner says every LA street should be a Great Street, not just one little pocket in each council district.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare reaches 1,000 members in just two weeks.

SoCalCycling reports on last Sunday’s UCI pro cyclocross race in Long Beach.

LA Bike Trains is trying out a new route from Koreatown to UCLA tomorrow.

Celebrate Small Business Saturday this weekend with pop-up protected bike lanes, bike rides led by the LACBC and Calbike’s Charlie Gandy, and all-day events along Venice Blvd in Mar Vista. Unlike some of his fellow councilmembers, the Westside’s Mike Bonin clearly takes the mayor’s Great Streets program seriously.

Join the LACBC and pro cyclist Phil Gaimon in cleaning up Mulholland Drive between Runyon Canyon and the 101 Freeway on December 12th; there’s a free cookie from Sweetsalt Food Shop in it for you.

 

State

Irvine residents remember Kevin Jiang, the nine-year old boy killed while riding his bike Friday afternoon; they urge drivers to slow down.

San Francisco will transform half of a busy four-lane street into bike lanes and pedestrians pathways. The mere suggestion of which would undoubtedly cause rioting and lawsuits down here.

A Berkeley cyclist became collateral damage when two women fled from police following an earlier collision; fortunately, he doesn’t seem to be too badly banged up.

 

National

The new federal transportation budget not only keeps the popular TIGER grants that have helped build bike and pedestrian projects across the US, but expands it by $100 million.

This could come in handy. A handlebar-mounted external battery will recharge your USB headlight, cam or other electronic devices if they go dead while you ride.

After Grand Junction CO officials cited costs in turning down hosting a stage of next year’s USA Pro Challenge, local residents pitch in $63,000, and counting, out of their own pockets. Speaking of which, my formerly sled dog-running Alaskan brother will be moving to Grand Junction next month, for reasons that escape me.

Chicago’s Deaf Velo Alliance shows hearing loss doesn’t have to be a hindrance to bicycling.

An Atlanta coalition opposes plans to add bike lanes to the city’s iconic Peachtree Blvd for now because not enough Millennials live there yet. No, seriously, that’s what it says.

 

International

Bike collisions and fatalities have gone up in Mexico City, even as it works to become friendlier for cyclists. It’s possible that increased ridership could have something to do with it, however.

A Windsor, Ontario letter writer complains about “useless” bike lanes, since he thinks bicycles belong on the sidewalk. Although I’m sure most pedestrians would beg to differ.

A British delivery driver gets 44 months in prison for hiding his diabetes from his employer; he killed a bicyclist when he blacked out after his blood sugar crashed.

Caught on video: A London rider gets left hooked — the equivalent of a right hook on this side of the Atlantic — when he undertakes a cab. If you’re looking to assign blame, I vote for both; the cab driver should have checked his blind spot before turning, but the rider should have held up until he knew what the driver was going to do.

Brompton wants your 15-second videos of unexplored parts of your city, to be judged by Brit filmmaker Guy Ritchie, among others.

Alberto Contador says he gets that his signature gun gesture might not be appropriate at next year’s Tour de France in light of the Paris attacks. Meanwhile, the manager of the women’s Canyon/SRAM team says women’s cycling is stronger than ever.

A new Italian e-bike comes with built-in GPS anti-theft system so you always know where your bike is, even if it rides off without you.

It’s a good problem to have. Amsterdam is building 40,000 new bicycle parking spaces to relieve overcrowded bike lots.

An Aussie writer considers the effect of topography on bicycle mode share, suggesting that bicycling is successful in Copenhagen because it’s so flat.

 

Finally…

Evidently, if you choose to ride in a traffic lane at the same speed as the relatively light traffic around you, you’re a cockroach on wheels. That’s one way to compete with the internet — an LBS that serves a good beer while you wait.

And it’s hard for a bike lane to protect cyclists from large trucks when they use it for garbage collection.

 

Fund-Drive-With-Type-2

Morning Links: 77-year old victim of bike hit-and-run dies, arrest made in Expo Park road rage murder case

Sadly, the 77-year old Echo Park man injured in a collision with a bicyclist has died.

The Eastsider reports Levon Avetisyan was crossing Glendale Blvd on his way to Echo Park Lake on October 15th, when he was hit by a rider described only as a white man in his 40s. He was hospitalized in grave condition with severe head trauma, and passed away on Sunday.

While police have described this case as a hit-and-run, the rider initially did the right thing by remaining at the scene until paramedics arrived. However, he left before police arrived, without leaving his name or contact information.

It’s possible the rider may not have realized he needed to stay, just like he would in any other injury collision.

If you know this person, tell him to contact a lawyer, then come forward by calling LAPD Central Traffic Division detectives at 213-833-3713.

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In case you missed it earlier, an arrest has finally been made in the alleged road rage death of a bike rider next to Expo Park last month.

Or more precisely, the arrest of the suspect has finally been announced.

Thirty-five year old Ruben Wharton Vanegas was killed after he reportedly got into an argument with the driver of an SUV on October 15th. A witness reported that the driver pushed him off his bike, then threatened to run over him, before doing exactly that.

Word broke today that police had actually arrested 32-year old Andrew Williams just four days after the fatal argument; he was held in lieu of $1 million bail.

Williams was scheduled to be arraigned on charges of murder and felony hit-and-run yesterday, but the hearing was put off until November 20th. He faces 25 years to life if convicted on all charges.

Why there was no public announcement of the arrest until now is unclear.

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The breaking news overshadowed Wednesday’s guest post from LA BAC member Jonathan Weiss discussing when it’s legal to ride two or more abreast, and why.

It’s a must read for anyone who rides with friends or in a group. Not to mention law enforcement officers at every level, since the law is often misinterpreted and cyclists too often ticketed for something that is legal under California law.

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The College of Environmental Design at Cal Poly Pomona is hosting a reception to honor famed alternative transportation advocate Gil Penalosa in DTLA on Tuesday the 17th.

This free after-hours reception/mixer is a great opportunity to meet Guillermo “Gil” Penalosa, the founder and chairman of 8-80 Cities, previously served as the commissioner of parks, sport and recreation in Bogotá, Colombia, leading a team that designed and built more than 200 parks and opened 50-plus miles of car-free city roads for biking, walking, running and skating. His team is responsible for initiating the “new Ciclovia” — a program internationally recognized and emulated — which sees 1 million people walk, run, skate and bicycle along 121 kilometers of Bogotá’s city roads every Sunday.

The event will be held at Diego Cardoso Gallery in downtown Los Angeles.  More details and tickets are available here.

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Local

LADOT is taking applications for more People Street projects, ranging from parklets to bike corrals.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman says there needs to be a larger discussion of the issues affecting mobility in lower-income communities than just how they fit into a bike-specific box.

CiclaValley gets psyched up for Sunday’s Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer hill climb competition.

BikeSGV calls for bike riders to turn out at a community open house next Tuesday in support of a proposed bike park at the site of the former Puente Hills landfill.

 

State

The 26th annual conference of the Bicycle Tour Network kicked off in San Diego on Wednesday, though some attendees had their flights delayed or diverted due to an active shooter near the airport.

Bicyclists present the results of a Lodi bike summit on how to make the city a cycling destination. Maybe John Fogerty wouldn’t mind being stuck in Lodi again then.

The victim of Tuesday’s Palo Alto bicycling collision was the 52-year old chief operating officer of a San Jose instrument company.

SFist complains that San Francisco police are once again blaming the victim in a fatal bike collision, while refusing to release video that could shed light on the crash; police say the victim should have been riding in a non-existent bike lane.

More bad news from the Sacramento area, as a bike rider was killed in a collision on Wednesday.

 

National

Writing for Bicycling Retailer, Rick Vosper looks at the culture of fear that inevitably blames the bike rider, and makes bicycling look more dangerous than it is.

Bike Snob Eben Weiss makes the case for replacing the word accident with the more accurate crash, saying the former is just a cop-out.

Interesting piece from Next City that says business-as-usual fails to engage low-income bike riders.

Former Ford CEO Bill Ford sees a world moving away from the personal car.

Bicycling wants to see photos of your bike-riding dog.

The Honolulu city council considers a proposal requiring any future bike lanes to be approved by the full council, following complaints over the city’s first protected bike lane.

Dallas advocates say the city needs more bike lanes to thrive; it currently has just 41.5 miles of bike lanes, compared to nearly 12,000 miles of lanes for motorized traffic.

Bicycling rates skyrocket after Detroit installs 150 miles of new bike lanes. Soon they’ll object to bike lanes by saying LA is no Detroit.

Actress Keri Russell is one of us, as she and boyfriend/costar Matthew Rhys ride through Brooklyn on his and hers Linus bikes.

A Miami man goes on trial for killing two cyclists while fleeing from the police following a botched car burglary.

 

International

Caught on video: Urban mountain bikers take a downhill run through the former stronghold of Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

In a first in North America, Calgary unveiled an entire network of protected bike lanes at once following five years of effort and community engagement; ridership is up 300% on one key corridor.

Ottawa city counselors compromise on a proposal to limit ghost bikes and other roadside memorials, approving a six-month limit rather than the three months recommended by city staff. Although they sort of make up for it with plans for a protected bike lane that takes advantage of barriers protecting the US Embassy.

Cycling Weekly offers up eleven bike maintenance mistakes and how to avoid them. I’m sometimes guilty of number seven, but only until noticing my brakes don’t work the first time I try to stop.

A writer for the UK’s Telegraph says cyclists other than himself are stupid and thoughtless, and giving us all a bad name. Yes, we should all obey the law and ride safely; many, if not most, of us do. But enough with the “I’m okay, you suck” BS.

City Lab looks at the success of the UK’s 20’s Plenty movement; nearly 25% of the country’s population now lives in communities where the speed limit has been lowered to 20 mph.

An Irish cyclist was wearing a helmet and had lights front, back and on his backpack, and a jury still absolves the truck driver who killed him, while calling for reflective wear for cyclists. Evidently, it’s not enough to light yourself up like a Christmas tree anymore.

The Netherlands presents the Tour de France with a bill for over $150,000 after allegedly getting stiffed for hosting the start of this year’s race.

A far reaching Turkish regulation is designed to encourage bicycling rather than public transport, ensuring that bikeways go onto streets with a topography suitable for riding, and connect with public transport.

 

Finally…

Forget foam, soon you can protect your skull with helmet made of custom-fit mushrooms. But don’t despair, there may be other uses for your current helmet.

And why sleep outside when you can go bike touring with your very own 100-pound bike-pulled camper?

Other than having to pull 100 pounds plus all your gear, that is.

 

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