Tag Archive for Los Angeles County

Update: Bicyclist killed in North Hollywood

There’s been a report of a bicycling fatality in North Hollywood this morning.

Westondeboer posted the following comment on Reddit this morning:

My father was killed riding his bicycle this morning. He was a seasoned rider, Had been riding all of his adult life. He started riding his bike to work when I turned five, this was 31 years ago. We lived at the 170 & 5 freeway, and he worked in hollywood at Santa Monica and highland for Hanna Barbera. He rode his bike to work everyday. He owned one pair of pants and wore shorts everywhere, even when we went to the snow.

What is happening that we are moving too fast in our cars that we cannot notice those around us? Be it, walking, on a motorcycle, or on a bicycle.

What can we do to protect pedestrians these days as pedestrian deaths are rising.

RIP

A follow-up comment indicated that the crash occurred at Victory Blvd and Tujunga Ave at 8:15 am.

However, there’s no independent confirmation of the crash at this time.

This is the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 20th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the sixth in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: Urban Avenger says the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division has confirmed the fatality, and will issue a press release on Monday. 

Update 2: I’ve received additional confirmation of the death from the LAPD, though no further details are available at this time. 

Update 3: Still waiting on a promised press release from the LAPD with more information; however, the have confirmed the identity of the victim as William DeBoer. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for William DeBoer and his family.

Thanks to BikeLA redditors for the heads-up.

Morning Links: CA exceeds national average in bicycling deaths, Caltrans studies bike crashes in LA County

Maybe we’re not quite as bad as it seems.

It’s been reported that California leads the nation in bicycling fatalities, with Florida a close second.

That doesn’t take into account the difference in population, though; as the nation’s largest state, it’s not surprising we lead in this most unwelcome category.

But if you look at the rate of bicycling deaths on a per capita basis, you get a very different picture. Stats man Ed Ryder created a graph to put things in better perspective, showing the Golden State ranks sixth in deaths per one million population.

Deadliest States by Population

Which is still too damn high.

As his next chart clearly shows, California has exceeded the national average every year since 2004. And probably before that.

CA bike deaths re: US

Which leaves us with the question what are we doing wrong?

And what are we going to do about it?

You can read his full report here.

………

Caltrans and UCLA offer a detailed study of bike crashes in Los Angeles County based on the CHP’s SWITRS data, correlated with ridership based on local bike counts.

Both of which can be problematic; SWITRS relies on voluntary reporting of crashes by local police agencies, not all of whom provide accurate or timely data.

And bike counts only offer a snapshot of who is riding in a given area at a given time. Unfortunately though, it’s the only data available for many areas, since both the city and county of Los Angeles have long failed in their responsibility to collect accurate ridership data.

Without accurate data, it’s impossible to make the informed choices necessary to meet save lives and meet the needs of bike riders.

I haven’t had a chance to dig into the study yet. However, Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious called out a few key points.

  • Right turn only lanes double the risk for cyclists
  • LA Metro Rapid bus lines have a higher risk of bicycle crashes when compared to other primary roads without rapid bus lines
  • Locations with the highest crash risk tend to have below-average bicycle ridership
  • Roads with vehicle volumes over 20,000 have significantly higher average crash counts and crash rates for bike riders
  • There is a higher number of crashes and crash rates in poorer, non-white neighborhoods than higher income, white neighborhoods
  • People of color have higher risk of bike crashes than whites
  • If you ride your bike in high income neighborhood, you’re less likely to crash your bicycle
  • Vehicle speeds above 30 mph are associated with about 30-40% more crashes, but about 200-300% higher crash risk per cyclist
  • Lower-hanging fruit in terms of safety interventions is where ridership is moderate but risk is high

Masoner credits CABO’s Jim Baross for forwarding the report.

………

Great post from Detroit’s Wheelhouse, explaining how to drive like you don’t want to murder cyclists.

Seriously, this should be required reading for anyone who drives, or is even thinking about it.

………

Britain’s Lizzie Armistead has been cleared to compete in the Rio Olympics, despite missing three drug tests in a 24-hout period. And despite ample warnings. However, a doping official says they made the right call to reinstate her.

A South Korean cyclist is the first casualty of the Olympics as he gets mirrored on a training ride.

NBC presents the full schedule of Olympic cycling events, which will be available for live streaming.

Nineteen-year old South African cyclist Keagan Girdlestone is making a near-miraculous recovery after he was nearly killed crashing into a support vehicle during Italy’s Coppa Della Pace in June.

Former doper and ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis is now in the ganja rub business.

With the departure of its founder, Colorado’s USA Pro Challenge has semi-officially bitten the dust. Although it could be replaced by a seven-stage race for amateurs who can afford it.

London’s mass RideLondon race will be the first and only British event on the WorldTour pro cycling calendar next year.

Sunday’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix will feature a new 50-minute race for junior riders.

………

Local

LA County is offering a $10,000 reward for the people who pistol-whipped a doctor after he refused to pay $150 for allegedly damaging a bicycle.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman reports on the South LA Vision Zero focus group, stressing the importance of getting to know the South LA community before “presuming to plan for it or construct campaigns targeting it.” Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton has his own comic thoughts on Vision Zero.

Anti-bike incumbent councilmember Gil Cedillo has raised $250,000 for his re-election campaign, far more than grass-roots challenger Josef Bray-Ali.

A writer for The Source tries the new Metro Bike bikeshare, and she likes it.

LA Downtowner visits The Wheelhouse coffee shop/bike shop in DTLA. Not to be confused with the aforementioned Detroit establishment of the same name.

CiclaValley begins counting down LA’s ten most essential climbs.

 

State

Streetsblog writes about the state legislation that would lower the fine for drivers who roll through red lights to make a right turn. Meanwhile, the LA Post-Examiner takes a look at the issue as well, and gives this site a shout-out in the process; thanks to Tim Forkes for the link and the kind words.

Costa Mesa police are looking for the thief who stole a $3,000 bike from a 22-year old man’s garage while he was spending his birthday at Children’s Hospital donating blood; he used the bike for physical and emotional therapy after suffering a series of medical issues. Seriously, there’s a special place in Hell for whoever took that bike.

A Santa Barbara rider explains the origins of the city’s annual Fiesta Cruiser Ride in 1979.

When a Bakersfield man agreed to meet someone at a park to sell a bike he’d advertised on Craigslist, the buyer stole his bike, then shot at him as he pursued the thief’s car. Best advice I’ve seen for similar situations is to meet the other party at the local police station for any exchanges.

A bike rider killed in Sacramento last month had moved to the city to start over after kicking his addiction to drugs.

An Auburn mountain biker was rescued after a fall when people heard his screams for help.

 

National

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske explains how to lower your legal responsibility when organizing a group ride.

A 23-year old Spokane man is facing a murder charge after deliberately running down a bike rider when they quarreled over a pair of speakers.

A second man has been charged with spreading tacks along a popular Denver-area cycling route; the suspect is a cousin of the man charged last week. And both should go away for as long as the law allows.

A Houston restaurant is under attack by eco-friendly, bike riding vandals.

A Chicago jazzman has been practicing his saxophone under an overpass for decades as drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians go by.

Evanston IL residents bring out the pitchforks and torches after a new protected bike lane is installed, calling it dangerous and poorly thought out; one protester noted that drivers had to move into the parking lane to let a fire truck pass. Which is exactly what they are supposed to do.

Michigan bike riders are increasingly wary as roads become more dangerous.

A New Hampshire man has been commuting seven miles to work by bike for the last 16 years, towing his dog behind him in an open trailer.

New York police still haven’t made an arrest in the hit-and-run murder of a bike rider last month; police recovered the car the driver used as he appeared to intentionally swerve into the bike lane to run down the victim from behind.

The Alabama road rage victim whose dreams of riding across the US were shattered when a rampaging truck driver ran over his bike will leave the state with fond memories after all, as people donated over $4,000 to keep him going.

 

International

A Winnipeg writer says bicyclists want to get off the road as much as motorists want them to.

After being confronted by a racist, road-raging driver and his passengers, an Edmonton, Canada bicyclist says he won’t back down in the face of online harassment, because as a bike rider, he already knows what it’s like to be marginalized.

Brompton’s quirky folding bikes have achieved cult status.

A cop in the UK was honored for saving the life of a bike rider trapped under the wheels of a double-decker bus.

The mayor of Paris says she wants to “give Parisians back the space that cars have taken from them.” I’d love to hear LA’s Mayor Garcetti say that. And mean it.

Israeli border guards take a bike from an eight-year old Palestinian girl and throw it into the bushes, apparently to reserve the road for Jewish settlers; only one of the two officers involved was disciplined.

A Sydney, Australia bike rider suffered third degree burns on his upper thigh when his iPhone exploded after he fell off his bike. Thanks to Stanley E. Goldich and Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

Not every cyclist who gets it wrong is an “arrogant arsehole,” a newly minted Perth, Australia bike commuter warns; they might just be incompetent.

Relatives of a Philippine cyclist fatally shot by an angry driver call for restraint in the hopes that he may be the last victim of road rage.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be an ad. How to spot a female cyclist. Besides that whole woman on a bike, thing, that is.

And it’s a rocky and humiliating road to being a “real” cyclist.

 

Update: Long Beach bike rider killed in Saturday morning hit-and-run by driver of stolen car

KNBC-4 reported Saturday morning that a woman was killed in a hit-and-run wreck while riding her bicycle early that morning.

The collision occurred around 1:20 am in the 400 block of East Market Street.

According to an article posted today by the Long Beach Gazettes, the victim, who was not publicly named, was riding westbound with a friend in the center median on Market when she was struck by a speeding car.

Emergency personnel found her lying unconscious in the eastbound lane; she was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The driver was illegally passing another car when he or she struck the victim’s bike from behind before fleeing the scene.

Police later found the vehicle, a 2013 Kia Optima, abandoned 5300 block of Atlantic Avenue. The car, which had a smashed windshield and major front end damage, had been reported stolen in a carjacking the day before.

There’s no word on why the couple were riding in the painted center lane instead of in the traffic lane, where they presumably would have been protected by the car that was being passed.

Police are looking for four people who were reportedly in the the stolen car at the time of the crash. Anyone with information is urged to call Long Beach collision investigations detective Brian Watt at 562/570-5520; tips can also be reported online at www.lacrimestoppers.org.

This is the 48th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and 20th in Los Angeles County. And it’s at least the tenth fatal bike crash in Long Beach since 2010.

Update: The victim has been identified only as a white woman in her 40s, pending notification of next of kin.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and her loved ones.

Medical researcher died following May bicycling injury in Pacific Palisades

Too often, when a bike rider is injured, the story never makes the news.

And even if it does, we may not learn how it turned out for weeks afterwards. If ever.

That’s what happened in this case, as word has just come in that Dr. Keith Nolop, a 63-year old resident of Pacific Palisades, died on May 31st after suffering head injuries while riding his bike in the Palisades on May 6th.

I’m told told his injuries occurred on Temescal Canyon Road.

No other information is available at this time. There’s no word on whether there was a vehicle involved, or exactly where the crash occurred.

The neighborhood Palisades Post reports he worked as a medical researcher, helping to develop the sinus treatment Nasonex, as well as a groundbreaking melanoma treatment and other highly-engineered cancer therapies.

That’s in addition to writing over 50 peer-reviewed articles and holding several patents.

This is the 47th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 19th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the fifth in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Dr. Keith Nolop and all his loved ones. 

Update: Bicyclist killed in Baldwin Park collision Thursday night

Another SoCal bike rider has lost his life, struck by a car in Baldwin Park.

According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the victim, believed to be a 30-year old Baldwin Park resident, was crossing Baldwin Park Blvd on La Rica Avenue when he was hit by a BMW traveling north on Baldwin Park at 9:23 pm.

A helicopter was called to rush him to emergency treatment, but he succumbed to his injuries before it arrived, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 19-year old driver remained at the scene and cooperated with police.

The paper describes the intersection as having stop signs on La Rica, but uncontrolled on Baldwin Park. There’s no word on which direction the victim was riding or if he stopped before entering the intersection, or how fast the driver was traveling.

A street view shows a four lane divided roadway that would encourage high speed travel at that hour.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Baldwin Park Police at 626/960-1955.

This is the 46th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 18th in Los Angeles County. That compares with 34 in SoCal Last year, and 14 in the county.

Update: The victim has been identified as 30-year old James Hernandez, who lived just around the corner from where he was killed.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for James Hernandez and his loved ones.

Update: LA cyclist killed in multiple car Beverly Grove hit-and-run

Another bike rider has been murdered by a hit-and-run driver.

LA’s KNBC-4 broke the news late last night that a bike rider had been taken to a hospital in critical condition following a hit-and-run collision in the Beverly Grove neighborhood.

Sadly, the station confirmed this morning that the victim, identified only as a 58-year old man, has died.

According to the news report, he was riding on the 100 block of North Crescent Heights Blvd, between Beverly Blvd and First Street, around 9 pm Tuesday night when he was rear-ended by the driver of a red Ford SUV, who fled the scene.

He was struck with enough force to throw his body 75 feet, landing near the driveway at 109 N Crescent Heights, where he was struck by another vehicle; that driver stopped and cooperated with police.

It’s likely the SUV driver was exceeding the 35 mph speed limit to strike the victim with that much force.

Screen grab from KNBC report

Screen grab from KNBC report

His bike, a blue road bike with green handlebar tape, lay mangled on the side of the road. A red tail light is visible on the seat post.

The driver of the SUV fled on foot after crashing into a parked car a block away, leaving her wrecked car behind. Initial reports indicated the driver was a woman, but police were unable to confirm that.

The station reports both the victim and the driver of the SUV were westbound; however, it appears they were actually traveling south, since it’s a north-south street.

Crescent Heights is afour-lane street,  mostly residential, with commercial buildings on the major cross streets. The right lane is a mixed traffic and parking lane; at that hour, it’s likely there would have been numerous parked cars, pushing him into the left lane to avoid the zone.

Police say the second driver won’t face any charges.

It’s impossible to know which of the vehicles struck the fatal blow. However, the driver of the SUV should face a homicide charge, since she — or he — made the decision to flee the scene, and leaving the victim unprotected to be struck by another car.

This is the 44th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 17th in LA County; it’s also the fourth in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: KNBC has updated their report to say the driver was a woman, but police have no other description at this time.

Update 2: The Beverly Press reports the victim is a 59-year old Santa Monica resident, but still has not been publicly identified.

According to the paper, he was headed west on 1st Street and ran a stop sign to cross Crescent Heights, as well as ignoring a right-turn only sign; if the driver had stopped, she might have been released without charges. 

Instead the driver, who was operating a rental car, is wanted for felony hit-and-run. Police are trying to identify who had rented the SUV. 

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

 

Bicyclist killed, building destroyed in Compton collision

Reports are coming in that a bike rider was killed in Compton this morning, and a building partially destroyed by an out-of-control driver.

According to KTLA-5, the crash occurred on the 1100 block of E. Compton Ave before 10:50 Monday morning, when the driver of a van was reportedly unable to avoid hitting the bicyclist before crashing into the storefront.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, has was pronounced dead at the scene. Attorney James Johnson indicates he may have been a man in his 50s.

There’s no explanation for how the collision occurred or why the driver was unable to avoid striking the rider. However, the position of the victim and his bike, in relation to the impact with the building, suggests he may have been thrown a significant distance by the impact of the crash.

In addition, the building — the site of a planned real estate office — suffered significant structural damage and may have to be red tagged, implying that the wreck may have occurred at a high rate of speed.

In a report that is not yet online, KABC-TV places the impact at 10:27 am at 1137 E Compton Blvd.

They also report the driver taken into custody, although other reports indicate he was injured and taken to a hospital for treatment.

You can view the KABC report in a cellphone video recorded by a viewer.

This is the 42nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th in Los Angeles County.

That compare with just 24 in SoCal on this date last year, and ten in the county. It’s also the fourth bicycling death in Compton since 2011.

Update: According to KNBC-4, the driver was headed west on Compton when he somehow veered across three lanes of traffic to hit the victim head-on before slamming into the building.

The 22-year old driver was found unconscious following the crash. 

The victim had apparently just stopped for food; a shopping bag lay on the sidewalk next to his body.

Meanwhile, KABC still hasn’t posted their report online. However, an update to the story suggests the driver was not taken into custody as originally reported.

The station reports that, while the investigation is ongoing, police describe it as just a tragic accident — despite the description in the KNBC story. 

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

Thanks to Michael MacDonald and James Johnson for the heads-up, and to Vanessa for the cellphone video. 

Update: Bike rider killed in Santa Clarita hit-and-run Wednesday afternoon

More bad news.

According to the Santa Clarita Valley Signal, a man on a bike has been killed in a hit-and-run while riding in Santa Clarita.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was on the 20100 block of Placerita Canyon Road when he was struck by a car just before 4:30 pm. The paper places the collision near a curve just southwest of the entrance to Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch.

He was declared dead at the scene, his helmet lying nearby.

The paper reports the CHP conducted an intense hunt for the driver in the area; the suspect vehicle is described as a dark gray Mazda 3 with a roof rack and a possible broken windshield.

No other information is available at this time.

This is the 40th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th in Los Angeles County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 53-year old Valencia resident Rod Bennett.

He was riding a blue Eddy Merckx road bike in the far right of the eastbound lane when he was rear-ended by the driver, who continued east as he fled the scene, apparently without stopping or slowing down. 

Update 2: The CHP has updated the description of the suspect vehicle. They are now looking for a Silver Lexus CT 200H; some unconfirmed reports indicate it may have a roof rack and a damaged front bumper.

Meanwhile, the San Fernando Valley News reports Bennett was the band director and math teacher at Arroyo Seco Junior High School. The site describes him as an avid cyclist, as well as a musician.

Various Facebook posts confirm his interest in cycling, as well as identifying him as a jazz musician who performed around the Valencia area.

Update 3: The CHP has released a photo of the suspect vehicle, apparently taken from a surveillance camera. It appears to show a dark colored car, rather than silver; however, images like that can be deceiving. 

Update 4: According to the Signal, 28-year old Canyon Country resident Lucas James Guidroz was arrested after turning himself in at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station early Friday morning — five hours after the car believed to have been used in the collision was found in Newhall. 

Which gave him nearly 40 hours to sober up if he had been under the influence at the time of the collision. 

He was taken into custody on a single felony count of failing to stop at the scene of a collision causing injury or death.

Meanwhile, the chairwoman of the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition says all cyclists on Placerita Canyon encounter distracted drivers, as well as those who appear to intentionally frighten or possibly hurt people on bicycles. 

To which commenters respond by blaming “arrogant” cyclists, apparently for simply existing. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Rod Bennett and his loved ones.

Thanks to John H for the heads-up. 

Update: Bike rider killed in Panorama City; police term it a “tragic accident”

Another bike rider has lost his life on our streets, just hours after the annual Ride of Silence honored fallen cyclists.

According to KTLA-5, a person riding a bicycle was struck by a car on Woodman Ave just north of Strathern St. in Panorama City around 5:42 am this morning.

The northbound vehicle then spun out of control and struck several parked cars before coming to rest facing in the opposite direction; the victim’s mountain bike can be seen a short distance away.

The bike rider, who has not been publicly identified in any way, was towing a shopping cart full of recyclables when he or she was struck just minutes before sunrise. There’s no word on how the collision occurred, or whether the bike had lights or reflectors.

Police say the driver was not under the influence, and termed the collision “just a tragic accident.” That’s even though the multiple impacts suggest the driver was moving a high rate of speed; a commenter on Reddit says the car struck a parked truck with enough force to obliterate the bed of the pickup.

This death is even more tragic since it comes on the Bike to Work Day, the one day of the year set aside to honor people on bicycles.

This is the 37th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th in Los Angeles County; it appears to be the first in Panorama City since 2011.

Update: The Daily News reports the victim was a man in his 20s.

Update 2: Contradicting the earlier report, the Daily News says the investigation is still ongoing, and police are looking into whether speed was a factor; the street has a 35 mph speed limit.

According the story, the victim, who still hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding in the right lane while apparently holding his handlebars with one hand and pulling the shopping cart with the other. He was struck from behind by the driver traveling in the same lane, who went in to hit four other vehicles. 

While police don’t advise pulling a shopping cart — or anything else — while riding, the detective in charge of the case noted that the victim had a right to use the full lane, and drivers are required to give bicyclists a three-foot passing distance. 

A ghost bike will be placed at the scene at 9 pm Friday.

Update 3: KNBC-4 reports police are looking for a passenger in the car who fled the scene after suffering facial injuries in the collision.

Which raises the question of why someone riding shotgun would run away while the driver stuck around.

Thanks to CiclaValley for the link.

Update 4: The victim’s brother has identified him as 49-year old Peter Loretta, who lived in the area. That has been confirmed by the Daily News, which describes Loretta as being homeless.

His brother and daughter want to thank the person who comforted him as Loretta lay dying; if you know who that was, they can respond in the comments below, or contact me and I’ll forward the message to them. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Peter Loretta and his family.

Thanks to Joe Linton and John Morlock for the heads-up.

 

Update: Echo Park bicycling fatality confirmed; 22-year old DUI driver book for murder

This is not the news we wanted.

After reaching out to the LAPD, Detective Felix Padilla confirmed that a 27-year old man was killed while riding his bike on Temple Street at Burlington Avenue Saturday evening.

According to the press release prepared by Det. Padilla, a sergeant with the Rampart Division observed a driver traveling at an estimated 60 mph while headed north on Burlington Avenue at around 6:15 pm.

However, before the officer could catch up to him, he heard the driver, identified as 22-year old LA resident Cruz Tzoc, lose control and smash into a parked car before proceeding into the intersection, where he slammed into a man riding his bicycle east on Temple.

The victim, who has not been identified pending notification of next of kin, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tzoc was found to be over twice the legal alcohol limit, and was booked at the Metropolitan Detention Center on a charge of murder.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the LAPD Central Traffic Division Detectives at 213/833-3713, Detective Felix Padilla at 213/833-3713 or the Central Traffic Division Watch Commander at 213/833-3746. Tips can be made anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222/8477, or texting to 274637, beginning the message with “LAPD.”

This is the 34th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the second in the City of Los Angeles since the start of the year.

Update: The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office has identified the victim as 26-year old Tomas Brewer, no city of residence given.

His death was collateral damage when Tzoc collided with the parked car and went through the intersection backwards, dragging Brewer 25 feet to his death  before striking a tree.

Tzoc has been charged with a single felony count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and was expected to be arraigned on April 26 in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, case #BA446088; prosecutors are asking for $130,000 bail.

He faces up to 10 well-deserved years in prison upon conviction.

Let’s hope the DA’s office doesn’t bargain this one away.

Update 2: This is the damage traffic crimes do, as the pain of Brewer’s death reverberates in his hometown of Gloucester, MA. The budding screenwriter had moved to LA in 2013 after graduating college to get into the business.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Tomas Brewer and his loved ones.

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