Tag Archive for Los Angeles County

72-year old Torrance woman killed while riding on sidewalk

Sad news from Torrance, where a 72-year old woman was killed in a collision with a delivery truck.

According to the Daily Breeze, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding her bike southbound on the west sidewalk of the 19600 block of Van Ness Ave when she was struck as the driver attempted to turn north on Van Ness.

However, there are no driveways on the west side of the street, and there does not appear to be a sidewalk on that side, which suggests she may have actually been on the east side of the street.

If that’s the case, the driver would have been looking for traffic to his left as he turned right, and may not have seen her approaching on the sidewalk to his right — even though he would appear to have had an unobstructed view.

Unfortunately, while riding on the sidewalk may appear to be safer than riding in the street, drivers tend to focus their attention on oncoming traffic, and may not notice someone coming towards them from the opposite direction.

Even though they should.

This is the seventh bicycling fatality this year, and the sixth in Los Angeles County.

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

 

 

Update: Bike rider killed in North Hollywood Monday evening showing a kindness to a stranger

Sad news tonight, as yet another bike rider has been killed in LA County.

Unfortunately, very little information is available at this time.

According to the LA Daily News, a bike rider was killed in a collision at 12500 Strathern Street, at the intersection with Whitsett Ave. KCBS-2 places the time of the wreck at 6:31 pm.

The victim died at the scene.

There’s no word on the identity, age or sex of the victim or the driver, or on how or why the crash occurred.

A street view shows both Strathern and Whitsett are four-lane streets with left turn lanes, controlled by a traffic signal; there are parks on both sides of Strathern on the west side of the intersection.

This is the sixth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year; all but one of which have occurred in Los Angeles County. It’s also the second fatal crash involving a bike rider in the City of LA since the first of the year.

Update: Now that a few details are in, the story seems even sadder. 

According to a source with the LAPD, the victim was riding his bicycle southbound on Strathern when he saw a basketball roll into the street from the nearby park. So he walked his bike to the middle of the street, laid it down to toss the ball to someone on the sidewalk, and was struck by a van. 

He died at the scene. 

His death will go down in the official stats as a pedestrian, rather than a bicyclist, since he was not on his bike at the time of the crash. But he was one of us, doing what so many of us have done so many times in an attempt to show a little kindness and courtesy to a stranger.

The driver was not suspected of being under the influence; no word on whether he or she will be cited for the crash. 

Update 2: The victim has been identified as 54-year old Stanley Martin Digerose.

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

Morning Links: Sorry Mr. Garcetti, no endorsement from Bike the Vote; and LA County releases collision study

Still more election news, as Bike the Vote LA released their endorsement for mayor in next month’s election.

Or rather, didn’t.

The group graded each of the mayoral candidates who responded to their questionnaire, but concluded that no one reached a sufficient level to earn their endorsement.

And yes, we’re looking at you, Mr. Mayor.

The first term of Mayor Eric Garcetti has been a surprising disappointment for livability advocates. Garcetti clearly understands the health, equity, quality of life, empowerment, and economic benefits to making city streets safer for all road users. But beyond splashy announcements and wonkish technical studies, there has been a frustrating lack of visible action to improve mobility options for those on foot and on bikes….

Like other major metropolitan mayors, Mayor Garcetti’s name is frequently floated as a future national political contender. So far on safe streets, he does not meet the standards set by mayors Michael Bloomberg of New York, Rahn Emanuel of Chicago, Michael Hancock of Denver, Betsy Hodges of Minneapolis, Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh, or Charlie Hales of Portland. If Garcetti earns a second term as Mayor, Los Angeles residents deserve a more impassioned and resourceful effort on active transportation to build a healthier, more sustainable, and more livable city.

Here’s how they rated each of the candidates, with a link to the candidate’s response the questionnaire.

Although the F grade for government gadfly Zuma Dogg shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s spent much time around City Hall.

My take is that Eric Garcetti has done enough to earn a second chance. But he has to do a lot more in this next term to justify that faith in him.

………

LA County has released a study of traffic collisions in the county, for the period from January, 2011, to August 2016. These figures will be used to form the basis of the county’s Vision Zero program, due to be released in June of 2018.

A few of the more interesting points from the study:

  • Collisions resulting in death or serious injury are headed in the right direction, dropping from 309 in 2012 to 275 in 2015, although partial figures from 2016 suggest it may have gone up last year
  • Bicycles were involved in 5% of injury crashes, but accounted for 7% of deaths or serious injuries
  • Most serious bike collisions appear to be centralized around East LA, and the areas around Huntington Park/South Gate, Hawthorne/Gardena, La Mirada, and West Covina/City of Industry
  • The primary cause of serious collisions were unsafe speed, followed by improper turning, and driving under the influence
  • Approximately 25% of all collisions were hit-and-runs

It looks like a good start. The question is how this will influence the next steps, and whether they will come back with a more concrete Vision Zero plan than the city did.

………

Today’s common theme: bike thieves.

Santa Monica police bust a bike thief after the victim watched the thief make off with her bike; he was arrested while ghost riding the bike, and carrying meth and burglary tools.

A Bay Area bike thief gets busted when the bike’s owner spots it for sale on Craigslist.

A former around-the-world bike rider had all of his belongings, including his “entire life’s work” stolen when someone took his bike in London.

A group of bored kids are blamed for breaking into an Australian school for children with intellectual disabilities and stealing 15 bikes and helmets.

That’s a good boy. A bike thief is busted Down Under when a police dog tracks him down after he fled from police.

………

As long as you don’t mind moving to Gotham, New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare is looking to fill eight positions.

Or if you’re not doing anything this summer, Rapha is looking for someone to run their mobile clubhouse at events throughout Europe.

………

VeloNews asks if there’s a home field advantage in cycling. It certainly can’t hurt to be familiar with the local roads.

The Paralympic Movement offers a brief history of para cycling leading up to the world championships in LA next month.

Lance Armstrong’s seemingly endless legal battles continue, as a judge rules the feds’ $100 million case against him will go to trial. Cycling in the South Bay does not seem very sympathetic.

Evidently, a lifetime amounts to just 14 years in pro cycling, as former cyclist Tammy Thomas has her lifetime suspension for doping cut to time served.

………

Local

Los Angeles officials break ground on the Venice Blvd Great Street, which aims to transform a typically over-engineered, auto-centric roadway into a Complete Street that benefits everyone; it will eventually include a parking protected bike lane.

Evidently, Bella Thorne got her flat fixed. And this time, appears to have actually ventured off the sidewalk.

Los Angeles Magazine asks why we aren’t doing the Dutch Reach here.

Popular pub Tony’s Darts Away becomes the location for Burbank’s first bike corral.

Next month’s 26-mile 626 Golden Streets ciclovía/open streets event through the San Gabriel Valley now has it’s own app, available for Android and Apple devices.

An appeals court ruled that a judge was correct in releasing dash cam video of trigger-happy Gardena police shooting the unarmed brother of a bike theft victim; despite the mistaken identify and lack of a weapon, no one was ever held accountable for the shooting.

 

State

Redlands and Highland are working together to improve connectivity for bike riders, using a $3.6 million state grant to build a bike route between the two cities across the Santa Ana River.

Sad news from Visalia, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with a semi-truck.

 

National

Seattle’s city council is pushing for bike lanes in the downtown area. Unlike, say, Los Angeles, where a trio of councilmembers demanded the removal of bike lanes from the city’s Mobility Plan.

My now bike-friendly hometown still has a pedestrian-unfriendly problem with narrow sidewalks.

Houston is moving towards approving an ambitious $500 million bike plan; as always, the problem is figuring out where the money will come from.

The first — and probably only — transgender mayor in Texas is one of us.

Chicago police blame the victim when an officer in an unmarked car hit a bike rider last month, but her lawyer suggests dash cam video may tell a different story; a witness says police stood around questioning her after the crash, rather than getting her medical attention.

 

International

Over 7,000 people demonstrate for safer streets in Costa Rica, and form a human graphic calling for respect.

A pair of British men get their father on a bike to save his life from complications from type 2 diabetes.

Not surprisingly, eight of Britain’s most dangerous locations for bike riders are in London, including a roundabout that’s the country’s worst spot.

A Russian triathlete has gone into hiding after beating his cyclist ex-wife in a dispute over child support. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough for jerks like that.

Caught on video: An Aussie rider goes on a swearing rant at a driver who passed him with about a foot clearance; the uncomprehending driver says he slowed down and “left plenty of room.”

Shanghai, China is blocking kids from renting bikeshare bikes; the city bans children under twelve from riding on the streets.

 

Finally…

How to explain bicycling to your dog. If you’re going to steal a purse while riding double on a BMX, make sure your victim is not carrying hot coffee.

And don’t try this at home. Seriously.

………

Happy Valentines Day to all you lovers out there. And happy riding to everyone, regardless of your relationship status.

Owner of Santa Monica’s Bicycle Ambulance killed in late December collision in Playa Vista

It’s not always enough to know that something bad happened. And sometimes, confirming it can be very difficult to do.

That was the case here, as we first reported the death of Anthony Barnes on January 18th, but were unable to get official confirmation until now.

The LA County Coroner’s office confirmed today that Barnes, better known as Tony, was killed in a traffic collision in LA’s Playa Vista neighborhood on December 29th of last year.

According to sources with the LAPD, Barnes was attempting to cross Jefferson Blvd northbound near Inglewood Blvd around 8:50 am when he was struck by a car headed east on Jefferson. After the impact, his bike continued onto the westbound side of the street, where he was struck again by a second vehicle.

He was taken to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, where he was pronounced dead.

The police report that both drivers immediately stopped and attempted to render aid, and that multiple witnesses assisted in the investigation.

The initial conclusion was that Barnes failed to observe the right-of-way. However, the collision remains under investigation.

A satellite view shows a wide, six lane street on Jefferson, which would have been very busy at that hour.

Tony Barnes was the owner of the Bicycle Ambulance bike shop on Lincoln Blvd in Santa Monica, and had a reputation as a very caring, giving and helpful person. A Facebook post describes how he took a young man under his wing when he wanted to learn how to fix bikes, allowing him to shadow Barnes as he worked in the shop to develop his skills.

A GoFundMe page started by his daughter describes him as a mechanic on the successful US Cycling Team at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and the fastest wrench in the West.

As of this writing, the page has raised a little less than $2900 of the $5,000 goal to help defray funeral expenses and help keep his daughter in the home they rented while she remains in school.

Maybe we can help her meet that goal.

I’m also told the bike shop will remain open, at least for the time being.

Barnes’ death raises the umber of bicycling fatalities in Southern California last year to 73, 33 of which were in Los Angeles County. This is also the 13th bicycling death in the City of Los Angeles last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Tony Barnes and all his loved ones. 

Thank you to everyone who alerted me to this death and helped in tracking down the facts and putting this story together. 

Morning Links: Active Trans grants approved for LA County, and fight goes on for carfree Mt. Hollywood Drive

Through the end of this month, BikinginLA will support local bike shops and other small businesses in the bike industry by offering deep discounts on our usual advertising rates. For more information, or to find out if your business qualifies, email the address on the Support and Advertising page.

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It looks like change is finally coming to LA area streets.

Streetsblog reports that thirteen new bike and pedestrian projects totaling $33.6 million have been funded through California’s Active Transportation Program, with another eight grants worth $28.78 million scheduled to be approved by SCAG — the Southern California Association of Governments — next month.

You can find a full listing of the projects, scattered throughout LA County, on the Streetsblog story.

But don’t hold your breath. As they note, the funding won’t actually be available for another two to three years.

………

CiclaValley asks you to turn out for today’s special meeting of the LA City Council’s Arts, Parks, and River Committee to demand that Mount Hollywood Drive in Griffith Park be kept carfree.

The committee meets at 3 pm in room 1060 of City Hall in DTLA; if you can’t make it, he has a sample email and email addresses to send it to.

………

Still more tragedy in the cycling world, as Ukrainian former U-23 world champ Dmitry Grabovskyy died of a suspected heart attack at 31. Meanwhile, tributes have flowed in for the 15-year old British cyclocross champ who died in his sleep over the weekend.

Now that’s more like it. Britain will offer equal prize money to both the men’s and women’s winners of the country’s national racing series.

………

Local

As we noted yesterday, it wasn’t just Coyote Creek that was flooded by the recent rains; the LA River wasn’t exactly the safest place to ride, either.

Metro is holding a meeting this Thursday to discuss plans to improve access to Downtown’s Union Station, including a bike and pedestrian esplanade on Alameda Street.

The LACBC’s Ask An Officer panel discussion has been rescheduled for this coming Monday.

An editor with the USC paper says there’s a silver lining to having her bike stolen, forcing her to slow down and notice things she used to ride past. Although you’d think a fine university like USC would teach the difference between breaks and brakes before the senior year.

 

State

A Stanford physician and casual cyclist raised $10,000 to fight breast cancer by surviving the 2016 Death Ride, a 129-mile timed endurance ride with 15,000 feet of climbing over five mountain passes.

Speaking of Stanford, a professor there is looking for more participants for a study of bike saddles; currently over 1,000 cyclists are enrolled, but they’d like to have 10,000.

Streetsblog tries out the new dockless, app-based bikeshare bikes from Bluegogo; the company is making a soft launch with a few hundred bikes in San Francisco by locating them on private parking spaces to get around city regulations and objecting officials. Thanks to Eric Weinstein for the heads-up.

San Francisco leads the state as the most dangerous place to drive a car, and ranks second in the nation for pedestrian injuries and fatalities. None of which suggests it’s exactly a great place to ride a bike, either.

A mudslide caused by Sunday’s storm in Northern California has blocked, if not destroyed, a popular bike trail at Lake Natoma.

 

National

The new PlacesForBikes project from PeopleForBikes — who have evidently decided to save money by removing the spaces from their names — will encourage bike-friendly cities by providing an alternative to the Bike League’s rating system.

The last remaining founder of Adventure Cycling will turn 71 on Sunday and retire from the organization; Greg Siple also helped inspire the 1976 Bikecentennial cross-country ride.

A bill that would ban bike riders from most of Montana’s two-lane highways is being rewritten in committee following an outcry from advocates, but no word on exactly what changes are being made.

A proposed Iowa bill would require bike riders to have a red LED taillight on their bikes, apparently even during daylight hours; the law was suggested by a blame-shifting driver who crashed into five — count ‘em, five — bicyclists with his motorcycle as the sun was setting, insisting he would have seen them if only they’d had flashing lights on their bikes. Sure, let’s go with that.

A new study shows Minnesota residents took 96 million bike trips totaling 139 million miles last year, and generated nearly $800 million throughout the state.

University of Michigan researchers have developed a way to make materials change from hard to soft, which would allow bike tires to automatically adjust to different surface conditions, among other applications. Yes, there’s an obvious joke there, and no, I’m not going to make it.

A group of bicyclist will follow a mostly offroad route on a ride from Seattle to Boston later this year to raise funds for a local alternative high school.

New York deployed 50 bike cops to control crowds at Saturday’s peaceful Women’s March, with one source saying a single officer on a bike can do the job of three cops.

 

International

Bike-powered machines made from discarded parts are changing lives in Guatemala.

Bike Biz talks with the CEO of Zwift about whether virtual reality is the future of indoor cycling. A Scottish man used a similar system to virtually bike the length of Britain.

Life is cheap in British Columbia, where an off-duty Mounty walks with just a $1,500 fine for killing a five-year old bike rider with his jacked-up pickup; he claimed he couldn’t see the boy, who was riding with the light in a marked crosswalk with his father and brother, as he turned right. If you can’t see a little boy directly in front of your truck, it doesn’t belong on the damn roads.

Caught on video: A British newspaper seems to take great glee in watching a bike rider flip over a curb after flipping off a motorist.

A bike advocate on the Isle of Man calls for reforming traffic laws, claiming drivers cause 90% of all collisions with bicyclists.

A former assistant professor is riding over 6,200 miles across India to raise awareness of climate change and encourage people and organizations to take responsibility for reducing their carbon footprint.

A Johannesburg mountain biker nearly lost an eye when he ran into an unmarked wire that had been left across the entrance to a pathway, despite verifying that the trail was open to bicycles.

China has completed construction on a 4.7 mile elevated bikeway in the city of Xiamen, a first for the country.

 

Finally…

No, a Holocaust memorial is not the place to hop about on your bike. It wasn’t easy going onstage after a bike-riding Robin Williams.

And you don’t want to risk offending the tweeter-in-chief.

 

Update: Willowbrook bike rider killed by Blue Line train; first SoCal bike death in 2017

That didn’t take long.

Just six days into the new year, a bike rider has been killed in a collision with a Metro Blue Line train, marking the first SoCal bicycling fatality of 2017.

According to the LA Daily News, the victim was crossing the tracks at Willowbrook Avenue and El Segundo Boulevard in unincorporated Willowbrook when he was stuck by the northbound train around 6:55 this morning.

He died at the scene.

The identity of the victim is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The Daily News describes him only as a man in his 50s, while a CHP spokesperson, in a video on the LA Times website, calls him a 35 to 45-year old Hispanic male.

There’s no word on whether he rode through the crossing gates, or if he was somehow caught on the tracks when the train came through. The Times video shows the crossing gates and warning lights were working after the crash.

This should be yet another warning to always wait until the crossing gates go up before attempting to cross train tracks, regardless of whether it appears to be safe.

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

Update: The victim has been identified as 52-year old Downey resident Esequiel Flores.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Esequiel Flores and his loved ones. 

Seventeen year old student killed in Norwalk collision on Thursday

This is not the news anyone wanted on the eve of Christmas and Chanukah.

According to the Whittier Daily News, a 17-year old boy was killed riding his bicycle home from a friend’s home on Thursday.

Unfortunately, not many details are available at this time. The paper reports Chandler Ray was struck by a car sometime in the evening at the intersection of Studebaker Road and Firestone Boulevard in Norwalk.

No word on how or when it happened, whether the driver remained at the scene or if he or she was detained by police. And no information on whether Ray died at the scene or was taken to a local hospital.

A street view shows what appears to be a busy intersection with four through lanes in each direction controlled by a traffic light, and left and right turn lanes on Firestone. As usual, there are no bike lanes in any direction.

The paper describes Chandler Ray as a popular and outspoken member of the Sante Fe High School football team.

A Go Fund Me account established in his name has already raised over $11,000 more than the $10,000 goal. It’s heartbreaking to think his family will never observe another holiday season without sadness.

This is the 72nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 32nd in Los Angeles County. He is also the third bike rider to die in Norwalk since 2014.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Chandler Ray and all his family and loved ones.

Update: Bike rider killed in South LA hit-and-run Monday night; one-third of all LA bike fatalities have been hit-and-runs

Yet another heartless coward has left his victim to die on LA streets.

This time in South LA, on one of the city’s most dangerous streets.

According to a press release from the LAPD, the victim was riding east on 33rd Street when he attempted to cross the intersection at Central Ave around 7pm Monday. He was struck by the driver of a dark passenger vehicle headed south in the left lane on Central.

The driver immediately fled the scene, leaving the victim bleeding in the street; he was taken to USC Medical Center where he died of his injuries.

He is identified only as a Hispanic man in his late 40s or early 50s. There’s no word on whether he had lights on his bike, how fast the driver was going or why he couldn’t stop in time to avoid the collision.

A street view shows a four lane street on Central Ave, with an offset intersection controlled only by stop signs on 33rd.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Central Traffic Division Detectives at 213/833-3713.

This comes just 12 days after another rider was killed in a hit-and-run less than a mile away at Central Ave and Washington Blvd; that driver was arrested in Glendale later that day as he tried to hide the damage to his car. And it’s the third fatal bicycling collision on Central Ave in the last three years, each of which involved a driver who fled the scene.

This is the 71st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 31st in Los Angeles County. It’s also the 12th in the City of Los Angeles; a full third of those have been hit-and-runs.

Update: Community members have released video showing the actual collision, but be forewarned, it’s very difficult to watch. The driver does not appear to have even slowed down following the crash. 

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

Man killed by hit-and-run driver while riding his bike on Washington Blvd; driver arrested in Glendale

Sadly, it couldn’t last.

After three weeks without bicycling fatality in Southern California, a man lost his life riding his bicycle in South Los Angeles, just below the Arts District.

According to My News LA, the victim was riding in the right lane on eastbound Washington Blvd just east of Central Ave moments after 11 am when he was struck from behind, flipping over the car and landing in the left lane.

The man, identified only as 35 to 40 years old, was taken to County-USC where he was pronounced dead at 12:24 pm.

The driver slowed as if he was going to stop, then gunned it to flee the scene.

A witness followed his car and gave the license number to police; the 28-year old driver was arrested in a Glendale parking lot as he was wiping debris off his car. He was booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run.

Anyone with information is urged to call Central Traffic detectives at 213/833-3713.

This is the 70th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 30th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the 11th in the City of Los Angeles.

Three of those deaths in the city have been hit-and-runs, with seven in the county.

Update: Teenage bike rider killed in collision between 2 vehicles; 2nd bicyclist killed in Pacoima in 3 weeks

Another bike rider has been killed in Pacoima, the second in less than a month.

Just three weeks after a still-publicly unidentified rider was killed crossing Foothill Blvd, a teenage boy has lost his life as a result of a collision between two motorists.

The victim was riding near the intersection of Glenoaks Boulevard and Vaughn Street around 7:30 am when a pickup and SUV collided, and he became trapped under the truck.

He died at the scene shortly after being freed from the truck by LA firefighters.

A woman driving one of the vehicles was transported to a local hospital in good condition after suffering a minor injury.

Unfortunately, no other details are available at this time. There’s no word on how the collision occurred or where the victim was riding at the time of the crash. However, given the hour, it’s likely he was riding to school; the crash occurred just one block from a charter school.

A street view shows two lanes in both direction on Glenoaks, with a center left turn lane and bike lanes in both directions; Vaughn is a two lane residential street with the intersection controlled with a red light.

This is the 69th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 29th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the 10th in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: The LAPD reports the collision occurred when one of the vehicles allegedly ran the red light on Glenoaks and crashed into the other as it traveled west on Vaughn with the green light.

The force of the impact knocked them into the south crosswalk, where they crashed into the victim as he was riding west with the light.

Update 2: The victim has been identified as 15-year old San Fernando resident Samuel Lopez; as suspected, he was a 10th grade student on his way to school at Vaughn Next Century Learning Center.

Update 3: As a comment from Meliss points out, his name has been corrected to Saul Lopez.

KNBC-4 offers a touching report on Saul and his death, while a GoFundMe account has raised nearly $27,000 in just one day, far surpassing the $15,000 goal. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Saul Lopez and all his loved ones.

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