Tag Archive for Malibu

Bike rider killed crossing PCH in Malibu; bicycling deaths down over 40% in LA County compared to 2014

The report of the possible death of a bike rider has finally been confirmed.

According to the Malibu Times, a 48-year old man was attempting to cross PCH on his bike at Busch Drive, near the entrance to Zuma Beach at 8:30 pm Sunday.

The victim, described only as a possible transient, was transported to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood. Despite suffering from what was initially described as non-life threatening injuries, he died four hours later.

A satellite view shows a left turn lane at the entrance to the beach just west of Busch Drive.

The paper reports both eastbound lanes were closed on PCH, along with one westbound lane, suggesting he was struck on the eastbound side. A spokesman for the sheriff’s department said he had crossed the highway when he was hit, which would mean he was riding towards the beach, rather than away.

No word on whether he was in the traffic lane or on the shoulder when he was hit, or who might have been at fault.

The Malibu times says this is the fifth bicycling fatality on the Malibu section of PCH this year.

The recently released PCH Safety Study calls for improvements in the area around the complicated intersection, including a new bridge connecting Westward Beach Road to PCH, to reduce conflicts between pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

This is the 43rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 18th in Los Angeles County. It’s also the 9th death involving a bike rider in Malibu since 2011; surprisingly, only two of those have occurred on PCH.

That compares with 63 in SoCal this time last year, and 31 in the county, for a 42% decrease over last year in LA County, and 31% overall.

Weekend Links: Bike the Vote endorses Ramsay, bike protest at Malibu City Hall, and rough week for LA cyclists

Too much news, good and bad, for one weekend.

So let’s dive right in.

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Bike the Vote LA has officially come out in favor of Carolyn Ramsay in the May 19th election for LA’s Council District 4, which they describe as crucial for LA cyclists.

And as someone who lives in the district, so do I. Bike-friendly improvements can’t come soon enough to an area where there are far too few safe and comfortable options for cyclists.

Riders are invited to join Bike the Vote LA to canvass for Ramsay on Saturday.

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LA’s Mobility Plan 2035 goes before the Planning Commission on May 29th at the Van Nuys City Hall. The plan incorporates the 2010 bike plan, which has been gutted in some areas by a handful of city councilmembers, despite being unanimously approved the council in 2011.

Evidently, unanimous votes don’t mean what they used to. Maybe they had their fingers crossed.

You might want to consider showing up to tell the Planning Commission how you feel about that.

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If you ride PCH or the Malibu Hills, you owe it to yourself to protest the illegal mistreatment of cyclists by the motorists on the highway, as well as by members of the LA County Sheriff’s Department.

Join Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson at Malibu City Hall at 9 am on Saturday, May 9th, or meet him at Will Rogers State Park to ride into the city as a group. And hopefully not get any tickets for not riding in the non-existent bike lane along the way.

This has been an ongoing problem in the area, as bike riders work with the department to ensure fair enforcement, only to see new officers transferred in who don’t understand the basics of bike law, so the process starts all over again.

And it’s time it stopped.

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It’s been a rough week for LA cyclists.

According to a Facebook account, two bike riders training for the AIDS/Lifecycle Ride were mugged and robbed at gunpoint by three men on the LA River bike path Wednesday night.

One of the riders was eventually able to get away, but the other lost his bike and cell phone to the thieves.

Unfortunately, the account doesn’t say where it happened on the bike path. So be alert out there, especially at night. Thanks to Matt Ruscigno for the heads-up.

Then there’s this case, where a cyclist definitely didn’t get a three-foot passing margin.

In another Facebook account, a rider describes being passed by a vehicle so closely that the trailer it was pulling actually brushed his foot, scraping the side of his shoe — despite the fact that he was riding at the speed limit in a no passing zone.

Needless to say, the driver refused to take any responsibility, instead blaming his victim for being on the road. Or maybe the planet. Thanks to Mike Kim for the link.

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A Santa Ana cyclist is in critical condition after he was right hooked by a large truck when he came off a sidewalk into the street, and was caught under the rear wheels of the truck. He was dragged about 200 feet before the truck came to a stop.

As usual, the driver was not cited.

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Let’s catch up with the upcoming bike events.

Don’t forget Ride On! Bike Day at Amoeba Records from noon to 4 pm this Sunday, benefitting the LACBC.

All ages are welcome to the family friendly second annual Walk ‘N Roll Festival in Culver City this Sunday.

The Eastside Bike Club is hosting a breakfast ride on Sunday to kick off Bike Month.

Santa Clarita will host their free Hit the Trail community bike ride on Saturday, May 9th.

The LA edition of the worldwide CycloFemme Global Women’s Cycling Day movement rolls on Sunday, May 10th, starting at the Spoke Bicycle Café on the LA River bike path.

Tour LA’s iconic street art with the Eastside Mural Ride on Saturday, May 16th.

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Local

CiclaValley goes climbing.

Councilmember Jose’ Huizar calls for re-evaluating streets in Downtown LA to make them safer for bike riders and pedestrians.

A new bike from LA-based Pure Fix pays tribute to the late rapper Notorious B.I.G., aka Biggie Smalls, and former NBA All-Star Rasheed Wallace. But could it support an extra large rider like Biggie?

Santa Monica businesses can join in the city’s 2015 Commuter Challenge: Bike Month to see which company can achieve the highest CO2 savings by having their employees bike to work through May. Which just happens to be National Bike Month, as well as the start of the National Bike Challenge.

Manhattan Beach residents raise a whopping 543% of their Indiegogo goal to market an affordable e-bike beach cruiser.

The long planned two-way bikeway connecting Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach should be rideable by Memorial Day.

Advice on bicycling in LA County from a student at Biola University.

 

State

Schedule your life around the TV viewing schedule for the Amgen Tour of California for the next few weeks. Needless to say, the women’s races won’t be televised — except for a one-hour 11 pm highlight show. So much for network support for women’s racing.

Unbelievable. San Diego police are looking for a road raging truck driver who hit bike rider in the head with a hammer during an argument. I repeat, he hit a bike rider in the head with a hammer. Proof that bike helmets really do help.

The San Diego Bike Coalition kicked off Bike Month a day early. Apparently, they were too excited to wait another day.

A Modesto driver gets six years for a hit-and-run that seriously injured a cyclist while she was high on meth; somehow, she was still allowed on the road despite two previous DUIs.

Sacramento considers putting more of their streets on a diet.

I’ve said it before: It takes a major schmuck to mug a small boy and steal his bike, this time in Calaveras County.

A proposed Merced bike path is the regional finalist in a $100,000 contest sponsored by Bell Helmets.

San Francisco buses get triple bike racks, something we’ve been promised down here now that the law has been changed to allow them.

A Marin equestrian says safely sharing every trail with bikes, hikers and horses is an illusion. Maybe so, but bike riders and hikers hardly ever poop on the trail.

 

National

Bicycling lists 10 mistakes for beginner bike riders to avoid.

A new bipartisan Safe Streets bill in Congress would give planners two years to adopt Complete Streets policies for all federally funded transportation projects.

Denver bike messengers adapt to a declining market, while a London bike courier spills his secrets.

Mountain biking ex-president Bush does his best Elvis impersonation while leading wounded vets across his Texas ranch on the first leg of a 100 mile ride.

A Milwaukee writer discusses how to transport your dogs by bike.

A Vermont website worries that Complete Streets safety improvements will make things worse for cyclists in the wake of recent bicycling collisions. Even though none of them had anything to do with Complete Streets.

Bono still can’t play guitar five months after his bicycling spill in New York’s Central Park; it could take him another 13 months to learn if he’ll regain feeling in his hand.

Baltimore’s hit-and-run bishop gets defrocked four months after the alcohol-fueled death of a cyclist.

Wal-Mart isn’t responsible for the injuries suffered when a Mississippi boy took one of their bicycle-shaped objects for the spin through the store.

A Florida rider discusses when to pack it in and call the SAG wagon.

 

International

Advice on how to ride around the world from a Scottish rider who set a record doing it; a fellow world traveler writes about his plans to cross Australia by bike.

Here’s something LA riders can relate to, as a hard-won Toronto bike lane is blocked by a film shoot.

Canadian teens ride from Auschwitz to a Netherlands Nazi transit camp to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation Holland.

A UK rider is nearly garroted by an extended dog leash while riding on a bike path.

Caught on video: This is why you need good brakes, as a Brit bike rider barely avoids becoming bus fodder.

Also caught on video: The owner of a Dutch cat litter company converts his bakfiets into a kitty carriage for a 300-mile journey from Amsterdam to London.

VeloNews asks if the Vuelta has lost its mojo.

German police thwart an alleged plot to bomb a Frankfurt bike race; the race was cancelled in the wake of the arrests.

Touring China by bike may be the best way to find clean air and quiet in the booming country; meanwhile, a 28-year old Pomona College student is honored for teaching Chinese people how to take control of their own lives by building bamboo bikes.

 

Finally…

If you’re trying to sell a stolen bike, try to make sure your coffee-drinking potential customers aren’t off-duty cops. An Indian cyclist credits his survival in a hit-and-run in part to his knee and elbow pads, while a badly injured Brit rider thanks his badly mangled helmet.

Your next bike could be made of carbon fiber, ash and mahogany, though that wooden saddle looks a tad harsh. And you may never have to look up while you ride again; although personally, I’d be more impressed if it showed what’s behind me, instead. Thanks to Ed Ryder for the tip.

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One last note. I’ve been told about a possible bicycling fatality in Granada Hills on Wednesday, but haven’t been able to get confirmation; both the CHP and the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division say they aren’t aware of anything. 

Let’s hope this one’s just a false alarm.

Morning Links: Driver arraigned in death of Matt Liechty; ribbon cutting planned for bike-friendly PCH in the ‘Bu

Our anonymous Orange County correspondent was in the courtroom when the driver accused of killing cyclist Matt Liechty briefly appeared before a judge for his arraignment last Friday.

Antonio Magdaleno was present in court. He was wearing a suit with a pale blue shirt & blue tie, and accompanied by three worried people who I assume are his family. His unease made him come across as younger, and I think he was holding his breath in between his almost inaudible answers the judge’s few questions.

Members of Liechty’s family were there as well. Sitting a few rows behind, one snapped a cell phone picture of the defendant. The bailiff (this particular one is very competent and absolutely humorless) actually missed it, but a few minutes later he marched over to sternly inform the guy to turn the phone off or leave the court room.

Magdaleno and his entourage left the courtroom to confer in the hallway, followed a few seconds behind by Matt’s family; the Liechtys’ chain-reaction rear-end pile-up indicated that they noticed this instantly, and they retreated.

From what his lawyer said, it sounds like Magdaleno has been working really hard at sobriety, so they’re going to use this as an indicator that he doesn’t deserve the maximum penalty.

Twenty-nine-year old Antonio Magdaleno is accused of running down Liechty from behind as he rode in a Huntington Beach bike lane, then fleeing the scene on just three wheels after losing one in the collision.

He faces felony charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, fleeing the scene of a collision and hit-and-run with permanent and seriously injury.

So that maximum penalty, if applied, could add up to a very long time behind bars.

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All that work on PCH is about to pay off, as Malibu hosts a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the completion of the Pacific Coast Highway Bike Route Improvements Project and the first bike lane in the ‘Bu at 10 am on Wednesday, April 29th at PCH and Morning View Drive.

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If you were planning to attend the hit-and-run press conference at City Hall today, it will now be held after the council votes to approve a standing reward program for hit-and-runs.

Which they will, since LA’s conflict-free city council seldom, if ever, votes down anything once it’s been approved by committee.

However, hit-and-run victims are still urged to attend to press their case before the council, and appear afterwards with Councilmember Joe Buscaino, who deserves a lot of credit for his efforts to end the hit-and-run epidemic.

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Local

CiclaValley offers up his origin story, and explains why he supports Finish the Ride, which rolls through the streets of Hollywood this Sunday. And thanks for the shout out.

Santa Monica’s California Incline closes on Monday, and will reopen next year in a new and improved version. With bike lanes.

It’s been awhile since we’ve checked in with Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson, who says instead of a study of bike helmet use, the state should study whether helmets could help prevent head injuries for everyone. And yes, he means everyone.

 

State

Formerly auto-centric Caltrans takes a page from British bike scribe Carlton Reid’s book, and admits that roads weren’t built for cars.

Cyclelicious looks at a superfluous proposal in the state legislature that would require bike riders to pull over on two-lane roads when there are five or more cars following and unable to pass, which we are already required to do, just like anyone else.

The Orange County Bicycle Coalition is hosting its first CyclingSavvy course on the 24th and 25th of April.

San Diego cyclists complain about a triangle curb that juts into a new separated bike lane, with no warning other than a little freshly applied paint.

Ojai wants to become friendlier to bicyclists and pedestrians.

Actually, most cyclists have never even heard of chamois cream, despite what a writer for the Sacramento State newspaper insists.

A Davis coffee roaster pedals a stationary bike to turn his roasting drum, then delivers the coffee by bike.

 

National

How the bike movement can achieve real equality on the streets. For everyone.

Two-time Olympic time trial champ Kristin Armstrong decides to un-retire for the 2015 Pan Am Continental Road Championships, and possibly the 2016 Olympics.

A cycling instructor in my hometown says cyclists everywhere run stops, but it’s not always dangerous. And maybe the law should be changed.

Houston bicyclists want drivers to know the city’s new protected bike lanes aren’t just green parking spaces.

Minneapolis consider raising the 10 mph speed limit for bikes in the city’s parks, calling the current limit exceedingly slow for modern bikes.

An Ohio writer discovers it is possible to bike to work in normal clothes.

 

International

Pro cyclists will be allowed to try out disc brakes for two months at the end of the summer; cycling scion Taylor Phinney’s long road back from a devastating racing injury may finally be complete just in time to try them out.

There’s something seriously wrong when Brit bike riders have to pair up to avoid being attacked.

A new bike from the UK comes complete with roll bar and adult-sized child seat to protect you from a collision with a semi. Yeah, right.

Famed British racing mark McLaren is just the latest supercar maker to make a super-high end super road bike.

Nice. Nearly 20 cyclists rode 55 miles from Auschwitz to Krakow last year to raise funds to send 30 elderly Jews, most survivors of the Holocaust, on a trip to Israel.

A former West Australian transport minister says cyclists are useless, and need to be taught the rules of the road to avoid being killed.

 

Finally…

In a potentially brilliant move to avoid a DUI, a New Jersey driver flees the scene after running down a cyclist and heads straight to a bar. Turns out that Simon Cowell had his bike stolen; no, not that Simon Cowell.

And which is faster in LA traffic, a pro cyclist on a high-end racing bike or a stunt driver in a Ferrari?

Do you really need to ask?

 

Morning Links: Road raging Malibu driver assaults cyclist, and the Times looks at the politics of LA road diets

A PCH cyclist is in serious condition after being attacked by a road raging driver.

According to the Malibu Times, the victim got into an argument with a pickup driver as he rode west on the coast highway between Busch Drive and Morning View Drive. After the rider moved on in the right hand lane, the unnamed driver sped past him, then stopped, got out of his truck and pushed him off his bike into the left lane.

Fortunately, it was either a rare moment when there was no traffic on the highway, or oncoming drivers were able to stop in time to avoid him. Even so, the victim still suffered serious injuries and lacerations.

The paper quotes a sheriff’s deputy as saying the dispute was over “use of the shoulder lane,” though he doesn’t clarify whether the driver wanted to use it or, more likely, incorrectly thought the cyclist belonged there.

Although you’d think someone with the rank of lieutenant would know that the shoulder of PCH — or any roadway — is not a lane, since it’s not legally part of the roadway.

Not surprisingly, the driver, who wasn’t publicly named, was arrested for felony assault.

Although it should be attempted murder if there was any traffic coming at the time.

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The LA Times examines the politics of road diets, and correctly suggests that biking and walking will be issues in next year’s city council elections. At least if we have anything to say about it.

It would have been nice, though, if they’d mentioned that the primary purpose of most road diets is to improve traffic safety for all road users; better livability is just a bonus.

And as John Lloyd pointed out, despite the way the Times piece characterizes it, CicLAvia is more about opening streets for people than closing them off to cars.

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Caught on video: Across Los Angeles takes a look at the first half of Sunday’s Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer hill climb competition.

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Local

Nice piece on Medium.com, as Steven Corwin explains why he shouldn’t have to justify his decision to live car-free.

The Eastsider asks if a freeway cap can make freeway-severed Belvedere Park whole again.

The former Governator and friend ride in one of Santa Monica’s many bike lanes.

Downtown Hawthorne gets a $300,000 makeover, complete with bike lanes. Eventually.

 

State

San Francisco safety advocates say it’s time to end traffic violence; the mayor promises quick action.

A writer for Streetsblog clarifies that Sacramento is not seriously planning to license bicyclists, despite that breathless TV report we linked to last week.

A Modesto letter writer wants cyclists to explain what makes us so special that we don’t have to obey traffic laws — unlike motorists who never speed, use hand-held cell phones or roll through stop signs. Maybe we’re not so special after all.

Nice. After losing his wife, a Chico Iraq war vet finds peace through Ride 2 Recovery.

 

National

A new city bike promises to fold up in seconds.

People for Bikes explains how Denver got an oil company to help crowdfund a protected bike lane. I wonder if anyone has ever asked any of the many companies that suck LA oil out of the ground to pitch in to make the city a little safer. Probably not.

After a special needs woman has her bike stolen, a Michigan TV station replaces it with a better one.

A Maryland woman makes it back on her bike a year after a near-fatal collision, and brings her previously non-biking husband along for the ride.

West Palm Beach’s Jack the Bike Man is looking for used bikes to fix up so he can give 1,000 bikes to children this Christmas.

 

International

The Guardian takes a look at the world’s best cycling infrastructure, none of which is located south of the Canadian border. And says the BBC still gets it wrong in a week-long look at bicycling.

It takes a major jerk to steal an autistic British man’s bike.

Rather than require motorists to drive safely, a Swiss canton orders children to wear hi-viz vests when biking to school.

That Dutch solar bike path opens this week; the question is whether it’s really as dirt and skid resistant as advertised.

 

Finally…

The difference between an ticket and a night in a Santa Monica jail? Not stopping when a cop tries to pull you over for riding on the sidewalk without a headlight (last item). Caught on video: an Edinburgh cyclist uses entirely appropriate inappropriate language given the circumstances, as he’s nearly run over when a van driver decides to use the bike lane as a shortcut.

And now you can play Chutes and Ladders without shame, as Copenhagenize unveils a game based on the best and worst ways to promote bicycling.

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Thanks to all veterans for your sacrifice in service of our country.

 

Weekend Links: Avid cyclist gets bike safety wrong in the ‘Bu, and a highly biased 3-foot report from the Bay

A self-described “avid” cyclist offers advice for cyclists in the canyons above Malibu.

And gets most of it wrong.

Despite what he says, bike riders aren’t expected to ride on the shoulder, or even hug the white line at the right of the road. In fact, nothing to the right of the limit line is even considered part of the roadway under California law.

And despite a common misperception, cyclists are not required to ride as close to the right as possible. Rather, bike riders — like any other slow moving vehicles — are expected to ride as close to the right as practicable.

Which means far enough into the roadway to avoid the broken glass, rocks and potholes that too often accumulate on the right.

Then there’s the question of the narrow traffic lanes usually found on canyon roads. The requirement to ride to the right does not apply to any lane too narrow for a bike and a car to safely share with at least three feet between them. Which includes most of the right lanes in Southern California.

There’s also nothing in California law prohibiting cyclists from riding two or more abreast, as long as they stay within a single unsharable lane. In fact, it’s often safer to ride abreast in order to increase visibility and maintain control of the lane.

While it may seem safer and more polite, riding single file along the limit line encourages drivers to pass cyclists in a dangerous manner, rather than change lanes to safely go around them. And it increases the likelihood that passing motorists will try to cut back in between the riders to avoid oncoming traffic, greatly raising the risk of a collision.

Never mind that it’s actually easier to pass a more compact group of cyclists riding abreast than it is a long, strung out line of single file riders.

Yes, bicyclists should always obey the law, and show courtesy to others on the road whenever it’s safe to do so.

And as he notes, we will inevitably come out on the losing end in any conflict with a motor vehicle.

That is why cyclists can and should ride in the manner they consider safest, and motorists should drive carefully around them. Even if drivers — or other “avid” cyclists — may not understand why we ride the way we do.

It only takes a modicum of courtesy and patience on everyone’s part to make sure we all get home safely.

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In a highly biased report, a Bay Area TV station takes a remarkably one-sided look at California’s new three-foot passing law.

San Francisco’s KGO-7 concludes that it is virtually impossible for drivers on the city’s crowded streets to give a bike rider three-feet of passing distance while remaining in the same lane.

Evidently, San Francisco drivers somehow lack the ability to change lanes or wait until it’s safe to pass. And never mind that the law allows drivers to pass at less than three feet after slowing to a reasonable speed, whatever that may be.

They also inexplicably note that bike riders aren’t subject to a fine for coming within three feet of a motor vehicle, evidently failing to realize that the purpose of the law is to protect the lives and safety of cyclists, rather than keep motor vehicles from getting scratched.

The law may be far from perfect, thanks to Governor Jerry Brown’s veto of a better version of the law in 2011, as well as weaker version in 2012.

But it’s a hell of a lot better than their amateur reporting would make it seem.

And misguided reports like this only add to the animosity on our streets, putting cyclists at even greater risk.

Jerks.

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A bike rider was shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies in Compton last month after a traffic stop for illegally riding while wearing headphones.

The official version is he tried to flee, then grabbed the officer’s gun in a struggle to get away; a deputy wounded in the incident was shot with his partner’s gun.

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Local

Bicycle Retailer notes the ascension of ex-Helen’s employee Chris Klibowitz to editor of Road Magazine. Seriously, couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Updated plans for a remade Union Station include two bike and pedestrian bridges over the busy rail yard.

The Bike League makes a mini-grant to the LACBC and Multicultural Communities for Mobility to promote women as community leaders.

There will be a commemorative ride for fallen Pasadena cyclist Phillip O’Neill in the city’s Grant Park next Sunday.

Long Beach’s new mayor calls for more bike cops, and making the bike-friendly city safer for everyone.

The Santa Clarita Century Ride and Expo rolls next weekend.

 

State

The five-day I Can Bike camp teaches disabled children to ride.

OC’s cdmCyclist confesses to Dirty Old Man On A Bike Syndrome. For the sake of full disclosure, I have to confess to riding into the back of a park car while gazing upon an attractive woman in my younger days. She thought it was funny; the owner of the car, not so much.

A bicycling victim of the Isla Vista tragedy hopes to walk in his graduation ceremony; the rider ho was run down in the vicious rampage is the last victim still hospitalized.

San Jose attempts to discourage, but not ban, sidewalk riding.

 

National

A new book tells the story of early bike racing legend Major Taylor, who broke the color barrier over a century ago.

An Oregon man alleges police beat him for riding while black.

A bamboo bike-riding Utah charity fundraiser is convicted of using the money to fund a Ponzi scheme.

Non-cycling Chicago residents are afraid of the city’s new bike lanes, but bike riders aren’t.

Fortunately, the reports of an upstate New York rider’s death were greatly exaggerated. Oops, say the local police.

The public could soon be banned from parking their bikes at the US Capitol.

Some people just don’t belong on the road. A Virginia driver who killed a cyclist had received two tickets in the last year — both after a crash that killed her daughter and niece last spring.

 

International

CNN offers the world’s most incredible bike routes.

Women’s cycling is starting to take its rightful place next to men’s. But women riders offer a voice to be listened to, not a problem to be solved.

Five UK residents rescue a cyclist who was trapped under a car.

It’s not only cars that crash into buildings, as a UK cyclist crashes through a local storefront.

Keep your eyes on Craigslist. Brazen thieves steal 200 bikes worth over $1.1 million from Scott’s Swiss factory, including 2015 models not even on the market yet.

An Aussie cyclist competing in a race swaps his water bottle for a beer. For the second time.

 

Finally…

In an amazing story, 25-year old cyclist Jonny Bellis will be riding in the Tour of Britain — five years after nearly dying and being told he would never walk again, let alone ride.

And maybe we should cut drivers some slack, because parking really does make them crazy.

 

Update: USC professor seriously injured in early morning PCH collision; CHP blames the victim

Very few details are available yet.

According to the LA Times, a female bike rider was rushed to the hospital with critical injuries following a collision on PCH in the Malibu area this morning.

The collision occurred sometime before 5 am near PCH and Coastline Drive, which may be just east of the city limits. The CHP stopped traffic in both directions for at least two hours to conduct their investigation, which is never a good sign.

The Daily News reports officers are interviewing the driver of the car, while the Times says a big rig truck remains at the scene.

There’s not enough information available to speculate on what might have happened. However, it sounds like prayers may be in order; let’s hope this doesn’t turn out to be more serious than it already is.

Thanks to Rick Risemberg and Jim Lyle for the heads-up.

Update: Good news from KABC-7, which reports the victim is expected to survive.

Update 2: I’m told a writer on the Velo Club LaGrange news group reports coming on the scene at 7 am, and watching a Sheriff’s Deputy remove the remains of a black and white carbon road bike, which was in several pieces. He reports the rider was hit by a truck.

Update 3: According to the Malibu Times, the victim is 33-year old Maija Iris Heller, a professor of oceanography at the University of Southern California. Heller’s driver’s license lists a Pasadena address, but police speculated that she lived in the area and was out for early morning exercise. 

The paper quotes CHP spokesperson Leland Tang as saying she was riding downhill on Coastline Drive in Pacific Palisades when she ran the red light at PCH, and was hit by a westbound flower delivery truck at 4:41 am.

She was transported to UCLA Medical Center with major injuries, where she reportedly remains in serious but stable condition. 

Which begs the question, who, exactly, witnessed the collision at that hour and saw her go through the red? 

Given her critically injured state, it’s highly unlikely that police were able to talk to her before she was transported to the hospital. Let alone that she would have been capable of describing how the collision occurred and whether the light was red or green when she went through the intersection.

It’s also questionable whether any independent witnesses were at the scene at such an early hour, and just happened to be looking in the right direction to observe the collision, and at the same time, notice what color the light was.

In all likelihood, the only witness capable of speaking to the police was the driver of the truck that hit her, who has an inherent interest casting events in a favorable light.

If there were any independent witnesses, police should let the public know, if only for the sake of credibility.

At the very least, no conclusion should be made in this, or any other collision, until police speak with all the surviving participants — even if that means waiting days or weeks until the victim recovers enough to present the other side of the story.

That is not to say that the driver was lying. It’s human nature to recall events in a way that casts our actions in the best possible light.

It’s also entirely possible that the collision occurred exactly the way the story describes. 

Heller may have picked up too much speed on the steep downhill and been unable to stop in time. Or, like too many bike riders, she may have simply blown through the light, thinking it would be safe so early in the morning — though it’s questionable whether she would have intentionally run the red with a large truck bearing down on her at highway speeds, regardless of how Tang casts the collision.

“One of the biggest things we are having a problem with is bicyclists are not following the rules of the road,” he said. “Bicyclists have to stop at stop signs, they have to stop at red lights. [Heller] ran a red light.”

I believe he left out the word, “allegedly.” 

I could be wrong.

Maybe there were multitudes of people milling about that corner before 4:45 am. Or maybe the CHP found security video that clearly showed the light was red when she attempted to go through the intersection.

But we should always take such victim-blaming conclusions with a grain of salt until we hear both sides of the story.

And so should the police.

Update 4: Wayne Gunn offered the following update in a comment on another page, including a link to a Caring Bridge page to raise funds for Heller’s recovery. 

Update on Maija Heller, the USC professor injured on PCH at this site set up by her roommate:  http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/maijaheller/mystory She rides to USC daily from home near the accident site and started in early that day (and in the dark) to help load instruments for a two month trans-Pacific research cruise. Needless to say, she will be on a different journey- of recovery.

Malibu study suggests PCH safety improvements; a NELA paranoid bike lane conspiracy theory

Lots of news to wrap up the work week.

No, seriously, don’t take note of the perfect summer weather that finally arrived in LA this week. You’ve got important things to do. And you can live without riding your bike for another day.

Right?

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UCLA professor Donald Shoup would be proud.

The nation’s parking meister has long argued against the high cost of free parking. Now a new Malibu safety study seems to be taking him seriously, suggesting parking meters along PCH could improve safety by reducing the problems with drivers looking for free parking.

I like it.

The study also recommends putting east/west bike lanes along the full length of the 21-mile city to get cyclists out of the way of high-speed traffic. Although someone should tell them that sharrows are not bike lanes.

You can read the study here, and weigh in with your own thoughts online through September 17th; thanks to Paiwei Wei for the link.

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Anti-NELA bike lane activist Tom Topping writes in his Boulevard Sentinel newspaper that he’s being smeared by bike advocates — and oddly, KPCC’s Larry Mantle. I listened to the Airtalk program he refers to when it aired last month; actually, I though Larry was going easy on him. And having appeared on Larry’s program, I can’t say I detected a bit of pro or anti-bike bias, though word is he’s a car guy at heart.

Then again, it does make for a damn good paranoid conspiracy theory if bike shop owners and public radio hosts are all on the city payroll to ram through “vehicle removal plans” for a fast buck.

Though I’m not exactly sure who profits from road diets and bike lanes. Except, of course, for the businesses and residents who reside alongside them.

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Evidently, I wasn’t the only one to host a Bike Talk program on Tuesday. Flying Pigeon’s Josef Bray-Ali — the unnamed bike shop owner in the above conspiracy theory — hosted a discussion touching anti-bike UN paranoia, billionaires and bikes, and measuring the success of bike projects, among other topics.

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ABC’s 20/20 program takes a look at LA’s hit-and-run epidemic, which the LA Weekly takes sole credit for uncovering; I seem to recall a long list of bike advocates who have been raising the alarm for years, but what do I know? Culver City hosts the annual bike-friendly Fiesta La Ballona this weekend. The comment period for the new Union Station master plan has been extended through the end of this month. Santa Monica will hold a free festival next month to preview the planned MANGo Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway; for the sake of fairness, I hope they also have a WOMANGo greenway in the works. Santa Monica’s Bike Center will try to help the city’s businesses become more bike friendly. Sunday will see a Kidical Mass ride in Chinatown. Metro and CICLE team up to offer three free community bike rides in the LA area in the next three months. County Supervisor Gloria Molina joins with the LACBC and LA County Parks and Recreation to hold a free East LA Bicycle Ride on Saturday, Sept. 7th. Ride Pablove Across America will hold an LA fundraising ride in the Valley on October 12th. Okay, so it’s not a bike race, but proceeds from the October 20th Loco Motion 10K Run will benefit the LACBC in honor of fallen cyclist Marisela Echeverria, killed while riding on PCH last year. Red5 Yellow7 will host a workshop on how to choose the right bike on September 9th. The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition will hold its first official meeting Saturday. Incycle Bike Shop says they’re having their biggest sale of the year. Bike Long Beach explains when you can really take the lane.

Laguna Beach moves towards complete streets while trying to move bike riders off PCH; maybe the city should consider a Roman role model. Irvine is now officially bike-friendly, but that’s about all you’ll learn thanks to the OC Register’s draconian paywall. A San Diego writer proposes using the city’s unpaved canyons for bike superhighways. A bicyclist gets her bike back, thanks to a door-to-door wildfire evacuation; thanks to murphstahoe for the heads-up. Yet another holier-than-thou Napa bike rider says she obeys the law and rides courteously, but those damn speeding spandex-clad cyclists should stay the hell off the streets.

AAA says American drivers are growing less concerned about behaviors that could kill you. Biking improves employee productivity. The firing of Serotta’s founder takes some of the soul out of American framebuilding. I’ve been to Maui’s Haleakala volcano, and would not want to ride a bike off the edge of it. A sidewalk riding Las Vegas cyclist is killed in an apparent SWSS. Bicycle tourists are a major source of revenue in Arizona. It takes a village to capture a Longmont CO bike thief. BMC’s Tejay van Garderen takes the leader’s jersey in the USA Pro Challenge. A 74-year old MA pastor was murdered with a hammer while riding home on his bike. Needless to say, the New York cabbie who severed the leg of a British tourist earlier this week blames the bike rider who tried to warn him, as well as the city’s bike lanes; the Daily News reveals the bike rider may not be a nice person, but fails to note what the hell does that has to do with the wreck. Those NYC bike lanes may be key to outgoing Mayor Bloomberg’s legacy. Citi Bike rides the subway; New York bike share riders may ride drunk, but at least they don’t black out. Even a Philly bike cop can be a victim of hit-and-run. Is it time to end the longtime Share the Road campaign in Delaware — and everywhere else, for that matter?

British cycling star Bradley Wiggins calls for making helmet use mandatory; how about making it mandatory for cars to not hit bicyclists, instead? Volvo’s new cyclist detection system wins the UK’s award for best car safety system. Edinburgh is the latest city to drop speed limits to 20 mph to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians. Queensland, Australia cyclists could get a minimum 1-meter passing distance, maybe more in high speed areas.

Finally, repeat after me: If you have two bags of meth stuffed in the tubes of your bike, stop for the damn stop signs, already. And a car crashes into a San Fernando Valley post office; witnesses report the building swerved into the car’s path and wasn’t wearing a helmet.

Catching up with today’s way too long compendium of all the latest bike news and links

Let’s take a few minutes to catch up on this week’s news now that things have settled down a little.

Or maybe quite a few minutes.

It’s a long list.

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Beverly Hills isn’t the only place where a road raging driver has left an injured cyclist in his wake.

Around 5 pm last Friday, a group of women visiting from Las Vegas were riding single file on eastbound PCH in Newport Beach, when a Cadillac pulled up behind one on the riders and started honking impatiently — then plowed into one of the riders, rather than wait a few seconds until they could get out of his way.

The jerk driver fled the scene, but returned later, claiming it was the victim’s fault. Evidently for having the audacity to occupy the same space where he wanted to put his car.

The woman was transported to a local hospital with a head injury; a comment to the story indicates she was released after being kept overnight.

And no word yet on whether the driver was cited, or if charges are pending.

Thanks to Lois for the link.

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An unarmed bike rider is shot by an L.A. Sheriff’s Deputy who thought he was acting “suspicious” and might have had a gun.

Maybe I’m missing something here, but since when is the mere possibility that someone might a weapon sufficient justification for using deadly force?

Maybe that’s why some drivers have been so aggressive lately. They can’t tell if I’ve got a gun in my bike shorts, or just happy to see them.

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On the job front, Safe Routes to School is looking for an Active Transportation Fellow in DC. The League of American Bicyclists is looking for a Development Director. And if you’re a bike enthusiast with wrenching skills, GMR Marketing has a job for you at this year’s Amgen Tour of California.

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The LA Weekly trolls for web hits once again, claiming, among other things, that the best way to improve L.A. traffic is to rip out bike lanes in favor of restoring regular traffic lanes. As evidence, the bike-baiting writer who shall remain unnamed claims the 7th Street bike lanes are unused and result in angry motorists.

Yet he somehow fails to explain why the city’s worst traffic problems are on streets that don’t even have bike lanes.

As someone who rides 7th Street on a regular basis, I can attest that I have never seen a traffic jam there since the bike lanes were put in, even at rush hour. And seldom find myself the only cyclist using the popular lanes, which have become the primary feeder route for riders coming into Downtown from the Westside.

But then, the Weekly doesn’t always let the facts get in the way of the story when it comes to bikes these days.

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Once again, L.A. County’s killer highway claims another life, this time a pedestrian crossing Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.

Which is a needlessly tragic lead-in to the news that Malibu is hosting a pair of public meetings next month to discuss the city’s PCH Safety Study next month. If you ride on PCH — or ever find yourself trying to cross the street there — you owe it to yourself to attend one.

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Maybe it’s just because the producer is my nephew. But this looks like a pretty decent distracted driving PSA. Especially considering it was made by a 16-year old who just got his license.

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The city council gives the go-ahead for bike share in Downtown L.A., while CD14 Councilmember Jose Huizar introduces a motion to repaint the Spring Street green bike lanes. Speaking of which, the most recent bike count shows ridership on Spring Street is up another 40%, after a 52% increase last year; I suppose the Weekly would say no one uses those, either. Construction will begin soon on shared bike/bus lanes on Sunset Blvd. Mark your calendar for Bike Week; pledge to ride on Bike to Work Day and you could win a bike from REI. Examined Spoke offers some good thoughts about CicLAvia; I missed that somehow in yesterday’s roundup. Will Campbell unwillingly shares a burger with a man who blames cyclists for everything that’s wrong with Los Angeles; maybe he’s a regular Weekly reader. A Silver Lake bike rodeo is scheduled for May 18th. Metro works to improve bike and pedestrian access in Boyle Heights and Little Tokyo. How to get abandoned bikes removed from racks. Both Helen’s Cycles in Santa Monica and Pasadena’s Incycle Bicycles invite you to ride with them this weekend to learn about Tour de Cure. County Commissioner Zev Yaroslavsky says NBC Universal has agreed to complete — and help pay for — a missing link in the L.A. River Bike Path through Universal Studios; now if he could only apply a little pressure to the anti-bike city of Vernon. Calabasas bike-centric farm-to-table restaurant, coffee roaster and Moots bike boutique Pedalers Fork is open, and the first reviews are already in and looking good. In other food news, bike-powered Peddler’s Creamery is now open in Downtown L.A. The San Marino paper offers what may be the most accurate estimate of attendance at Sunday’s CicLAvia, putting the total at an open-to-interpretation several hundred thousand.

The third attempt at a California three-foot passing law passed its first hurdle in the state legislature; now its on the Appropriations Committee, even though it wouldn’t seem to require any. Riverside boldly decides to study a disputed bike lane. An open letter to the AAA. No charges against a stop sign-running Apple Valley driver who hit a cyclist. A call for artistic bike racks in Beaumont. A Newport Beach city councilmember criticizes the sentence given the killer driver in the Campion-Ritz hit-and-run; but why is the death of a “significant citizen” any more important or tragic than anyone elses? Presenting the best bike ride around San Diego’s Mission Bay; I often followed a similar course when I lived down there. Escondido’s Muffler Man will get bike drag in time for the Amgen Tour of California. When a little girl’s bike is stolen, an Oxnard cop buys her a new one at his own expense, then teaches her how to ride it; thanks to our Carolina friend Zeke for the heads-up. Red Kite Prayer drops in on this year’s Sea Otter Classic. A new bike path opens connecting Downtown San Jose to the Bay. A case so old I’d forgotten all about it finally comes to a conclusion, as a Santa Clara County deputy gets a warm caress on the wrist when he’s sentenced to four months, possibly to be served at home, for killing two riders while asleep at the wheel. Unlike its L.A. counterpart, the San Francisco Weekly doesn’t have it’s collective head planted firmly up its own posterior, explaining why protected bike lanes are good for business; then again, even NBC says the same thing, at least for small businesses. It’s been a bad year for NorCal cyclists, as a 79-year old rider was the latest to killed; if a bike rider can fall under the wheels of a passing car, doesn’t that suggest the car was passing dangerously close — let alone that it might have caused the fall?

A Portland driver somehow finds herself on a separated bikeway rather than the interstate highway bridge next to it; local police say “oops.” Another self-hating bike rider who says cyclists don’t belong on the road (scroll down). Those bike-riding Portland kids sure have it easy these days. Bike share will launch in Seattle next year. An Alaska cyclist rides his fatbike over 2,000 miles in the middle of winter along two of the state’s famed sled dog trails. Big hearted strangers give a new bike to the victim of an Oklahoma hit-and-run victim. America’s only surviving Tour de France winner says he has no vendetta against Lance Armstrong; can’t say the same about the U.S. government, though. Louisiana driver gets a minor citation despite hitting and seriously injuring a bike rider who stopped in a bike lane. Bikeyface wishes bikes were more like cars. New York imposes new restrictions on bike delivery riders. NYC’s new bike share program isn’t even open yet, and it’s already being vandalized.

A UK nurse was over twice the legal alcohol limit — and on her way to work — when she killed a cyclist and fled the scene, stopping only to pull the bike out of her way. A driver with a suspended license killed a cycling married couple as he fled from police. Amazingly, British police refuse to file charges against a road raging driver was captured on helmet cam beating the crap out of a bike rider; thanks to Joni for the heads-up. Parliament members call for reducing speed limits and jailing dangerous drivers, as well as boosting spending levels to £1 billion to encourage more people to take up bicycling. Photos of eyes over bike racks cut theft rates. Town Mouse is more concerned with the safety of the dog chasing her. The director of a Dutch — yes, Dutch — road safety institute calls for a mandatory helmet law for riders over 55. A new book looks at Italian cycling great Fausto Coppi. The authoritarian state of Uzbekistan is banning bicycles in the capital, seizing bikes and advising bike shops to shut down. A Persian Gulf writer asks if taking a dangerous shortcut is really worth it. Queensland is relaxing their mandatory helmet laws to allow religious requirements. An Aussie woman is ticketed for using a handheld cell phone while riding, but the local press is more freaked out by her “bizarre” tall bike. Tempers run hot Down Under, as a cyclist is punched out by an angry driver. Why women should ride to work and how to get started.

Finally, build your own sandwich bike; peanut butter and jelly optional. A British thief returns a stolen “lusciously smooth” bike with an apology and a coupon. And trust me, you don’t want to read the comments to the Times’ story  about the Beverly Hills road rage case — let alone the ones on the CBS version.

But you’re probably going to anyway.

PCH fatality may have resulted from bad roadway; LACBC issues call for safety; and former UCLA neurologist killed in AZ hit-and-run

Maybe I was wrong.

Multiple press reports quoted L.A. County Sheriff’s Sgt. Phillip Brooks as saying the victim, identified by friends as 36-year old architect and triathlete Marisela Echeveria of Cypress Park, lost control of her bike when she was passed by one or more trucks.

As a result, she reportedly clipped a parked car with her handlebars, which caused her to veer left into the side of the bus, falling under its rear wheels.

But remarkably, only one report — from the not always bike-friendly L.A. Weekly — noted that the above scenario was based on the observations of the bus driver, and subject to change as the investigation developed.

Now word is that video evidence has been found showing the collision was not the result of a close pass after all.

The video reportedly shows Echevaria moving left to go around a group of cars parked on the shoulder. As she does, her wheel apparently got caught in a seam in the asphalt between the shoulder and the right traffic lane, causing her to lose balance and fall under the bus to her left.

And to answer an earlier question, the bus driver had reportedly moved partially into the next traffic lane to give her an estimated five feet of passing distance. Tragically, it turned out that wasn’t enough.

It’s unclear where the video came from.

It could have been from the bus itself, though that would not have shown the actual collision as the bus passed by. Or it could have come from a bike cam from a following cyclist, as there’s no shortage of riders on PCH. Then again, there’s also no shortage of security camera on PCH; I’m told by someone with knowledge of the area that the collision occurred almost directly in front of Cher’s home.

If there’s any good news in a situation like this, it’s that the collision would unfolded very quickly, and she may not have had time to realize what was happening. And from the description I’ve seen, it’s unlikely that she felt any pain; her death would have been almost instantaneous under the circumstances.

The investigation is still ongoing.

But it looks like Echevaria’s death was not due to rider error, a careless bus driver or getting Jerry Browned by a passing truck.

In this case, she may have literally been the victim of a killer highway.

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The LACBC has issued a response to Saturday’s collision:

LOS ANGELES COUNTY BICYCLE COALITION CALLS FOR SAFETY ON PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY

LOS ANGELES, Calif. –

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) is deeply saddened by the fatal collision between a bicyclist and a Metro bus on Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) in Malibu on Saturday.  Preliminary reports indicate that triathlete Marisela Echeveria of Cypress Park was maneuvering around parked cars on the shoulder of the highway when her wheel was caught in a pavement seam and she was thrown toward the passing bus.  We send our deepest condolences to her family, friends, and teammates.

Pacific Coast Highway is a notoriously dangerous street for all travelers, and particularly challenging for people on bicycles.  Outdated road design, inconsistent shoulders, and high motor vehicle speeds are a perilous combination for people walking or riding along the highway.  PCH is Malibu’s main street, yet it was built to rural highway standards that provide first and foremost for the fast movement of vehicles over local access to residences, businesses, and beaches.  Bicyclists face increased risks when navigating such a complex traffic environment.

Since the 2005 deaths of Scott Bleifer and Stanislav Ionov, LACBC has worked with stakeholders to improve conditions for bicyclists on the highway.  Education, enforcement, and engineering strategies must be used in concert to reduce collision rates.  In recent years, the City of Malibu has given considerable attention to these issues and is currently analyzing potential improvements through a $375,000 study funded by Caltrans, the Southern California Associations of Governments, and the City.  The City is also currently in design for a bike lane project running two miles from Busch Drive to Trancas Canyon Road.  LACBC is encouraged by these preliminary steps.

The California coast is a shared treasure, with access guaranteed by the California Coastal Act and our State’s Constitution.  LACBC calls on all jurisdictions to cooperate in providing a safe, continuous bikeway along the Pacific Coast Highway so that all people can enjoy its scenic beauty.  We must work together to improve safety in the short term while moving toward a more balanced PCH that better serves residents and visitors in the future.

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One other quick note, as a Scottsdale neurologist with ties to UCLA was killed while riding in Arizona over the weekend.

KPHO-TV reports that 38-year old Dr. Marwan Maalouf was killed in a hit-and-run shortly after noon Sunday while riding in Fountain Hills AZ; a suspect was arrested nearby.

Maalouf was a former member of the Schweitzer Lab at the UCLA Department of Neurobiology, researching markers for Alzheimer Disease.

My deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

Update: PCH claims another life — bike rider killed by Metro bus in Malibu; 2nd rider critically injured in Alhambra

It’s the fear of countless cyclists on Malibu’s Pacific Coast Highway.

A door opens unexpectedly. A patch of gravel causes a loss of control. A pothole or too-close pass leaves a rider precariously unbalanced.

Followed by a deadly fall in front of unforgiving, high speed traffic.

We may never know why a cyclist fell in front of a Metro bus on PCH today. But the tragic result was entirely predictable.

According to KNBC-4, the 36-year old rider, identified only as a Los Angeles resident of “Latino descent,” was riding on PCH near Puerco Canyon Road at 1:50 pm. She reportedly lost control of her bike and fell into the roadway, where she was struck by an oncoming Metro Bus at 25019 Pacific Coast Highway, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The story does not report which direction she was riding; however, Malibu Patch says southbound PCH was closed for several hours between Puerco Canyon Road and John Tyler Drive, suggesting that the collision occurred on the west side of the highway.

Patch reports that a Sheriff’s spokesman said it’s too early to determine who was at fault. The story also notes that deputies were unsure if she was wearing a helmet; given that the victim was hit by bus, there’s very little chance a helmet would have made any difference in the outcome.

This is the 65th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth fatality in the past week. It’s also the 21st bicycling death in Los Angeles County since the beginning of the year, 12 of which were due to traffic collisions, and the second on PCH in the Malibu/Santa Monica area.

My heartfelt prayers and sympathy for the victim and her family. 

Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

Update: Malibu Patch quotes a Metro spokesman as saying they don’t know if the bus driver was male or female, what the driver’s previous safety record was, or whether there were any passengers on the bus at the time of the collision. Hint to Metro: when you don’t have anything to say, you’re usually better off not saying anything.

The Pepperdine University Graphic identifies the bus line as the 534, which seems to be more than Metro knows.

Update 2: A press release from the Sheriff’s Department confirms the collision occurred on South/Eastbound side of PCH.

Update 3: According to a comment from Alma Valencia, the victim was Marisela Echeveria of Cypress Park.

Truly saddened to read this report. The Los Angeles resident of “Latino decent” was my friend. Her name was Marisela Echeveria a Cypress Park resident enjoying a ride along PCH. She was an Ironman athlete, architect and was truley an angel taken from us much too soon. We are all in shock and pray for strength for the days to come.

Update 4: Many people have expressed grief over Marisela’s tragic death, as well as anger over a comment below urging riders to avoid dangerous roads like PCH. While I strongly disagree with her comments, the writer does have a right to her opinion, and has not crossed the line into personal attacks or blaming the victim; disagree as much as you want, but please keep responses respectful.

The best thing you can do to channel your anger and grief is to take a few moments to participate in the Malibu PCH bike safety study, which will be online through November 12th. By making PCH safer, we can help prevent future fatalities, and bring some good from this horrible tragedy.

Also, consider writing the Governor to express your anger over his two-time veto of the state’s proposed three-foot passing laws. If the bus had been required to stay a minimum of three feet from the cyclist, she might have been able to fall beside, rather than in front, of the bus. And this needless tragedy might never have happened.

Update 5: Finally, some real news, as KCBS-2 reports Echevaria was training for an Ironman triathlon when she was killed on PCH Saturday afternoon. According to the station, she lost control of her bike when she was passed by some trucks and caught her handlebar on a parked car; she then veered into the bus and was dragged underneath.

This may be the first fatality we can lay directly at the feet of Governor Jerry Brown since his most recent veto of the state’s proposed three-foot passing law.

In order for the trucks to have caused Echerveria to lose control, they had to be close enough to either startle her or interfere with the safe operation of her bike — although to be fair, larger trucks should give a hell of a lot more than three feet, due to their massive size.

And the bus driver may or may not have been passing too close, depending on how far she was thrown into the roadway after clipping the parked car.

If there are witnesses who can show the trucks passed too closely to her bike — and it sounds like there may be — the driver(s) can and should be charged with vehicular homicide.

Anyone with information is urged to call the L.A. Sheriff’s Department Malibu/Lost Hills station at 818/878-1808.

Update 6: According to Malibu Patch, the Coroner has ruled the death an accident resulting from multiple traumatic injuries; however, as I understand it, that does not halt the investigation or preclude charges.

Update 7: Echeveria’s death may not have been due to a close pass, and it appears it may not have been her fault, either. 

Video evidence has surfaced that reportedly shows her bike tire getting caught in a seam in the roadway as she attempted to go around some parked cars. More in tonight’s follow-up report.

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Clearly, it was a bad day for L.A. County bicyclists, as another rider was critically injured while riding salmon in Alhambra.

According to the Pasadena Star-News, the 44-year old rider, who has not been publicly identified, was riding north on southbound Palm Avenue at Main Street when he was struck by a northbound Mercedes Benz turning left from Raymond onto Main around 12:45 pm.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation; however, riding on the wrong side of the roadway didn’t help.

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