Tag Archive for Milton Olin

Update: DA refuses to file charges in Milt Olin case

The investigation is finally complete.

As predicted as soon as the LA County Sheriff’s Department inexplicably insisted on investigating itself in the death of cyclist and former Napster Exec Milt Olin, no charges will be filed against the deputy who killed him.

And as long predicated by myself and others, the immediate cause of the collision was the deputy’s use of the patrol car’s onboard computer while traveling on a winding road at 48 mph.

It was clear that the Sheriff’s Department was attempting to downplay their investigation — if not coverup the results — when they announced late on the Friday before Memorial Day that it had been turned over to the DA’s office for evaluation over a week before.

Then, nothing.

Not a word from the District Attorney for over three months, until news broke late this afternoon that the deputy responsible, Andrew Wood, would not face charges.

DA refusal letter (pdf)

Surprisingly, it actually appears the Sheriff’s Department recommended a charge of vehicular manslaughter; not surprisingly, the DA declined to file, saying they did not feel they could prove the deputy was negligent, which would be required for a conviction.

As we have discussed before, the case hinged on CVC 23123.5, which prohibits using electronic communication devices while driving — but exempts police officers and other emergency service workers in the performance of their duties.

According to the DA, that exemption applied in this case, as Wood was typing a response to a query from another officer when he drifted into the bike lane and rear-ended Olin’s bike without ever braking.

As often happens in such cases, Wood initially claimed Olin swerved in front of him in the traffic lane, and he only went into the bike lane in an attempt to avoid him. That is, until physical evidence and witness testimony proved him wrong, at which point his story changed to say he never saw Olin prior to the collision.

Yet somehow, the mere fact that Wood was driving at nearly 50 mph — in a bike lane — with no idea what was on the road directly in front of him is not sufficient evidence of negligence as far as the DA’s office is concerned.

Simply put, there are only two options.

Either the deputy was at fault for driving distracted — even though he could legally use the computer, he is still required to drive in a safe and legal manner.

Or the Sheriff’s Department itself is negligent for a policy allowing its officers to use the onboard computer in a manner that places everyone else at risk, as they will undoubtedly be found responsible for in the civil suit filed by members of the Olin family.

Either way, thanks to the complicity of the DA’s office, no one will ever be held accountable for the death of an innocent man, whose only crime was going for a bike ride on a sunny afternoon.

And a dangerous, if not deadly, policy will never be changed.

Thanks to Brenda Gazzar for breaking the story. 

Update: The afore mentioned Brenda Gazzar offers a detailed look at the case and the DA’s decision not to file charges in the LA Daily News, including this:

Eric Bruins, planning and policy director for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, said he was disappointed to see a clearly distracted law enforcement officer escape charges on what he called a technicality.

“Just because the law allows someone to do something while driving doesn’t mean they are allowed to do something unsafely while driving,” Bruins said. “Hitting someone from behind is very clear evidence that whatever was going on in that car was not safe and should have been considered negligent.”

It’s definitely worth a read to get the full story.

Meanwhile, LAist quotes several angry tweets from very pissed-off cyclists. Including yours truly.

 

 

Morning Links: Possible Olin cover-up, USC students launch Nutlock, and the other cyclist from my hometown

The LA Times updates the lack of action in the Milt Olin case, killed by an LA County Sheriff’s Deputy while riding on Mulholland Highway last December.

The story offers one bit of new information, reporting that an initial examination of the driver’s cell phone showed no activity at the time of the crash, while phone records later showed he had texted six times in the minutes leading up to it.

Which suggests that the texts may have been erased from the phone in an attempt to cover it up — or that someone may have ignored evidence on the phone pointing to his guilt.

Meanwhile, Salon is the first national news source to pick up the story, noting that texting while driving is illegal in California. But they fail to note the exemption for on-duty emergency workers, which could explain why the DA’s office can’t seem to find anything to charge him with.

This one was forwarded from multiple sources, so thanks to everyone who sent it for the heads-up; thanks to Hwy 39 for the Salon link.

……..

USC students unveil an innovative new wheel lock to help prevent wheel theft and eliminate the need to lock them in addition to the frame. Security is enhanced by plans to create multiple key designs to prevent thieves from simply buying a set to unlock the wheels.

After just two days, their Kickstarter campaign has already raised over $10,000 towards the $15,000 goal. A pledge of just $25 dollars will get you a pair of Nutlocks of your very own.

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The other famous cyclist from my hometown, Teejay van Garderen, will defend his USA Pro Challenge title later this month. Former next big thing pro cyclist Joe Dombrowski has vascular surgery to try and get his leg strength back.

And Peter Sagan may not be headed to Tinkoff-Saxo after all. Update: Yes, he is.

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Local

The LACBC invites you to attend Hot August Bikes at Hollywood’s Amoeba Records on Sunday, the 17th.

London Bridge may not be falling down, but the Riverside Figueroa Bridge is. Or being dismantled, anyway.

No irony here, as Beverly Hills promotes heart health while fighting bike lanes and discouraging bike riding in the city.

Santa Monica gets $4.4 million to improves streets and implement their Bike Action Plan.

Proposed Glendale Green Streets could include bike lanes. And a smart OpEd in the Glendale News-Press patiently explains why motorists are a bigger danger than cyclists.

 

State

Measuring traffic flow by automotive throughput — aka Level of Service — is now officially a thing of the past in California.

BikeSD makes a public call for the resignation of the chair of the city’s Uptown Planners group.

A 73-year old San Diego cyclist suffers major head trauma in a head-on collision with another rider.

Mobile bike repair service comes to San Diego.

BART hopes new signs will keep bike riders from breaking the rules.

 

National

The problem with Share the Road campaigns.

If you want to get cyclists off the sidewalk, build bike lanes.

Wearing headphones when you ride may not be smart, but it’s safer than driving with the windows rolled up.

East Texas cyclists start a safety campaign reminding drivers that bike riders are people, too.

A reminder that a new bike path isn’t any good if it’s not maintained, like this one in New Jersey.

A former American Gladiator allegedly flattens a pedestrian while riding in New York’s Central Park.

To protect and serve (pizza). Baltimore bike cops go above and beyond by delivering pizza to a seriously injured cyclist after she’s released from the hospital; link via Bicycling magazine.

The Baltimore airport opens a 12.5 mile bike path, complete with bike share to entertain waiting passengers and employees.

Kill a bike rider in Florida, and lose your license for a whopping six months.

 

International

A Vancouver motorist drives down a protected bike lane, then right crosses a cyclist after leaving it.

Evidently, a unanimous vote of Toronto’s city council doesn’t mean any more than it does here, as they voted for a separated bike lane that never gets built. Sort of like bike lanes on Lankershim, Westwood and North Figueroa.

A London grocery truck gets outfitted with 360-degree cameras in an effort to protect bike riders.

Caught on video: A London bike rider captures a first-person view of a cut-off collision; fortunately, he survived the brutal impact.

Lovely Bicycle meditates on a ghost bike for a 16-year old Irish rider.

A new Chinese bike helmet promises to be a combination turn signal and mood ring for your head.

 

Finally…

After a six-year old Portland girl posts a sign shaming the thieves that stole her dad’s bikes, the publicity helps get them back. After repeatedly giving a Texas man with Asperger’s Syndrome a ride to work, local police pitch in to buy him a bicycle; now that’s class.

And Austrian police tell a naked bike rider to put her damn clothes on, already.

 

Morning Links: Two months later, still no word from DA on Olin Case; Amoeba plans Hot August Bikes celebration

Sometimes, no news is no news.

More than two months after the Sheriff’s Department turned their investigation of their own officer who fatally ran down cyclist Milt Olin over to the District Attorney’s office, the DA has announced absolutely nothing.

According to the Daily News, there is still no word, official or otherwise, on whether the officer will face charges. Or even when or if a decision will be made.

Even though the DA’s own website promises a decision on filing within 60 days on any case, barring unusual circumstances.

I guess a texting on-duty cop running down a rider in a bike lane, then being investigated by his own department, rather than an independent agency such as the Highway Patrol — which normally investigates traffic fatalities in the county’s jurisdiction — could qualify as somewhat unusual.

Although the near-total news blackout on the results of the six-month investigation, followed by a total lack of comment from the DA’s office after more than two months, might make someone wonder just what the hell is or isn’t going on.

This case has stunk from day one.

And eight months later, the stench isn’t getting any better.

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Sounds like fun. Amoeba Records, along with a long list of co-sponsors, will celebrate Hollywood bike culture with Hot August Bikes in their parking lot behind store on Sunday, August 17th. The event, which runs from noon to 5 pm, will benefit the LACBC.

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Forgive the late notice.

The Bikeway’s Subcommittee of the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee — the city’s only official voice for bicyclists — will meet from 1 – 3 pm today at LADOT Headquarters, 100 Main Street.

BACBikewaysAgendaJuly302014

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Local

Been awhile since we’ve heard from bike lawyer Daniel F. Jimenez, better known here by his nom de bike Dj Wheels. He writes that cyclists are turning to tech products to improve safety.

Planning is underway for next month’s third annual Clitoral Mass ride; as the name suggests, men need not apply. Meanwhile, Culver City will get its own CicLAvia next July.

The Westside’s favorite bike race, the annual Brentwood Grand Prix, rolls this Sunday; always a great time offering exciting men’s and women’s racing.

Metro honors CICLE’s new executive director, Vanessa Gray.

Seriously? A Glendale museum director insists that cyclists — except for his law-abiding friends, of course — are crazed lawbreakers who speed downhill at 40 mph in spandex and without brakes, unlike all those rational, law-abiding motorists out there. Proving you can be really smart, and still say some really stupid things.

And a Palos Verdes letter writer (second letter) complains about bicyclists getting their own private space, plus being allowed to use every lane on the public roadways, unlike all those law-abiding motorists who would never dream of driving in a bike lane. Thanks to Margaret for the heads-up.

 

State

A San Francisco cyclist suffers life-threatening injuries when he’s hit by the driver of a stolen minivan fleeing from police; six other people were less seriously injured.

After a young New York woman is killed while riding in Chico, her parents vow to live out her bucket list.

A Stockton man sics his dog on a bike rider for the unconscionable crime of using a hose without permission.

 

National

The Bike League looks at how better laws can promote bicycling, and invites you to order their new Smart Cycling Quick Guide.

Despite what the NY Times says, Bicycling insists there’s no proof carbon fiber is making bikes more dangerous. And the magazine’s Test Director can barely control his anger at the Times piece.

I’ve been ignoring multiple stories lately about a competition to design the urban bike of the future; Bike Snob explains in his own inimitable way why that was the right choice.

A Chicago study shows only buffered bike lanes keep riders outside the door zone.

An upstate New York woman was high on crack when she hit a cyclist not once, but twice before fleeing the scene — and despite her 23rd license suspension. You’d thing after the first dozen or so, someone would permanently revoke her license and forbid her from owning a car.

A proposed change in DC law would end contributory negligence in car vs bike collisions.

When Ft. Lauderdale police lead Critical Mass riders uphill at a dangerously slow pace — 3 mph, for chrissake — a ride leader asks them to speed up so people won’t fall. And is nearly forced into a collision by a cop, then arrested for his trouble.

 

International

A local Yorkshire official who called cyclists lawless menaces who speed through the village at a remarkable 50 mph is convicted of drunk driving at nearly twice the legal limit. But we’re the dangerous ones, right?

Now that’s class. When the Malawi bike team competing in the Commonwealth Games brought a pair of bikes to a Glasgow bike shop for repairs, the staff decided they deserved better. And loaned them two high-end bikes for the competition.

British rider Emma Pooley announces she’ll retire after the Commonwealth Games.

After pedestrians call an Irish bike rider an idiot for riding on a footpath, he proves them right by attacking them with a key and screwdriver.

 

Finally…

A Houston burglar uses a doggy door to steal a bike, then leaves it behind when he can’t ride it. And Long Beach police respond when a six-year old tries to use a toy gun to jack another boy’s bike.

Seriously, you can’t make this shit up.

 

Morning Links: Olin lawsuit filed; deputy was texting on private phone in apparent violation of LASD policy

As expected, the family of fallen cyclist and former Napster executive Milt Olin filed a lawsuit against the LA County Sheriff’s department.

But in yet another twist in the case, it turns out the deputy behind the wheel sent over 100 text messages in the hours preceding the collision, including six in the last four minutes prior to fatally rear-ending Olin in the bike lane.

As KTLA-5 points out in the link above, state law exempts emergency personnel operating an authorized emergency vehicle in the course their duties from the law prohibiting texting or handheld cell phones while driving.

However, The Acorn reports the deputy had been using his own personal cell phone to text an undisclosed number in Camarillo. And according to KTLA, sheriff’s department policy prohibits the use of cell phones in a county-owned vehicle “absent extenuating circumstances.”

KNBC-4 says the department has still not made the mobile digital computer records public that would show whether the deputy was using his onboard computer at the time of the collision.

Meanwhile, Olin’s family has started a new foundation honoring his memory and dedicated to eliminating cycling-related fatalities and serious injuries.

……..

Galloping Tony Gallopin takes stage 11 of the Tour de France, just days after spending one day in the yellow jersey. Major gut check, as Andrew Talansky suffers his worst day yet in this year’s Tour after yet another crash, but courageously holds on to finish the stage and beat the cut-off time.

And what the Tour de France looks like from the bike’s point of view.

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Local

Downtown News talks with new LADOT transportation maven Seleta Reynolds.

Flying Pigeon says thanks for nothing to Councilmember Gil Cedillo, who ignored safety studies to kill the long-planned North Figueroa road diet.

Despite what LAist says, CicLAvia is not a bike festival, it’s a people festival; the route is open to anyone who wants to enjoy the streets without a motor, and with or without a bike.

The LA Register looks at Santa Monica’s month-long crackdown on scofflaw bike riders.

Empact LB leads a bike tour of Long Beach farms and community gardens this Sunday.

The conflict between cars and bikes escalated as a U-Haul truck tries to single-handedly take out a Redondo Beach triathlon shop; thanks to Steve Herbert for the heads-up.

 

State

BikeSD examines how failed regional transportation plans erode public trust.

Bike riders get more room on a Chico roadway following the death of a cyclist last year.

This is why DUI and hit-and-run drivers need to have their vehicles impounded; too many continue to drive even after their licenses are revoked.

A coalition of unrepentant motorists, NIMBY’s and conservatives qualifies a ballot measure to maintain automotive hegemony and undo San Francisco’s progress in promoting alternative transportation. They’d probably start by killing this bikeway along the Embarcadero.

 

National

Five ways to carry pets by bike.

The former mayor of Wisconsin’s Mad City says it’s time to cool the bike rage. And questions whether the amount of irresponsible riding outweighs all the irresponsible driving.

Road raging Illinois driver beats up a bike rider who flipped him off. My rule of thumb: Never flip off the driver behind you.

Sympathy for the much maligned Chicago sidewalk cyclist.

After a Georgia bike rider is the victim of a hit-and-run, he spots the car the next day — with part of his pedal still stuck in the grill.

Florida gets tough on hit-and-run with a new law imposing a minimum four years in prison for fleeing the scene of a deadly collision.

 

International

UK police ram a BMX rider after he’s seen waving a gun.

Victim-blaming Brit seems to confuse the risks faced by bike riders with the dangers they don’t pose to others.

New Zealand researchers determine the best way to encourage bicycling is to build protected bike lanes on arterials, and traffic calming measures on quieter side streets.

 

Finally…

The Onion get the TdF scoop of the day, reporting an unexpected delay occurred when the peloton paused to throw rocks at some bugs. And Boyonabike says bicycles could help meet UN sustainability goals, which should come as no surprise to Agenda 21 conspiracy theorists.

 

Morning Links: LA bike lawyer examines anti-harassment ordinance; shoes starting to drop in Milt Olin case

Los Angeles attorney Josh Cohen writes about LA’s cyclist anti-harassment ordinance for Plaintiff Magazine.

In it, Cohen — a BikinginLA sponsor — explains that the ordinance may not be the panacea we had hoped, since California law relieves insurance companies of responsibility for intentional acts — making it difficult to collect anything other than a small judgment in a harassment case, unless the driver has unusually deep pockets.

His suggestion is that most victims may be better off filing a case in small claims court for a flat $1000 judgment, rather than struggling to get an attorney to take the case when there’s little chance of a recovery.

He goes on to explain that you can file a form with the DMV to identify the driver. And even if you never see a dime, winning your case means you can get the DMV to suspend the driver’s license if he or she can’t — or won’t — pay.

Then again, getting a dangerous driver off the road is a victory in itself.

……..

The shoes are finally starting to drop in the Milt Olin case.

According to the Daily News, court papers show the sheriff’s deputy who killed him was texting moments before the collision, and may have been using the patrol car’s onboard computer.

However, it’s my understanding that police officers are exempt from the California law banning the use of handheld devices, which means he’s unlikely to be charged with texting while driving. Although he still could face charges for careless or distracted driving.

Of course, the real question is whether the deputy was texting a private number while on duty, or someone within the sheriff’s department. And whether, as many have suggested, that it is department policy — official or otherwise — for officers to use the onboard computer while driving.

If so, it could exonerate the deputy, but leave the department itself on the hook for Olin’s death.

Which may be why the DA’s office is taking so long to decide what, if any, charges to file. Or what laws may even apply in this increasingly bizarre case.

Thanks to Lois, John McBrearty, Mike Kim and Lisa Buckland for the link.

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Bike riders are being urged to attend tonight’s Laguna Beach City Council session to call for safer streets for cyclists and pedestrians following the death of John Colvin last month.

To the best of my knowledge, the 19-year old driver still hasn’t been charged, despite stopping over a mile away.

Just a reminder to please join us tomorrow night on the City Hall lawn to express our solidarity and support for urgent change to our transportation grid. We demand safe passage for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Laguna has a long way to go, but if our City Council sees how many of us care about this issue, and understand how we fear for our lives every time we mount a bike, perhaps we can spur some action.

Please spread the word and urge your cycle buddies to join us.

Livable Streets Laguna Rally
5:30-6:30
Tuesday, July 15
City Hall
505 Forest Ave

Bring your bike if possible.

Thanks to Jeffery for the heads-up.

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You’re invited to show up on Wednesday to protest Metro’s short-sighted plan to give mere crumbs to active transportation.

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And then there were none.

The last remaining former winner of the Tour de France abandoned the race today when Alberto Contador injured his knee in a solo fall. Despite a broken tibia, Contador did his best to finish the mountain stage.

Which means yellow-jersey bearer Vincenzo Nibali becomes the instant favorite, with a wide-open field behind him.

Meanwhile, to no one’s surprise, former Russian pro Denis Menchov — two-time winner of the Vuelta and one-time Giro winner — gets a two-year ban for doping.

And the great Marianne Vos wins her third Giro de Rosa, as Emma Pooley takes the final stage. In a show of total domination, Vos’ Rabobank-Liv teammates Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Anna van der Breggen round out the podium.

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Local

More on CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s Orwellian decision to halt the road safety project slated for North Figueroa. Maybe someone should tell Cedillo that increasing traffic congestion — as West Hollywood did in remaking Santa Monica Blvd — can be a good thing, leading to a vibrant and popular neighborhood.

In another loss for LA bicyclists, new buffered bike lanes on Vineland could mean the death of long fought-for lanes on nearby Lankershim.

Another link opens in the eventual 51-mile LA River bikeway with the opening of the Los Angeles River Headwaters greenway in the San Fernando Valley.

Santa Monica Museum of Art’s popular bike-centric Tour da Arts rolls August 26th; RSVP early because the bike ride always fills up.

Meetings are planned to integrate bikes into the new Expo Line extension in Santa Monica.

Five hundred women take part in Long Beach’s Beach Babe Bicycling Classic; the event also marked the announcement of an all-women’s Gran Fondo in Napa Valley next spring. Meanwhile, a writer says the city can and should take the lead in encouraging more women to ride.

 

State

A San Diego cyclist is injured after he’s cut off by a car exiting a parking lot.

The San Diego victim’s family is justifiably furious when the DUI driver who killed their father is let back out on the streets just over two years into a six-year sentence.

A Riverside man rides his bike back home. From Montana.

Despite finding more than 130 stolen bikes and frames, the Marin County DA drops bike theft charges against a woman suspected of buying hot bikes.

 

National

Bicycling’s Elly Blue compares abusive drivers to internet trolls. Sounds about right.

Great advice to support the ones who support you at your local bike shop.

Good for her. A transgender rider fights discrimination while taking the BMX world by storm.

An editorial writer for the Denver Post is nearly as sarcastic as I am in ridiculing the slap on the wrist given a killer hit-and-run driver from my hometown.

Does it really matter if drivers understand that bike riders have a right to ride in the middle of the lane? Aren’t they supposed to somehow avoid running over anyone directly in front of them anyway?

It takes a real schmuck to shove a five-year old Cleveland boy off his bike and steal his nine-year old brother’s Schwinn at gunpoint.

 

International

The typical Calgary bike rider is helmet-wearing man who prefers to ride on a bike path.

A Toronto writer says maybe drivers and cyclists could achieve some sort of détente on the road if we all tried thinking like the other guy.

A Brit cyclist celebrates World Naked Bike Ride Day with a bare solo ride on a major highway.

A UK man is pushed into a river when his bike is stolen in a strong arm robbery.

Team Rwanda is headed to the British Commonwealth Games.

Rants in the Australian media help fuel anger against bike riders.

 

Finally…

I don’t care how drunk you are, how on earth does anyone mistake the cyclist she just killed for a badger? And seriously, no matter how pissed off you are about the truck driver who nearly hit you, don’t lie and say he threatened you with a gun; it won’t end well for you.

 

Weekend Links: An Orwellian death to Fig4All, TV news is all over Olin case delay, and a South Bay bike theft bust

“War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength.”

— George Orwell, 1984

I thought I’d seen the height of hypocrisy a few weeks ago when Westside city councilmember Paul Koretz called on the city to slash greenhouse gasses just months after he unceremoniously killed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd that would have helped do just that.

But I was wrong.

CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo did him one better with a textbook example of Orwellian doublethink by killing the road diet and bike lanes on North Figueroa Blvd, citing the need to ensure safety for everyone as his justification.

Cedillo Fig4All Letter

Scan courtesy of Northeast L.A. Bikes

The only problem is, the long-planned, funded and shovel-ready road diet is a safety improvement project designed to make one of LA’s more dangerous streets significantly safer for everyone — pedestrians, drivers and bike riders included.

And even though a New Zealand study shows a combination of traffic calming and separated bike lanes — in other words, a road diet — cut car use 40% while increasing cycling rates a matching 40%. And brought in a whopping $24 return on investment for every dollar spent.

A benefit that, along with improving safety, will now bypass all those who live or work along the boulevard, as well as traverse it. As Cedillo ensures that the street will remain dangerous for everyone, despite modest improvements, while speeding traffic past local businesses.

Meanwhile, the Boulevard Sentinel celebrates the victory over bike riding extremists like you and me.

And LADOT, which proposed it.

And the city council that unanimously approved the bike plan that includes the North Fig road diet.

Yeah, those are what I’d call extremists, all right.

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Evidently, we’re not the only ones asking what’s going on with the investigation into the death of cyclist Milt Olin, killed by a sheriff’s deputy on Mulholland Highway last December.

Fox-11 asks why it’s taking so long to find out the results of the investigation, while KCAL-9 questions whether the DA will press charges.

Actually, I think we’d all like to know that.

Meanwhile, Olin’s ghost bike has gone missing a second time, just a week after a new one was installed.

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It’s been awhile since I’ve had a chance to update the Calendar. But meanwhile, here are a few quick bike events coming up this week.

The streets around the civic center turn into a crit course with an international field Saturday when Wolfpack Hustle brings brakeless bike racing to DTLA, with the blessing of city officials.

Sunday morning you’re invited on a slow paced urban expedition and community bike ride through West Long Beach sponsored by Empact LB.

And Metro proposes taking a giant leap into the past by failing to provide a reasonable level of funding for bike and pedestrian projects in their 10-Year Short Sighted Short Range Transportation Plan. Santa Monica Spoke invites you to show up at a Metro committee meeting next Wednesday to point out the error of their ways.

……..

A Redondo Beach man has been arrested with 11 high-end stolen bikes after being turned in by someone who discovered he had purchased a hot bike from him.

Turns out there’s more to the story.

Starting with a friend of a friend who recognized the thief in the story as the same guy he caught “admiring” his locked-up bike last weekend, before driving away in a van after being confronted.

But that’s just the start.

Come back next week for the real scoop from the inside.

……..

Local

Sunset Blvd could get a 3.2 mile green bike lane; thanks to new LACBC board member Patrick Pascal for the heads-up.

The LA Bike Explorers Club journeys into the forgotten eras of LA’s past, starting with a ride in Downtown LA on Sunday the 20th.

Community stakeholders discuss the possibility of bike lanes on Boyle and Soto with city planners.

Cynergy Cycles wants your unwanted spandex for the Antigua Cycling Association.

The Argonaut offers a detailed look at the growth of bicycling on the Westside.

A Glendale letter writer says if bike riders are demanding equal rights, we need to be held accountable. Problem is, he gets most of it wrong. And we already have equal rights under the law; we just need the people we share the roads with to recognize that.

A Pomona bike rider is seriously injured in a collision on Thursday.

 

State

A Laguna Beach writer calls on the city to improve safety by building out the bike improvements that were already approved.

An eighth grader could identify the Newport Beach intersections that need improvement, says Bike Newport Beach’s Frank Peters. The real question is what to do about it.

San Francisco supervisors commend LADOT’s new mobility maven.

A Sacramento area cyclist is killed by a suspected drunk driver.

 

National

Bike haters are a sign of bicycling’s success. Then again, you can ride legally 100% of the time and still be hated by some drivers.

The amount of protected bike lanes doubles since 2011 as cities attempt to attract younger residents.

The simple act of getting on a bike opens women up to unwanted comments, sexual advances and possible violence.

CNN’s Miles O’Brien leaves today on a 300-mile fundraising ride to fight cancer, less than five months after losing his arm in an accident.

 

International

A Toronto writer who doesn’t even like bicycling explains five things he’s learned by bike commuting.

The popular Cannondale Pro Cycling team is reportedly merging with Garmin-Sharp after this season.

The week of July 20th is officially Women’s Cycling Week.

New Delhi is India’s leading city for bikes. And its most deadly.

 

Finally…

Apparently, women in stock photos don’t know how to ride their bikes. And People for Bikes offers up nine reasons to date a bike advocate; sorry ladies, but my heart belongs to another.

Attentive Sienna

Morning Links: Cyclist critically injured in Laguna Beach; lawsuit filed against LA County, LASD in Milt Olin case

Late breaking news as this goes online.

According to the Orange County Register, a 55-year old bike rider was critically injured when he was hit by a car on Coast Highway near Emerald Bay in Laguna Beach around 7 pm Tuesday. Despite initial reports that the driver had fled the scene, he actually stopped a short distance away and waited for authorities.

No word yet on how the collision occurred; a satellite view of the street shows a wide parking lane or shoulder, but no bike lanes.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a full and fast recovery.

……..

The only real question is why they waited so long.

Not surprisingly, the family of fallen cyclist and former Napster executive Milt Olin has filed a lawsuit against LA County, the LA Sheriff’s Department, and the deputy behind the wheel when he was run down from behind while riding in a Mulholland bike lane last December.

According to the LA Daily News,

The family “suffered a profound loss, a loss of a wonderful husband and father, and actually a wonderful human being, as all his friends will tell you,” attorney Bruce A. Broillet, who is representing the family, said Tuesday. “We believe the sheriff (deputy) was operating his vehicle negligently, inappropriately and this never should have happened. We will be seeking to hold the county, the sheriff (deputy) and the Sheriff’s Department accountable for the death of Milton Olin.”

The claim seeks an unspecified amount in damages for loss of love, care, protection, moral support and financial support, among other things. It also seeks more than $30,000 in damages for medical, burial and funeral expenses.

Meanwhile, the DA’s office is still reviewing the Sheriff’s Department’s self-described unbiased investigation of their own officer nearly a month after the results of the five-month investigation were turned over to them.

No word on what conclusions they reached, if any, or when or if the DA will announce whether charges will be filed.

Or whether it was an official or unofficial departmental policy that resulted in Olin’s death, as many suspect.

……..

Local

In response to Metro’s advice for cyclists on how to share the road with buses, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers his own five astute points on how Metro can better interact with us.

The LACBC will be providing free bike valet at the Roaring Nights at the LA Zoo.

Claremont is sponsoring a free bike safety class for children and adults this Thursday.

Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies arrest two men for a string of armed bike path robberies.

 

State

The Coronado Historical Society is hosting a series of guided bike rides around the island this summer.

An OC businessman is riding 5,000 miles to raise funds to help end malnutrition, while a Menlo Park man is competing in the Race Across America to raise funds for the Stanford Cancer Institute.

Police arrest a bike rider for groping a Bay Area woman before riding off.

A sharp-eyed Sacramento-area man spots someone riding this daughter’s stolen BMX bike.

 

National

Speaking of RAAM, the Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay looks at Dave Zabriskie and his four-man Legends of the Road team.

Momentum Magazine examines the next great bicycling cities; shocked! shocked! am I that LA failed to make the list.

CLIF Bar teams up with People for Bikes to get more people on bikes.

A writer for Crain’s Chicago Business says we all have to get along, no matter how many wheels we travel on.

A bike shop in the Windy City installs a 24-hour bike parts vending machine.

Memphis turns half a divided highway into a two-way biking and walking path along the Mississippi River.

The Alabama man who posted videos of himself running cyclists off the road pleads guilty to reckless endangerment. And gets off with a mere loving caress on the wrist.

 

International

An Irish man learns not to honk and swear at a group of cyclists. Because they might turn out to be off-duty cops.

Forty-one amateur riders prepare to ride the entire 2014 Tour de France route.

Caught on video: a bike riding Japanese schoolgirl learns the hard way to stop at the stop sign and look both ways before crossing an intersection

 

Finally…

Repeat after me: When you’re carrying six bags of meth and wanted on outstanding warrants, stop for the damn red light — but don’t do it directly in front of a pursuing police car after trying to flee.

And it takes a real schmuck to steal a 9-year old’s bike at gunpoint.

 

Weekend Links: Is the LA County Sheriff’s Department trying to hide the results of the Milt Olin investigation?

So what, exactly, are they trying to hide?

It’s standard practice in public relations that when you want to hide something bad news, you release it on a Friday afternoon where it can get lost on the weekend news cycle. And when you really want to hide something, you release it on a Friday just before a three-day holiday weekend.

That’s exactly what the LA County Sheriff’s Department did today.

The department has been highly criticized for investigating their own deputy in the December death of cyclist Milt Olin, rather than turn it over to independent investigators from the CHP, which usually handles traffic fatalities for the LASD.

Now, after sitting on the news for over a week, they finally announced that the results of their foot-dragging investigation into the former Napster executive and entertainment lawyer’s death were turned over to the DA’s office for evaluation on May 15th.

Why it took over five months to conduct an investigation that probably wouldn’t have taken five days if it was an average citizen behind the wheel is anyone’s guess. Let alone why the announcement wasn’t made last week, unless they were deliberately attempting to time it for the holiday weekend.

The incredibly cryptic announcement doesn’t offer a clue as to the results of the investigation, leading many in the cycling community to suspect the department may be attempting to cover-up its own culpability in Olin’s death. And hoping we won’t notice.

Good luck with that.

I’ve heard from a number of riders since the news broke late Friday afternoon, all of whom suspect something fishy is going on. And virtually all of whom question why the LASD chose to investigate itself, knowing the results would be held in doubt unless they unexpectedly come down hard on the department itself.

And yes, I’m told the CHP was more than willing to step in to assist or take over the investigation, but were never asked.

Meanwhile, the Times cites the coroner’s report as saying Olin appeared to be wearing earphones connected to an iPhone, which would be in violation of state law permitting an earpiece to be used in one ear only.

What bearing that could possibly have in the investigation is highly questionable, unless they’re trying to make a case that Olin should have somehow been able to avoid the patrol car that drifted into the bike lane and ran him down from behind.

Even eyes in the back of his head, let alone perfect hearing, probably wouldn’t have helped in that case.

The paper also notes that the Sheriff’s Department has publicly apologized to Olin’s family. As well they should.

But what they really owe them, and us, is an open and honest investigation, rather than a five month cone of silence followed by deliberately trying to bury the press release when it was most likely to go unnoticed.

On the later, they failed miserably.

On the former, the jury is still out. If it ever gets to one.

Thanks to everyone who reached out to me about this story.

………

The US Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offer a new animated bike safety video; Copenhagenize’s Mikael Colville-Andersen says it was made by people who hate bicycling.

Seriously? Seems pretty innocent to me.

………

You’ll find a free bike valet at the annual Fiesta Hermosa in Hermosa Beach, which makes biking along the beach by far the best way to get there.

I’ll try to catch up on updating the Calendar over the weekend.

………

This weekend marks the US Cycling Pro National Championships in Chattanooga TN.

Cycling scion Taylor Phinney is a favorite, but can we please stop calling him the next big thing and/or the future of American cycling and just let him prove himself on the race course, or not, as the case may be?

………

Local

Great news on the Westside, as the popular San Vicente bike lanes are being extended through Brentwood. I rode through there myself on Friday, and even unfinished, it feels a lot more comfortable than the usual Friday traffic madhouse.

A Burbank resident writes a paean to the Chandler bikeway.

More on the planned Downey Bicycle Master Plan, which plans to borrow ideas from nearby Long Beach. Good ones, I hope.

 

State

Red Kite Prayer looks at the recent Campy Gran Fondo San Diego.

CalBike lobbies the state legislature for protected bikeways and a vulnerable user law.

Merced police pitch in to buy a cerebral palsy patient a new bike after his is stolen.

This one definitely wins the prize for California’s best named bike tour. Welcome to the Tour de Manure.

Pedal Love’s Melissa Balmer says bike style has the power to capture the imagination.

 

National

The hit-and-run epidemic spreads to Seattle, as a bike rider suffers serious injuries while the cowardly driver flees the scene.

Denver’s mayor leads cyclists on a test ride of the city’s first protected bike lane.

The popularity of Chicago’s bike-friendly mayor sinks to just 29%, evidently because voters don’t like bike lanes.

Jersey City moves some bike lanes to the left side on one-way streets.

A speeding New Orleans driver is indicted on negligent homicide and negligent injury charges for killing an Atlanta firefighter in town for an Ironman competition and injuring another rider. Apparently they’re taking this case seriously, since he was taken into custody on a total of $600,000 bond.

After a North Carolina bike rider confronts a cop to deny running a red light, the officer takes him down, breaking his arm in the process.

 

International

A Montreal letter writer insists roads are for cars and bikes don’t belong there. So there.

A UK motorcyclist riding in a bike lane knocks down a bicyclist, then blames the victim before posting video of the incident online — which clearly shows his mirror clipping the rider’s arm.

Bike Radar profiles the essential kit for bike commuting. Yes, tires are essential; the rest, maybe not as much.

A Sydney newspaper calls a study showing bike lanes carried the same amount of traffic as the lanes next to them a two-wheeled fraud.

A Thai driver walks with a one year probation and a 10,000 Bhat fine — the equivalent of just $307 — for killing two bike riding British tourists on an around the world tour. I’d like to say life is cheap there, but I’ve seen just as bad right here in the US.

 

Finally…

A North Carolina TV station says Chapel Hill police seek expensive bike thief. So how much are bike thieves going for these days? And after an Alabama truck driver idiotically posts videos online showing himself threatening cyclists, he’s arrested on a charge of reckless endangerment; needless to say, other idiots rush to his defense.

 

Morning Links: Still no end to Milton Olin investigation, US House committee goes after bike/ped funding

So what the hell is taking so long?

Nearly six months after cyclist and former Napster CEO Milt Olin was killed by a sheriff’s deputy while riding in a Mulholland bike lane, investigators still haven’t sent the case to the DA, claiming they’re just being thorough.

The sheriff’s department raised a lot of eyebrows by deciding to investigate their own officer in Olin’s death, rather than turn the investigation over to an independent agency such as the CHP; I’m told the CHP — which usually handles traffic fatalities in the area — was more than willing to step in but was never asked.

The endless delay just raises more questions about whether the department is leaving no stone unturned in a search for the truth, or simply trying to find a way to exonerate one of their own.

Or perhaps the department itself, since many have suggested that it’s department policy for deputies to use the patrol car’s onboard computer while driving, which would be illegal for anyone not in uniform. And dangerously distracting for anyone, regardless.

Then again, maybe they’re just hoping that once they finally release the results, no one will care anymore.

Not gonna happen.

………

Once again, small minded representatives in the US House Appropriations Committee vote to gut bike and pedestrian funding. The proposed appropriations bill would turn the popular TIGER grant program into just another roads bill.

More proof, as it it’s needed, that too many of our elected leaders know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

………

Local

In advance of tonight’s community meeting to discuss bike lanes vs sharrows on dangerous North Figueroa, Richard Risemberg says your life, health and prosperity are at stake. And astutely calls sharrows the junk-food of bicycle facilities.

On the other end of Figueroa, the Times says the MyFigueroa project could result in a bikeable, walkable LA. And we shouldn’t settle for OK Streets instead of Great Streets.

Streetsblog offers five changes to improve the proposed LA mobility plan.

After wrapping what may have been its final season, the entire crew of Lifetime’s LA-based Drop Dead Diva — from grips to the stars of the series — are given new bikes.

A federal judge says you no longer have to pay a fee to bike or hike in undeveloped regions of the Cleveland, Los Padres, Angeles and San Bernardino national forests.

 

State

The Newport Beach Committee investigating restricting usage of the city’s Back Bay Drive has issued their report. I haven’t have a chance to read it yet, but you can download your own copy here.

A lightless, sidewalk-riding 73-year old Thousand Oaks cyclist is injured in a left cross collision with a 75-year old driver.

A casual cyclist embraces Bike to Work Day, as San Francisco prepares to celebrate theirs a week before we do.

The Bay Area’s Bicycle Coffee delivers fresh roasted coffee by bike; a new “chapter” plans to open in Silver Lake in three weeks.

 

National

Strava plans to sell its data to urban planners and advocacy groups; problem is, their data only shows where Strava users ride, not other types of riders.

Pharrell rides a bike in an undisclosed location. And yes, he looks sort of happy, maybe.

Boulder CO cycle track uses standard, inexpensive parking stops to form a protective barrier.

A New York lawmaker proposes increasing penalties to treat cyclists who flee the scene of a collision the same as hit-and-run motorists.

Cyclists may not have discovered DC’s new two-way cycle tracks, but drivers have. Meanwhile, a DC-area cyclist is ticketed in the hospital after she’s hit by a car when a witness claims she came out of nowhere, didn’t have lights, wasn’t in the crosswalk and was in the middle of the road. Sounds like maybe that witness was the driver who ran her down.

In a case of man bites dog, a Hattiesburg, Mississippi cyclist is the victim of a hit-and-run — and witnesses identify the suspect vehicle as a marked police car.

And these new compression shorts come complete with a fillable codpiece. Make of that what you will.

 

International

Most Toronto residents — and Canadians in general — want to require licenses for bike riders.

Former Amgen Tour of California winner Robert Gesink has surgery to correct the cardiac arrhythmia that has kept him off his bike in recent months. No word on when or if he’ll race again.

An Aussie writer says don’t feel sorry for careless cyclists, feel sorry for the poor innocent drivers who hit them — even though a study last year showed drivers were at fault in 79% of cycling collisions Down Under. Link courtesy of Opus the Poet, who’s Witch on a Bicycle blog you really should be reading if you don’t already.

 

Finally…

Following our discussion of scofflaw cyclists the other day, Priceonomics says it’s drivers’ fault that cyclists run stop signs. No, really.

And after an auto-centric writer for MotorSport magazine said the problem with cyclists is they get in your damn way and interfere with your right to zoom dangerously around winding roads, wiser heads prevailed and the story was removed from the website. But nothing ever really disappears from the Internet.

 

Morning Links: Killer Chula Vista driver had multiple priors, faces up to 15 years; and not so fast on Olin case

Prepare to get mad.

The accused drunk driver who killed Chula Vista cyclist David Voight earlier this week was on probation at the time of the collision, and had been convicted of meth possession two months ago. And he was still on the streets — in a stolen car — despite at least seven other previous felony charges.

San Diego’s NBC-7 reports Michael Reyes faces five counts, including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, car theft and possession of methamphetamine, with a maximum sentence of 15 years and 4 months.

Reyes family expressed their sympathy for the victim’s family, explaining that he’d had many “life difficulties” in the past year.

……….

The Thousand Oaks Acorn goes back on an earlier story saying the sheriff’s investigation into the death of cyclist Milt Olin, killed in a collision with a sheriff’s deputy last December, had gone to the DA’s office for evaluation. According to today’s correction, the report is expected to go to the DA in the near future.

……….

A 70-year old Whittier cyclist suffered severe injuries when he was hit and dragged by the driver of a pickup truck; reportedly the driver kept going because he thought he hit a curb. Reports were the victim was riding salmon, though how any driver could be unaware he hit someone coming right at him is beyond me. Initial reports were that the victim’s injuries were not life-threatening.

………

Latest word is that representatives of Wolfpack Hustle were on their way to city hall in a last ditch effort to save this year’s Marathon Crash Race. Funny how every department spokesperson for the city seems to point the finger at race organizers and/or city bureaucracy to deflect any responsibility for this massive snafu.

And you do know what snafu stands for, right?

………

writer for the LADOT Bike Blog gets doored, but doesn’t seem to realize he was the victim of a hit-and-run. Speaking of LADOT, the department unveils their new campaign to fight trash cans in the bike lane. And the department’s Nate Baird moves on to a new job in Long Beach; he’ll be sorely missed.A bike rider was stabbed to death in Norwalk in an apparent gang attack.

………

Bad news for LA area bike riders and pedestrians, as changes in Federal funding programs force Metro to renege on prior commitments to fund 49 projects in the county.

A UCLA bike commuter helps two injured cyclists the same day.

NELA’s York Blvd bike lanes will be extended to connect with lanes in South Pasadena.

The LACBC’s Operation Firefly gives out free bike lights in Glendale.

What the…? A Rancho Cucamonga letter writer somehow hallucinates that last year’s death of Cal Poly cyclist Ivan Aguilar had something, anything, to do with road raging bike riders.

In what seems to be a first anywhere, bike thefts are actually down at Cal State Fullerton.

Thousand Oaks needs volunteers for the final stage of this year’s Amgen Tour of California.

Two bikes worth $18,000 were stolen from an office in Valencia last weekend.

Santa Barbara County gets its first green bike lane in Goleta.

Good news for a change, as a Pleasanton cyclist’s riding companions team with a passer-by to save him from a heart attack.

Women now make up the majority of family cyclists.

That disassembled Pee-wee Herman bike sold for over $36,000.

The NYPD finally discovers that sometimes, pedestrians do in fact have the right of way.

The first line sums it up nicely: Virginia is for lovers, but it’s not always for bikes.

Two teenage girls are arrested for nearly decapitating a Brit bike rider with a rope strung across a trail.

Ford will partner with Dahon to develop a line of folding bikes designed to fit into the company’s cars.

Aussie cyclists struggle to get fair treatment from investigators following traffic collisions. Actually, you could write that same story just about anywhere.

Finally, an Alaskan cyclist smashes the record for the 1,000-mile Iditarod human — not dog — powered race across the Alaskan backcountry. I wonder if his record had anything to do with the unusually warm weather that’s left many stretches of the course void of snow and ice?

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