Tag Archive for Mulholland Hwy

CHP says we have a right to ride Mulholland, going away party for Villaraigosa, and finally, some links

I’m sure you remember the recent collision where everyone was lucky to walk away after a motorcyclist plowed into two bicyclists on Mulholland Highway.

I’m told that the inexperienced motorbike rider, who set events in motion by touching a foot down while leaning into the curve, has received one point against his license. Which he probably shouldn’t use for anything more challenging than riding, very slowly, to the nearest 7-11 and back.

Meanwhile, the CHP has reached out to local motorcycling groups to let them know, in no uncertain terms, that bicyclists have as much right to ride the road on Mulholland as they do. And we’re not going to go away, so they need to deal with it.

Maybe the CHP isn’t so anti-bike after all.


Family members call for an investigation into the shooting of bike rider Terry Laffitte last month. There seems to be a rash of bike-involved police shootings these days.


Say goodbye to outgoing Mayor Villaraigosa at a free party at Downtown’s Grand Park this Friday, complete with bike valet — something that became common at L.A. events during his tenure, thanks in part to the LACBC.


SCSClaremont062213It’s a busy bike weekend, with the first memorial ride for fallen cyclist Chris Cono on Saturday, while CORBA will hold a memorial for former board member Danusia Bennett-Taber this Sunday. KNBC-4 looks forward to Sunday’s lucky 13th L.A. River Ride.

Also Sunday, learn to be more confident on your bike in Long Beach. And the LACBC is working with Metro to offer a series of free bike safety classes this summer.


Streetsblog’s Damien Newton handicaps the candidates for chair of the city council Transportation Committee. The city council is scheduled to decide the fate of the Spring Street green bike lanes on Friday, June 14th; cyclists and supporters are urged to attend. The first section of the new Wilshire Blvd bus — and yes, bike — lanes are now officially open. Who rents Metro bike lockers and why. Speaking of bike parking, it looks like the Dodgers have finally improved theirs. Better Bike asks if civility is finally coming to the streets of Beverly Hills; probably not. Ride the Ballona Creek bike path to Marina del Rey with C.I.C.L.E., Metro and Walk ‘n’ Rollers on the 29th. Will Campbell offers a timelapse video of the longest game of bike/bus leapfrog ever. Richard Risemberg calls out the lies opponents of the Colorado Blvd bike lanes employed. Boyonabike says that new bike lane is great, but Arcadia is still stuck in a 1950’s auto-only mentality. The Press-Telegram says if bike share can make it in New York, it can make it anywhere — including L.A. And it will get to Long Beach eventually. California’s Coastal Commission will rule on a proposal for an expanded Long Beach bike path next week.

A bike rider is expected to survive after being critically injured in multi-car Buena Park collision, in a story just short enough to make it past the OC Register’s paywall. A 2.5 mile bike lane project in Thousand Oaks will plug the gap in what will be a 13-mile continuous bikeway. Chico could use eminent domain to complete a planned bike path bridge. A San Francisco court rules bicycling is an inherently dangerous activity in dismissing a suit against Strava. How not to make a right turn around bikes. What is it that reactionaries have against bicycles?

The Feds back off that long discredited claim that bike helmets reduce head injuries by 85%. An Arizona woman faces 10 to 25 years after pleading guilty to the drunken death of a college student from San Jose. Dallas pro cyclist Lauren Stephens races on weekends, and commutes to work by bike during the week. Far from being overrun with bike lanes, New York still doesn’t give cyclists their fair share. Is it just me, or is this cycle chic look from the New York Post just a little creepy? Now there’s some rational thinking, as locals call for bike lanes on a proposed I-10 bridge over Alabama’s Mobile River. Bob Mionske says the truth is finally emerging in the Toronto death of bike messenger Darcy Allan Sheppard. VeloNews says only Lance can save cycling.

Finally, it turns out that New York’s bike share isn’t a commie plot after all; it’s really a Nazi-Muslim plot to firebomb the streets of the city to avenge the WWII bombing of Dresden. Who knew? The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay says just get on a bike and it will all make sense; I wonder how long he’ll work there once the wicked witch finds out about it. And a Sonoma County writer seems to find great humor in the death, serious injury and possible impotence of bike riders.


No wonder we continue to die on California streets, when CHP says killing a cyclist is just an accident

This morning I received the following email from Chris Willig regarding the tragic death of Hollywood writer/producer Carol Schreder while riding on Mulholland Hwy last Saturday.

A public spokesperson for the CHP West Valley station stated in a phone call Monday that no citation has been issued nor is there likely to be one in the December 3rd death of cyclist Carol Schreder in a tragic traffic incident on Mulholland Highway in Malibu.

He indicated that it was a “unfortunate accident” caused when a possibly inexperienced driver of a van towing a trailer applied the brakes too hard. This caused the trailer to force the van to the right in a jack-knife. The rear end of the van caught Carol who was riding on the right of the fog line severely injuring her. She later died in hospital. Because there was no “criminal intent”, charges against the van’s driver are not being considered.

Wait a minute.

Since when has “criminal intent” been a required element for a traffic infraction?

Under that standard, no one would ever be held accountable for any traffic violation in California. No tickets for running red lights. No violations for driving drunk, since it would be impossible to ever prove intent.

Not even a ticket for distracted driving, since drivers could claim they just broke the law without thinking, and didn’t really mean to do it.

You know, just one of those things.

Like killing a cyclist.

And that, in a nutshell, is why you can count the number of knowledgeable cyclists who still have faith in the CHP on one hand, and have enough fingers left over for a well-deserved gesture.

After all, this is the same organization that said cyclists are responsible for the overwhelming majority of bike-involved collisions — based strictly on their own auto-centric investigations, as well as their pronounced lack of training in the rights and responsibilities of of cyclists and the physics of bicycling collisions.

Let alone that this is the same organization that advised Governor Brown to veto the state’s three-foot passing law.

And despite the fact that it only takes a quick scan of the California Vehicle Code to find a number of violations for which the driver could, and perhaps should, have been cited.

Like the California Basic Speed Law, for instance.

CVC 22350.  No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.

Even if strong crosswinds contributed to this collision, as some have suggested, the driver would have been in violation of the requirement mandating due regard for weather. And at least one other cyclist reports that the van was seen traveling at an excessive rate of speed just prior to the collision.

Then there’s the requirement to follow at a safe distance; the fact that the driver had to brake sharply to avoid the vehicle ahead offers prima facie evidence that the driver was in violation — let alone that there was a stop sign just 260 feet ahead of the point of impact.

CVC 21703.  The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon, and the condition of, the roadway.

And most damning of all is the requirement for drivers towing a trailer to maintain control of both vehicles.

CVC 41104.  In any case, involving an accident or otherwise, where any rear component of a train of vehicles fails to follow substantially in the path of the towing vehicle while moving upon a highway, the vehicle shall be presumed to have been operated in violation of Section 21711.

CVC 21711.  No person shall operate a train of vehicles when any vehicle being towed whips or swerves from side to side or fails to follow substantially in the path of the towing vehicle.

According to the standard set forth in CVC 41104, the simple fact that the collision occurred in the way it did is demonstrates a clear violation that the driver should have been held accountable for, regardless of a possible lack of experience.

And proof that the driver should have been found at fault for the collision, and the death that resulted.

By failing to hold a killer driver responsible for his actions, the CHP has not only failed Carol Schreder, her family and loved ones, but the entire cycling community.

Because we will continue to die on California roadways as long as authorities allow drivers to break the law with impunity.

And just drive away, regardless of the consequences.

If you’re not pissed off yet, maybe you should go back and read this again.

Anyone with information on this case is urged to contact the CHP West Valley Station 5825 De Soto Ave, Woodland Hills 91367-5297; 818-888-0980; maybe if they hear from enough witnesses they’ll reverse this outrageous decision.

Breaking news — cyclist killed on Mulholland Hwy

Photo of crash scene by Chris Willig

I received word late Sunday afternoon that a cyclist was killed in the hills above Malibu on Saturday morning.

According to an email from Chris Willig, she was riding east on Mulholland Highway at Kanan Road around 9:30 am Saturday when she was hit from behind by a white van.

The victim was reportedly riding on the shoulder of the road, to the right of the fog line, when the van ran off the road. The bicycle was crushed underneath the van; unconfirmed reports indicate the driver may have been speeding and tailgating another vehicle.

Reading between the lines, it’s possible that the driver may have been trying to get around the slower car on the right when he or she hit the rider; however, that’s pure speculation on my part.

CHP reports confirm the collision, and indicate that the rider was transported to UCLA Medical Center at 2 pm in extremely critical condition.

The Flickr account RockStorePhotos.com identifies the victim as Carol Schreder, a regular Saturday rider, and reports that she passed away in the ICU around 10:45 pm.

As Willig put it, this is madding in its senselessness. Schreder appears to have been doing everything right, but died anyway due to a driver’s carelessness and/or impatience.

My prayers for Carol, and all her family and loved ones.

This is the 65th confirmed traffic-related bike fatality in Southern California this year, and the 21st in Los Angeles County.

While the SoCal total is well above the 55 cycling fatalities for each of the last two years on record, it is far below the horrific total of 89 bicycling deaths recorded in 2006. The Los Angeles figure is one below the total of 22 in 2009, the last year on record, as well as below the five-year average of 24.2 fatalities in L.A. County each year.

And please note that the totals for this year are only the fatalities that I am aware of and have been able to confirm in some way. It’s entirely possible there may have been others that I don’t know about.

Photo by Chris Willig

Update: IMDB lists Carol Schreder as a writer and producer on a number of titles, including Mama Flora’s Family, In Love and War, Call to Glory, the Burning Bed and Calendar Girl Murders; there’s also a Carol Schreder listed as owner of the Carol Schreder Company in Topanga, and as a finisher in a number of marathons and triathlons, as well as the Mulholland Challenge century.

Then there’s this piece written five years ago, almost to the day, extolling the virtues — and risks — of riding Topanga Canyon, not far from where this collision occurred.

Update 2: I just received the following comment from Heidi Christensen, who came along the scene shortly after the collision:

My husband and I rode up on the scene about 10 minutes after it happened. Carol was hit by a van pulling a trailer; the driver stopped. From what we heard, the driver said the car in front of him hit the brakes suddenly, then he hit his brakes, jack-knifed, and lost control. It’s hard to figure out, though, because it happened maybe 50 yards from the Mulholland/Kanan intersection (between the Calamigos Ranch driveway and Kanan)….the cars should have already been braking and not carrying much speed. Very tragic and just horribly sad. Judy, our thoughts and prayers are with you, Carol’s family, and all those dear to her.

Oh, and by the way, the EMTs identified her by her Road ID.

Three cyclists hit on Mulholland, two critically injured

Bikeside LA reports that three cyclists were hit this morning at the intersection of Mulholland Hwy and Los Virgenes Road in Calabasas, with two cyclists transported to the hospital in critical condition.

I’ve also received word that a bicyclist may have been killed in the L.A. area over the weekend. I’m still waiting for confirmation, and will provide any news as news comes in; if anyone has more information, let me know.

Update: The Daily News reports that the cyclists were riding west on Mulholland, and were struck by an eastbound car driven by an 81-year old woman that turning left onto Stokes Canyon Road around 7:30 am, the third cyclist received minor injuries.

Update 2: Brent confirms the name I was given earlier of the cyclist who was killed, and provides a link to a Facebook page reporting that Doug Caldwell was killed and Scott Evans was injured on their way to work at JPL on Friday.

Update 3: In the Calabasas collision, the Times now reports that three riders suffered major injuries, while a 4th rider suffered minor injuries and was released at the scene. KTLA has video of the aftermath.

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