Tag Archive for Orange County

Describe Your Ride: Nearly run down by a speeding driver — with a twist

Unfortunately, not every ride is a happy one.

Today, an OC rider who prefers to remain anonymous describes a recent ride in which she had a brush with a speeding, overly aggressive driver in a high-powered car. Literally.

With a surprise ending that left her livid.

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Tuesday afternoon I was nearly swiped by a speeding Charger (Challenger?) whose incompetent driver, immediately behind me, suddenly punched the gas and squeezed between me and the box truck to his left. I had proceeded from a full stop at a red light, and had just cleared an intersection full of kids leaving school. Because of gravel on the gutter pan, I was gutterbunnying it, close enough to worry about pedal strike.

The pass was so sudden and so close that I was less articulate than usual, but managed to bellow WHAT THE F***! while wobbling. No remedial, YIELD THE RIGHT OF WAY. No accompanying, GET YOUR HOMICIDAL ASS OFF THE ROAD. No PATIENCE IS A F****** VIRTUE, my most frequent high-volume communication. Me, speechless. If that’s at all believable. The passenger side was less than 8 inches from my bullhorns, and the side of the box truck to his left thundered the revving engine back at me. Before I had time to even want to smack the car’s window, I was looking at tail lights. That Charger had passed me in less time than it took for Shaun Eagleson to look over his shoulder. Somehow I stayed mostly upright, and didn’t even hit the concrete bus bench whose acquaintance I was certain I was going to violently make.

Though the lane ahead narrowed, the car continued to accelerate and then, despite its speed, took the corner like it was on rails.. The Charger was already out of sight by the time I made the corner by the hospital. But I stopped to ask a pair of orderlies at the ambulance bay if they’d seen a speeding car, and they confirmed it had turned left at the next street. As I approached the intersection, the westward gazes of some animated warehouse workers on the sidewalk indicated that the orderlies were correct. The next intersection was a T-intersection, and a group of workers had abandoned a steam shovel to walk south for a peek around the corner. When I turned right, there sat the Charger, crosswise in the middle of the intersection. Its driver had just stepped out, and stood next to it.

DSCN3354

Los Alamitos CopYes, A F****** COP IN AN UNMARKED F****** CAR. An extremely fast, extremely heavy car. Grey, camouflaged amid the asphalt and overcast sky. I’m going to assume that although it did have the blue and red in the back window (engaged eventually), it is not equipped with a siren that would have alerted me to pull over, because certainly a law enforcement officer traveling at that speed is required to alert road users of his presence, right?

 

A couple miles later, on the river path, I realized I was bleeding. I think my knuckle scraped the bus bench that I nearly landed on, but I can’t be sure. Frankly, I was kind of disappointed at how hilariously tiny the scrape is, considering all the dripping blood.

I’m not riding without my GoPro again. And I might get all FOIA on that Charger’s (possible) dashcam.

The Los Alamitos Police Department owes me an apology and some new bar tape.

 

Mountain biker dies of apparent heart attack in Crystal Cove State Beach

The Orange County Register is reporting that a mountain bike rider has died of natural causes in Crystal Cove State Beach.

The victim was riding in the park with a group of cyclists when he collapsed around 9 am Sunday.

His companions began CPR, and both paramedics, and a fire department flight medic lowered onto the trail attempted to resuscitate him from full cardiac arrest. However, he was pronounced dead at the scene after a prolonged effort to save his life.

This is the 13th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in Orange County; two of those have been the result of natural causes.

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

And condolences to his companions who tried to save his life.

Update: Bicyclist killed in Santa Ana collision Monday evening

More bad news, as a bike rider was killed crossing a street in Santa Ana.

According to the Orange County Register, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was struck around 6:07 pm at the intersection of 17th and La Bonita Streets. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The New Santa Ana website reports he was north on La Bonita when he was hit by a pick-up; no word on which direction the truck was going.

The driver remained at the scene, and cited darkness as the reason he did not see the victim until it was too late. He was not suspected of being under the influence.

However, according to Google Maps, that address doesn’t exist, although it appears to be the intersection of La Bonita and Westminster Ave, which becomes 17th east of the Santa Ana River.

Assuming that is the correct location, a satellite view shows an uncontrolled six lane street on Westminster, with a 45 mph speed limit and the sort of wide lanes that too often encourage speeding. There is a stop sign on La Bonita at Westminster.

There’s no word on whether the victim had lights or reflectors on his bike. But there are street lights at the intersection, so the rider should have been visible if they were working. So the question becomes why the driver didn’t see the victim before it was too late.

Anyone with information is urged to call Investigator Bao of the Santa Ana Police Department at 714/245-8214.

This is the eight bicycling collision in Southern California already this year, and second in Orange County. It’s also the fifth in Santa Ana in just the last two years.

Update: The Register has identified the victim as 77-year old Huntington Beach resident Thuc Van Nguyen.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Thuc Van Nguyen and his loved ones.

Thanks to Ed Ryder for the heads-up.

Weekend Links: 15 to life for heroin-fueled hit-and-run, and Northvale Gap Expo Line bikeway meeting

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover today, so grab your coffee and settle in.

And don’t forget, just three more days to nominate someone to win a new bicycle in our first-ever bike giveaway. So take a moment to tell us who you think deserves to win a free bike from Beachbikes.net today!

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For once, the punishment fits the crime.

And not surprisingly, it comes from Orange County, where the DA and courts take traffic crime seriously, especially when it involves the loss of an innocent life.

Neil Storm Stephany, who killed 30-year old Fountain Valley cyclist Shaun Eagleson in a heroin-fueled 2014 Newport Beach hit-and-run, was sentenced Friday to 15-years to life behind bars.

Yes, life.

Despite signing a statement following a 2011 DUI conviction that he could face a murder charge if he killed someone while driving under the influence, Eagleson shot up with heroin before getting behind the wheel with two additional drugs in his system that may have amplified the effects of the illegal narcotic.

Witnesses reported seeing him weaving dangerously along PCH. But before police could respond, he plowed into Eagleson’s bike, leaving him to die in the street as he drove on; Stephany’s lawyer claimed he was too high to comprehend what had happened.

He also says the self-described substance abuse counselor had planned to enter rehab the next day, too late for everyone concerned.

Stephany’s actions, piled atop a long string of priors, left Eagleson’s wife without a husband, and dashed their plans to have a child together after she had long been told she would never be able to. And left his mother grieving a son taken away too soon, and hoping his killer never again sees the light of day.

As the judge put it in handing out his sentence,

Shooting heroin and getting into a car after being through several rehabs and after being warned of the consequences is mind blowing,” the judge said.

“Yes, Mr. Stephany (you) did not set out to kill again that day, but when you act with such disregard for the safety of others, this can happen.

The sad fact is that two lives were ended that day, and two families shattered. One life lost on the side of the road, through no fault of his own, and the other lost behind bars through his own actions, his parents left to grieve a son lost to drugs.

Despite the possible life term, it’s likely that Stephany will get out of prison one day. Whether he will come out a better man is highly debatable.

Thanks to Louis, Edward M. Rubinstein and our anonymous OC source for the heads-up.

Neil-Stephany-sentence

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Streetsblog’s Joe Linton provides a full report on Wednesday’s meeting on closing the Northvale Gap in the new Expo Line bike path.

In a case of major irony, two of the proposals would run on Northvale Road, directly in front of the homeowners who fought to keep the bike path from running behind their homes. Although the street has a steep hill that could cause many riders to seek an alternate route.

It’s also ironic that the price tag to complete the .7 mile gap runs between $13 million and $52 million.

It was only six years ago that some cyclists rose up to oppose a $30 million plan to extend the beachfront bike path two miles from Will Rogers State Beach nearly to Malibu, bypassing the narrow section of PCH where riders are currently forced to take the lane in front of often speeding traffic.

At $15 million per mile, it would actually have been cheaper than the least expensive option for closing the Northvale Gap.

The obvious choice, given the hill on Northvale, is to place the bike path next to the train line, precisely where the small group of homeowners fought to prevent it.

But where the $52 million to pay for it will come from is a very good question.

As is whether building the most expensive sub-one-mile of bikeway in the city is the best use for funds that could build many more miles somewhere else.

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Let’s help a guy out. And possibly help ourselves in the process.

Former San Francisco Bicycle Coalition staffer and current Bike the Vote LA volunteer Marc Caswell is conducting a study of the many Peak Hour Lanes throughout the City of Los Angeles to determine if they affect safety.

For my Masters in Urban Planning, I’m trying to determine if LA’s Peak Hour Tow Away Zones (PHTAZ) have an impact on street safety.

We know that the city has implemented these policies with no attention to safety — but simply to move cars. And they automatically preclude a street from the ability to have a bike lane (since the curb lane becomes traffic) — or from having pedestrian bulb-outs.  So, they are inherently prohibiting safety improvements.

But — I want to know if these unexpected, temporary, and erratic parking restrictions are creating driver confusion and/or increasing the rates of crashes — for all modes.

When I chose this project, I planned to map the crashes to the streets and assumed that the LADOT would have a map of all these zones — but they don’t.  They don’t even have a list.  I’ve had to use Google Street View and my own knowledge to find the 211 miles I’ve found so far…

But, now I need to open it up to the rest of the region and crowdsource the information.  So, I’ve published the map — and am calling on the public to help me identify the blocks I may have missed.

I have a public Google map here — with all the details and instructions.

Take a look. And if you see one missing, add it to the map.

The results could make a real difference in how our streets look in the future.

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Recently, we featured a guest post from Harv describing his ride through the streets of NELA for some pre-Christmas shopping.

Today he offers his first attempt at a bike-building video, capturing what he calls a typical (for him) project, taking a vintage lugged steel road bike frame and making it into an urban bike to navigate the busy streets of LA.

And here’s the finished product.

ral assembled 2_003

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In the USA Network’s new show Colony, the people of Los Angeles travel by bicycle following an occupation by invading aliens. Except for the bad guys, who travel in massive SUVs.

Sounds about right.

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Local

The LACBC’s Eric Bruins explains why Metro needs to dedicate 10% of a possible Measure R sequel to funding active transportation.

The bike-themed Wheelhouse coffee shop is now open in Downtown’s Arts District.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton will talk parking, CicLAvia, Vision Zero, rail construction, bike lanes, bike-share, speed, safety, trade-offs and more on Sunday morning when he’s interviewed on classic rock station The Sound at 100.3 FM.

A podcast from Streetsblog USA offers a tourist guide on how to visit Los Angeles without a car and where to go if you do.

Calbike VP and former Long Beach bike guru Charlie Gandy discusses the power of asking.

 

State

Anaheim cyclists are invited to participate in a series of workshops for the city’s draft bicycle master plan starting this Tuesday.

An Oxnard bike rider was wacked in the back with a stick by two men, knocking her off her bike so they could steal her backpack.

California restores funding for a bike and pedestrian path needed to get Castroville students over a dangerous set of train tracks.

Horrible news from San Jose, as a bike rider was killed by a hit-and-run driver who hit him, then backed over him again in what police describe as an intentional act. That should result in at least a second degree murder charge once they find the bastard.

 

National

It’s six years behind bars for a Seattle man in the drunken death of a bicyclist; the driver admitted to downing four beers and an Adderall before driving. Meanwhile, a Delaware driver gets eight years for the drunken hit-and-run death of a bike rider — with his three kids in the car, no less — after downing as many as seven drinks before getting behind the wheel.

LA will soon get its first pro football team in decades. But how many of them will ride their bikes and drive beat up cars like the pro players in DC?

Savannah GA cyclists turn out to fight a proposed ban on bikes in a park used as a popular riding route.

 

International

The good news is, bicycling isn’t the world’s dirtiest sport; the bad news is, it seems like almost every sport has a drug problem. Even curling.

A cyclist travels Bolivia’s Death Road and lives to tell the tale.

Life is cheap in Toronto, where the death of a bike rider barely merits a weak caress on the wrist.

Bike commuting rates appear to be dropping in most English cities, with a handful of notable exceptions.

The crowdfunding campaign to buy Britain’s bike-riding Labour Party leader a new bike is now up to £5,745 — the equivalent of nearly $8200 — which is just a tad over the £475 goal. Cycling Weekly looks at five bikes he could buy with that.

A British Good Samaritan ran to help a cyclist who was hit from behind by a van, only to discover he was colleague from her work at a local hospital.

Fat bikes come to the Swiss Alps.

An Arizona man takes his first bike ride in 30 years, a three-day, 87-mile trip through the Champagne region of France just 16 weeks after surgery for prostate cancer.

A new Berlin-based bike registry offers near-impossible to remove titanium micro-tags to identify your bike if it’s stolen.

Great piece from a British woman who left her London flat last July to bike to, and through, the Middle East in order to better understand it. One key point in our refugee-fearing times — she says she hasn’t met a single Muslim with the slightest sympathy for ISIS on her travels.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t body check a security guard just because he asks you to rack your bike. Climb hills and drop your friends the easy way, while still passing your urine test.

And did someone lose a giant plastic orange?

 

Update: 75-year old man killed in Huntington Beach bicycling fall

Sad news from Huntington Beach this morning.

According to the Orange County Register, the victim, identified by MyNewsLA as 75-year old Richard Schultz, was found lying in the street on the 8300 block of Talbert Ave around 10:39 am yesterday.

Schultz was unconscious and suffering from a serious head injury; he died at 2:45 pm after being taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange.

He appears to have somehow lost control of his bike and fallen, perhaps after striking a fixed object; police investigators say no other vehicle appears to be involved. Of course it’s always possible that a passing car or truck, or some other action, could have caused him to lose control.

A satellite view shows a four lane roadway with bike lanes on either side; there’s no word on which direction he was riding.

Anyone with information is urged to call Accident Investigators Josh Page at 714-536-5670 or Bob Barr at 714-536-5663.

This is the second bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Orange County. And it’s the fourth bicycling fatality in Huntington Beach in just the last eight months.

Update: An Orange County rider sent this in response to the Register article.

Curiously, the article states that the road was “free of hazards” and that no vehicles were involved. Both are suspicious statements. First, on Saturday morning, that’s an incredibly busy stretch of road. It crosses Beach Blvd (a stroad that Caltrans won’t let the city put bike lanes on). It’s right by the Walmart driveway, and westbound leads directly to Central Park, whose sports fields are slamming busy on Saturday mornings. Also, the westbound stretch borders the cemetery, so it’s kind of treated like a speedway, and a lot of motorists punch the gas when they see the pesky yellow light of the signalized “intersection” of the Walmart driveway, which can lead to a lengthy red light in letting a backed-up line of motorists exit the parking lot. As far as the “free of hazards” claim, DOUBTS. Hunny’s pretty good at maintaining a street sweeping schedule, but there’s been so much grit & gravel & puddles & leaves & mud & fronds & trash & hidden potholes thanks to the storms lately, it’s been harrowing riding pretty much everywhere. Not to mention, I really have no confidence in the ability of HBPD’s Major Incident Reconstruction Team to assess what counts as “hazards” to a bicyclist.

Update 2: According to the LA Times, he was wearing a helmet. That raises more questions, since it suggests that either the helmet failed, or the force of the impact somehow exceeded the design capacity of the helmet. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Richard Schultz and his loved ones.

Update: Nine-year old boy killed in Irvine collision

Any traffic death is heartbreaking. But it always seems worse when it’s a child.

Word is just coming in that a nine-year old boy was killed while riding his bike in Irvine this afternoon.

According to a press release from the Irvine Police Department, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was hit by a van at 3:15 pm at the intersection of Roosevelt and Bay Tree. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead just 20 minutes later.

The 57-year old driver remained at the scene.

No other information is available at this time.

A satellite view shows a residential neighborhood with four lane divided roadway in each direction, with a bike lane on Roosevelt and three parks within a four block radius.

Anyone with information is urged to contact IPD Traffic Sergeant Matt August at 949/724-7023.

This is the 70th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 17th in Orange County this year.

Update: The Orange County Coroner has identified the victim as Keven Jiang, who lived in Irvine. 

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

Thanks to David Huntsman for the link.

Morning Links: Stephany convicted of 2nd degree murder, KCRW can’t find bike riders to discuss Mobility Plan

No surprise here.

An Orange County jury has found Neil Storm Stephany guilty of second degree murder in the heroin and Ativan-fueled hit-and-run death of cyclist Shaun Eagleson as he rode on the East Coast Highway just over a year ago.

And despite his attorney’s bizarre argument that Stephany can’t be held responsible because he was so high he had no idea what he was doing behind the wheel.

Stephany had been warned following a previous DUI conviction that he could face a murder charge if he killed someone while driving under the influence. Instead he shot up, got behind wheel and did exactly that; he was reportedly found incoherent with fresh needle marks at the time of his arrest.

He faces 15 years to life in prison when he’s sentenced on January 15th.

Despite one juror’s hope that this is a wake-up call for Stephany, it’s a little too late for that.

And for the man he killed.

Neil-Stephany-conviction-reduced

Thanks to Edward M. Rubinstein and our anonymous OC source for the heads-up.

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Hats off to REI.

While other retailers are forcing their employees leave their families and work on Thanksgiving Day, the Seattle-based co-op will not only be closed on Thanksgiving, but will be shutting their doors on the following day, aka Black Friday. And telling their employees to go outdoors and enjoy themselves.

With pay.

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A reader forwards this moving piece from a former bike racer suffering from an incurable, untreatable and progressively degenerative kidney disease, and her first tentative step back into cyclocross racing just for fun.

Definitely worth taking a few moments from your day to read.

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Local

KCRW’s Which Way LA looks at the reactions to LA’s Mobility Plan 2035 in South LA and around Rowena Ave in Silver Lake, but can’t seem to find any bike riders to discuss it with.

A trio of USC students are working on a Bluetooth-enabled bike lock that will be permanently mounted on your bike, and lock by clamping around the rear wheel.

The LA Explorers Club is hosting an LA Noir Bicycle Tour this Sunday, taking riders back to the classic Los Angeles of the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s.

 

State

A group of Santa Ana kids are recognized for their work in bike advocacy at the California Bicycle Summit, while the city is set to receive $11.5 million in bikeway funding.

Bike Newport Beach discusses the need to teach young bike racers how to ride safely on the streets.

A La Jolla mountain bike rider was the victim of a brutal assault while visiting New Orleans, leaving him paralyzed from the shoulders down. And neither the police or the Big Easy press seem to give a damn. When I lived down that way, it too often seemed that rather than the City That Care Forgot, it was the city that forgot to care.

San Diego will begin work on the next link in the Bayshore Bikeway around the first of the year, the first of $200 million in new bike projects in the region over the next decade.

Coronado police warn that the annual grace period for student bike violations is ending. Note to CPD: Riding a bike in a crosswalk is legal under California law.

A Redlands bike rider was injured in a shooting as he rode past two men walking in the street.

Sad news from Sacramento, as a man dies eight days after he was hit by a car while riding his bike.

Apparently, bike friendly Davis has a bike parking problem.

 

National

Despite the recent bike boom, visits to bike shops declined 17% from 2012 to 2014.

Uber’s new Uber Rush delivery service is using a fleet of bike messengers to make deliveries in New York City, San Francisco and Chicago in an hour or less.

An engineering professor proposes a bikeshare system for the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Maybe he didn’t want to miss his favorite show. An Iowa rider loses three teeth when he was mugged by a group of men who wanted the TV he was carrying on his bike.

A St. Louis writer says bicycling can be bliss in the city originally built for horses and trolleys.

Science takes a backseat to football at the University of North Carolina, where bikes are banned from parking in front of the Genome Science building on game days.

Key West cyclists team up for the annual four-mile Zombie Bike Ride.

 

International

Go ahead and have that drink. A new study shows that while a third of injured cyclists have been drinking, drunk riders are less likely to get in wrecks and are no more likely to be injured than sober riders.

A Montreal bike messenger poetically says the key to survival is to float like a ghost into the spaces no one else is occupying.

The former head of Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service says the country’s legal system has failed cyclists, and calls for a change in the way bike cases are handled. Meanwhile, the head of roads policing for the British National Police Chiefs’ Council says it’s too risky to commute by bike in London.

The Scottish town of Dumfries puts it’s bikeshare system on hold following complaints that it’s too difficult to use. The story quotes my favorite Scot bike blogger as she helps raise the rabble.

Just as women’s cycling is starting to take off again, Switzerland is dropping their women’s team due to financial losses.

A leftwing German political party wants to encourage biking and walking by eliminating fines for red light violations in the law-abiding country.

The BBC looks at the legal loophole that allows Syrian refugees to cross the Russian border into Finland only if they are on a bike, and the absurd trade in flimsy children’s bikes it has spawned. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

A Rwandan cyclist was killed in a mid-race collision after he dropped off the back of the peloton.

Seriously? South Australian officials warn that allowing bikes on sidewalks will result in huge costs to local government, as well as lawsuits against cyclists. And Aussie Liberals seem misnamed as they threaten to roll back the state’s 1-meter passing law.

Philippine cyclists flaunt the country’s Carmegeddon to advocate for a piece of the road. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying 64 tabs of Lorazepam, aka Ativan, on your bike, put a damn light on it and stay off the sidewalk. Talk about casting a big shadow; a little ingenuity and elbow grease, and you, too can frighten the neighbors into thinking a rogue elephant is on the loose.

And this is what happens when you don’t have any women — or men capable of thinking with the larger head — in your marketing department.

Colnago-tweet

Huntington Beach bike rider has died following last week’s bike lane collision

Sometimes, our worst fears are realized.

That was the case last week, as the Orange County Register made a brief mention of a bicyclist who critically injured when he was struck from behind while riding in a Huntington Beach bike lane.

Sadly, they announced today that he did not survive his injuries.

The 29-year old victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding east on Warner Avenue at Springdale Street at 5:27 pm Tuesday when a driver veered into the bike lane and struck him from behind.

He was taken to UCI Medical Center, where he died on Saturday, four days after he was injured.

The driver remained at the scene, and police do not suspect drugs or alcohol use. No word on why he moved into the bike lane where the victim was riding; however, since the wreck occurred at or near the intersection, he may have been making a right turn.

A street view shows a typical six lane Orange County street with a center turn lane, and wide lanes built for excessive speed.

This is the 60th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th in Orange County; that compares with 74 in SoCal and 16 in the county this time last year.

It’s also the third bicycling death in Huntington Beach this year, and the eighth in just the last two years.

Update: A comment below from Bill Selin caused me to go back and check my records, revealing two errors.

One was the Garden Grove death of Suzy Ramage and her dog, which had been mistakenly categorized as Los Angeles County, rather than OC. The other was an unknown rider also killed in Garden Grove a few weeks later, which I had neglected to add to my database. 

As a result, I have corrected the totals above to reflect one additional fatality in Southern California, and two in Orange County.

I apologize for the error.

Update 2: A gofundme account has been set up for the victim. I’m told that his name won’t be officially released until his parents can arrive here from Mexico to identify the body.

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

Update: Unidentified woman killed in Orange collision while riding in crosswalk

It’s been a bad two days for Southern California bike riders.

According to the Orange County Register, a woman was killed as she was riding her bike in a crosswalk in the city of Orange Sunday evening.

The unidentified victim was crossing the street at the intersection of West Chapman Avenue and North Flower Street shortly after 6 pm when she was struck by a man driving a full-size pickup. She was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where she passed away nearly 45 minutes later.

The paper reports the driver cooperated with investigators, and was sober at the time of the collision.

There’s no word on who had the right-of-way or which street the victim was crossing, or what direction the truck was traveling. A satellite view shows a two-lane street with a left turn lane on Fowler and six lanes with a left turn lane on Chapman, with crosswalks in each direction.

This is the 54th bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 13th in Orange County. It’s also the third SoCal bicycling death in less than 22 hours.

Update: Comments from Bill Sellin identify her as Kathleen “Kat” Walker, a homeless woman who lived in the nearby Santa Ana river bed. 

He goes on to explain that as she rode in the crosswalk against traffic, she would not have had enough time to make it across all seven lanes if she didn’t push the button for the pedestrian crossing signal. In addition, the sun would have been facing the oncoming traffic close to sunset, making her difficult to see.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kathleen Walker and her family. 

Weekend Links: Getting buzzed in DTLA, life is cheap in OC and Alameda courts, and more bighearted strangers

Nothing like getting buzzed by an impatient jerk to ruin a ride on a beautiful day.

Richard Bidmead forwards video of what happens when a bike lane ends, and riders are forced to take to the traffic lane. Especially when you’re being followed by someone in a Corvette who knows how to use his horn, but can’t figure out how to change lanes to go around.

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Evidently, life is cheap in Orange County.

Following his conviction in the hit-and-run death of bike rider Manual Morales Rodriguez two years ago, truck driver Filemon Reynaga faced up to four years in state prison.

Instead, My News LA reports Reynaga will serve just one year in county jail, thanks to a very generous judge.

Even though a witness saw him get out of his semi after hitting Rodriguez, look at the victim lying in the roadway, then drive off, leaving him unprotected in the darkness, only to be hit by another car a few moments later.

No one will ever know if Rodriguez might have been saved if Reynaga hadn’t shown such a callous indifference to human life.

Despite that, the judge indicated that he will sentence Reynaga to just two years, and put off sentencing until next January to allow him to serve his time in county lockup. And he’ll end up doing just one year behind bars.

One lousy year for intentionally leaving a man to die in the street.

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Apparently, life isn’t worth any more in Alameda County, as a San Francisco attorney could serve just 30 days behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a Chinese tourist.

Bo Hu was walking his bike when a car driven by Spencer Freeman Smith slammed into him from behind, and fled the scene without ever applying the brakes. Prosecutors were prevented from introducing evidence that he had been drinking that night.

Once again, despite a callous indifference to human life, Smith was sentenced to just five years probation and one year in county jail; he can apply to finish his sentence in home detention after serving just one month.

Talk about hard time.

Let’s just hope he’s not scarred for life by being forced to watch the Giants and 49s on his flat screen from the comfort of his own den.

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Yet another bighearted cop replaces a stolen bike, this time for an Indiana girl whose bike was apparently taken by neighborhood bullies just one day after she got it for her eighth birthday.

Evidently, cops aren’t the only ones in Indiana with big hearts. A tattoo artist raised $1,800 to buy a new bike for an Indiana boy who was hit by a car outside his shop.

And a stranger bought a new bike for a Tampa Bay girl after she collided with a car driven by an elderly woman; the driver asked if she was okay, gave her $20 and drove away.

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Looks like the US is building a women’s cycling dynasty, as Chloe Dygert and Emma White take first and second in the under-23 road race; they finished in the same order in the U23 time trial earlier this week.

The US is favored to podium in the elite women’s road race on Saturday, while VeloNews says three-time world cyclocross champ Zdenek Stybar should be a favorite in the men’s race.

They must have made a good impression. A British pro cycling team signs three riders off the New Zealand U23 team from the world championships.

Africa’s first and only pro cycling team to compete in the Tour de France will now be known as Team Dimension Data.

And the head of pro cycling’s governing body says they’ve made great strides to restore credibility in the post-Armstrong era, despite the continuing drumbeat of cyclists banned for doping.

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Local

Writing for Streetsblog, Richard Risemberg explains what a fair road use fee would be, suggesting that car-free bike riders should get a $250 rebate. And Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports on Thursday’s Vision Zero forum.

Bike friendly UCLA gets even friendlier with a new traffic light and a bike lane on the uphill side of Charles E. Young Drive North.

Boyonabike looks at transit developments and bike parking in the San Gabriel Valley, and finds the bike racks at the Monrovia Metro station both artsy and impractical.

A San Pedro letter writer complains about a road diet and bike lanes on Pacific Avenue, saying no one bikes in that part of town.

Long Beach gets $23 million in grants for bike, pedestrian and transit improvements, including a bikeway over the LA River connecting with the bike path on the coming replacement for the Desmond Thomas Bridge.

Just one more week to take Metro’s active transportation survey.

The SoCal cyclocross season kicks off this Sunday at Glendale’s Verdugo Park.

There will be a press conference at 11 am Monday at City Hall to support AB8, aka the Hit-and-Run Yellow Alert Bill, currently awaiting Governor Brown’s signature after he vetoed a similar bill last year.

 

State

No bias here. The auto-centric CHP concludes that bicyclists are at fault in 61% of collisions, and drivers only at fault in 20%. Which says more about the department’s lack of training in bike law and a bias towards those on four wheels than it does about bike riders. As does the lack of enforcement of the state’s three-foot passing law.

The Port of San Diego stands in the way of completing a 24-mile bikeway around the bay.

Coronado is having its 15 minutes of fame — or maybe infamy — as the mass anti-bike insanity threatens to go viral.

A 13-year old boy is under arrest for attacking an 84-year old La Quinta Walmart employee as he tried to walk out with two bicycles.

Things were calmer in Bagdad by the Bay this month, as riders in the San Francisco Critical Mass were on their best behavior, and no one beat on cars with U-locks.

San Francisco’s SF Gate looks at how they roll in bike-friendly Davis CA, where everyone is issued a bike in the hospital at birth. Or so they say.

Truckee is punching a hole in a rock wall to make a tunnel for a paved pedestrian/bike path.

 

National

Bicycling magazine talks to the man riding one of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare bicycles across the US; so far he’s traveled 1,000 miles and incurred the maximum $1,200 late fee.

Bicycling continues to boom in Portland.

Las Vegas decides maybe it’s time to start enforcing Nevada’s three-foot passing law, including putting plain clothes cops on bikes to catch drivers passing too close.

A blogger in my hometown offers up three things cyclists wish motorists understood. I could come up with a lot more than that.

Wichita KS moves to eliminate fines for riding a bike after dark without a headlight, giving out 1,200 free bike lights instead.

An Iowa judge rules it’s okay to buzz bike riders and roll coal in their faces from a diesel pickup.

The bikeway network in Dallas TX grows to 39 miles, a big improvement over the eight miles of on-street bike lanes just three years ago. Although 32 miles of that are sharrows.

A new Minnesota parking lot opens near a bike trail, allowing people to remove bikes from their cars without fear of getting hit by passing cars; the project fulfills the dream of a former Eagle Scout who was later killed in action in Afghanistan.

Sad news from Ohio, as a second bike rider has died as a result of a collision when an apparently driverless truck left crossed a group of five riders; thankfully, the other three have been released from the hospital. Update: The victim was identified as Jim Lambert, an alternate on the US cycling team for the ’84 Los Angeles Olympics.

An Arkansas rider is on track to beat the 76-year old record for riding the most miles in a single year; two other riders, one in England and the other in Australia, are also attempting the same thing this year.

Memphis is on track to get bikeshare next year.

A Philadelphia woman faces a host of charges, including vehicular homicide, for running down a high school football player as he was riding his bike, then removing her plates and hiding in her SUV in a failed attempt to avoid arrest.

Get your resumes ready. Key West FL will be hiring a full-time bicycle and pedestrian coordinator.

 

International

A Canadian bike rider faces charges after reaching into the car that hit him, grabbing the keys, and dropping them into a storm drain. Maybe we should take up a collection to pay his fines.

An Irish charity gives a recumbent hand-bike to a wheelchair-bound teenage boy suffering from a degenerative neuromuscular disease, to provide him with more independence.

Belfast will transform into a bicycle paradise for a whole three hours and 45 minutes when they hold their first ciclovía next weekend.

 

Finally…

Physicists try to figure out how far you can lean into a corner on a bike without falling. Based on personal experience, I’d say the answer is pretty damn far. Four years after LA’s Wolfpack Hustle beat a jet from Burbank to Long Beach, a New York rider races a helicopter across Manhattan. And wins.

And no. Just… no.

 

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