Tag Archive for Pacoima

Morning Links: Valley newspaper invents disapproval of Van Nuys bike lanes, and early congrats to CiclaValley

It never fails.

Less than a month after the newly redesigned Van Nuys Blvd was officially opened, a local paper is already insisting residents are unhappy with the makeover.

And actually found one to back it up.

According to the San Fernando Valley Sun, the chief complaint is the parking-protected bike lane on the southbound side — even though it was developed with public input at a series of workshops, something they fail to mention.

And even though, of the three people they quote, only one didn’t like the project. Although one bike rider, who liked the protected lane, was concerned that it was too narrow to be able to pass the hopefully nonexistent salmon cyclists who might ride in it the wrong way.

But according to one woman, no one wants to go there anymore because of conflicts with cyclists as they cross the bike lane to get to their cars.

Because it’s just so hard to look for someone riding a bicycle before you step off the curb.

To be fair, though, the same story could be written in any city, anywhere, after a street has undergone any kind of makeover. And probably has.

It’s human nature to resist change. Even change for the better.

So initially, it’s easy to find people who will complain, for whatever reason. Then within a few months, the complaints go away as most people grow accustomed to the changes.

And often grow to like it.

That is inevitably what will happen here, if they’d bothered to give it more than a few weeks.

But that doesn’t make for good headlines.

Especially when you can extrapolate the complaints of one woman into an entire angry community that probably isn’t there.


Congratulations to our friend Zachary Rynew, author of the frequently cited CiclaValley, on his apparent selection as Streetsblog’s 2016 Journalist/Writer of the Year.

While results won’t be announced until today, Rynew was in the lead with an overwhelming 77% of the vote.


Make plans to spend Saturday glued to the electronic device of your choice, when VeloNews will live stream the national cyclocross championships, beginning at 6 am Pacific time.



DTLA’s free Night on Broadway celebration enters its third year, with festivities scheduled for the end of this month, on January 28th. Let’s hope they remember to set up a bike valet this time around.

LAist lists Saturday’s Resolution Ride as one of their 20 coolest things happening in LA this weekend.

Multicultural Communities for Mobility is looking for focus group volunteers willing to try out DTLA’s Metro Bike bikeshare system for a full month at no charge.

Culver City is hosting a public workshop tomorrow to discuss a planned protected bike lane through the downtown area.

Pasadena considers adopting Vision Zero, but fears it would mean defunding some existing traffic projects to pay for new safety work.

Police blame the driver for broadsiding a bike rider in Stevenson Ranch; the woman on the bike was hospitalized with moderate injuries.

Once again, a bike rider has been injured in a collision with an LA County sheriff’s deputy, as a 16-year old Palmdale boy was seriously injured when he allegedly ran a red light in front of the patrol car; the victim reportedly didn’t have lights on his bike and wasn’t wearing a helmet, as required under California law for anyone under 18. As always, the question is whether anyone other than the officers involved saw him run the red light. Thanks to dammannjohnnj for the heads-up.



Seriously? A new Palm Springs safety campaign places responsibility firmly on potential traffic victims by promoting a new custom-made reflective vest for bike riders and pedestrians, and another for their dogs. Because there’s evidently no point in asking drivers to slow down and actually look for people and animals on the road with them, without making them dress like glow-in-the-dark clowns.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole several high-end bicycles from non-profit in San Francisco’s South Bay that helps people who can’t afford a bike. Although I’d hardly call least five bikes valued at a total of $3,000 high-end.

Lodi residents want to know why a promised bike path disappeared from plans for a proposed subdivision.



Gucci Mane is one of us, as the rap star quit weed and sizzurp, got out of prison and into spandex. Now the only question is whether 36 is too young to be a MAMIL.

The Wall Street Journal looks at Zagster’s strategy of pursuing bikeshare contracts in smaller cities.

Forbes recognizes the bike industry, honoring the founders of Seattle-based ebike maker Rad Power Bikes in its 2017 30 under 30 listing.

A Washington bicyclist is foiled by ice, snow, driving rain and logging trucks in his attempt to complete a week-long, 400-mile cycling challenge in a single 40-hour ride.

A Texas mother has started a GoFundMe page to raise money to hand out free bike lights in memory of her son, who was killed while riding last year; so far it’s raised less than $450 of the $5,000 goal.

An Illinois cyclist is training to ride through the wilds of Siberia in next year’s 5,700 mile Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme race.

A Detroit coalition envisions a radically remade street system incorporating bicycle throughways, to make the city the greenway capital of the world by 2067. Meanwhile, a bike ride through the city will commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1963 Walk for Freedom, though rail construction prevents them from following his actual path in the civil rights march.

A new survey shows Tennessee residents overwhelmingly support increased funding for biking and walking infrastructure, as well as multimodal transportation projects.

The Massachusetts DOT is shifting its focus from promoting bicycling by building bike trails to making everyday streets more accommodating to cyclists.

In a bold ruling that could mark a big advance for traffic safety, New York’s highest court ruled that cities can be held liable for failing to redesign streets with a history of traffic injuries and reckless driving.

A first-ever Georgia bike drive brought in 800 bicycles to be repaired and donated to kids in need.

Florida residents worry that a new bike path along a canal will hurt property values by giving access to bad guys, ATVs and motorbikes, leaving path users at the mercy of thugs. Maybe someone should tell them about these things called streets that bad people can also use to get places.



Bike Radar says drivers owe a big thanks to bicycles for everything from ball bearings to good roads.

A Canadian man has abandoned his effort to ride a fat bike 700 miles across Antarctica, saying the frozen continent kicked his ass.

The head of Canada’s Mothers Against Drunk Drivers says seven years behind bars is not enough for a killer repeat drunk driver who joked about it on social media.

A Brit bicycle rider will spend the next three years and four months behind bars for pushing a 69-year old pedestrian, who died after hitting his head on the curb; considering this was his 18th conviction for various crimes, including violent assaults, 40 months hardly seems sufficient.

A British woman rode 50 miles to raise the equivalent of nearly $20,000 for the children’s hospital that cared for her nephew.

Caught on video: The BBC’s Jeremy Vine catches a passive aggressive cyclist on dash cam video, who rides slowly in front of a driver after getting cut off.

Caught on video too: A UK driver brake checks a cyclist on a wide open roadway, for the crime of failing to signal when the rider went around a parked car.

A Pakistani CEO beats traffic and religious protests in Lahore by riding his bike and following Google maps on his smartphone.

No overreach here. The parents of a Chinese motorcycle rider who was killed in a collision are suing 20 people, including the bike rider she was trying to pass, the bus driver who hit her, and the owners of the cars parked alongside the street.



Apparently, even French presidents ride salmon. Who needs ear buds when you have a helmet?

And throwing your bike at someone on a horse is not a recommended use of it. Especially not when accompanied by a poodle-type dog.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bike rider killed in Pacoima collision Wednesday night

The LAPD is reporting that a bike rider was killed in a collision in Pacoima late last night.

According to the press release, the victim was crossing Foothill Blvd mid-block between Van Nuys Blvd and Carl Street around 11:10 pm when a driver headed south on Foothill struck the back of his bike.

The rider, who has not been publicly identified, was thrown a considerable distance by the force of the impact, coming to rest in the center of the roadway. He was taken to Holy Cross Hospital with injuries to his head and upper torso, where he was pronounced dead at 11:36.

The Daily News reports police estimate he was 39 years old.

The driver remained at the scene and was cooperating with investigators. The force of the impact would suggest the driver may have been traveling faster than the posted 35 mph speed limit.

There’s no word on whether the victim had lights and reflectors on his bicycle, which should have made him visible as he crossed the street.

Anyone with information is urged to call Valley Traffic Division Office Martinez at 818/644-8032 or Det. III Bustos at 818/644-8021.

This is the 65th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, the 26th in LA County and the eighth in the City of Los Angeles. He also the third bicyclist killed on Foothill Blvd in the last three years, which suggests a need for significant safety improvements.

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


Update: Bike rider killed in Pacoima train collision; eighth SoCal train victim this year

Eighty-one. And eight.

That’s how many bike riders have lost their lives in what has turned out to be a horrible year for SoCal cyclists. And how many of those riders have died as a result of train collisions.

According to the LA Times, a male bike rider was hit and hilled by a Metrolink train in Pacoima this afternoon. The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding on Van Nuys Blvd when he attempted to cross the railroad tracks just north of San Fernando Road around 3:50 pm.

The paper reports he apparently tried to beat the train, despite the fact that the warning gates had already been lowered. He was struck by the 218 train on its way to Union Station in Downtown LA, and pronounced dead at the scene.

With this death, nearly 10% of the fatalities involving Southern California bike riders have been the result of train collisions — the easiest type of collision to avoid. All you have to do is stay off the tracks when there’s a train coming.

Unlike motor vehicles. trains are restricted to a specific pathway, and can’t vary their route in any way. And they have warning systems to let you know when they’re coming; all you have to do is squeeze on the brakes.

At least three of those eight deaths resulted from riders attempting to beat the train or ride around the warning gates. Which makes me wonder if they were truly attempting to beat the gates, or if at least some might have been fixie riders forced to ride through because they lacked the skill to stop in time.

Unfortunately, we may never know, since none of the reports identify the type of bike the victim was riding.

But it’s a question worth asking as we struggle to understand why so many riders have died in a type of collision that’s so easy to avoid.

This is the 81st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 33rd in LA County. This is also the 14th rider to lose his life in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year, three time the average for the city.

Update: According to KCBS-2, the victim, identified only as a 30-year old Hispanic man, was riding west on Van Nuys at the time of the collision. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his family.

Update 2: Over two weeks later, there’s still no ID on the victim. He is described as a Hispanic man over 21 years old, about 5’2” and 144 pounds, with brown eyes and a black Mohawk, and a red stud earring in one ear. Anyone with information is urged to call coroner’s investigator Daniel Machian at 323-343-0754 or the coroner investigations division at 323-343-0714.

Compare and contrast: taking the Times and other local media to task for unbalanced reporting

One was a 17-year old cyclist killed on the streets of Pacoima. The other was a 16-year old runner who died on the streets of Sherman Oaks.

Daniel Marin and Connor Lynch.

One attended a public school in Granada Hills; the other went to an exclusive private school. Daniel Marin died alone on the streets of a disadvantaged neighborhood; Connor Lynch died trying to catch up to teammates in one of the Valley’s most desirable communities.

Both deaths devastated family and friends, and brought tears to classmates.

Yet one received a massive outpouring of news coverage in the local media and around the state and nation, while the other barely made a ripple in the local press and was soon forgotten — without once mentioning the victim’s name.

It’s not that the death of runner Connor Lynch was any less tragic than Daniel Marin’s, or that it shouldn’t have been reported the way it was. Any death on our streets is a loss to the entire community; every story deserves to be told, and every victim remembered.

It’s just that Danny Marin deserved to be remembered too.

Maybe it’s because Danny died on a weekend, when the severe cutbacks in the local press mean there’s often no one around to report the story, while Connor’s killing occurred just in time for the evening news.

Or maybe it’s because some people questioned why a 17-year old would be on the streets at that late night hour. Yet it only took a little investigation by the only reporter who took the time to talk to Danny’s family and friends to uncover a perfectly benign and banal reason why he was coming home so late.

It might be because Danny’s death occurred in a largely forgotten section of the city, while Connor was killed on a busy street in an upscale community; I really don’t want to believe that the difference in coverage is due to the ethnic background of the victims or their respective communities.

Maybe it’s because Connor was participating in school activity as part of an athletic team, while Danny was just a guy trying to get home.

I don’t think it was simply because Danny was on a bike, or because traffic deaths have become so commonplace in our society; countless other pedestrians have died, even in hit-and-runs, without attracting the outpouring of news and grief that Connor Lynch received.

Frankly, I can’t explain it, any more than I can explain why the driver who ran Connor down was immediately arrested when she turned herself in to officers a few blocks away. Yet authorities initially failed to take any action against the woman who ran down Ed Magos, even though she didn’t turn herself in at a police station until hours later.

Yes, Connor was killed, while Magos was “merely” injured. But in both cases, the drivers took the same actions to turn themselves in — and much more promptly in the more recent case.

Maybe the police learned something from the Magos case, after all.

And maybe the press will take a hard look at themselves, and accept that the life of a teenage cyclist in Pacoima is worth every bit as much as that of a runner from an exclusive private school.

Or maybe the Times, the Daily News — which purports to report on the Valley — and the city’s other media outlets will finally publish Daniel Marin’s name, nearly three weeks after they reported his death. Let alone actually tell his story.

I’m not suggesting that one column inch or a single minute of airtime should be taken away from Connor Lynch. But maybe the press could find a little time and space for some of the other victims of our streets.

And by the way, Friday’s memorial ride for Daniel Marin was a success.

Even if it got exactly one mention in the press.


Speaking of reporting, was it a case of sloppy writing or a police officer suffering from an unbelievable ignorance of the law? In a story about Segways in La Jolla, the head of the San Diego PD Northern Division says it’s against the law to “ride a skateboard or a bicycle on business district streets.” Maybe he meant riding on the sidewalk, since California law allows bikes on any surface street or highway, with the exception of some freeways and expressways.


Condolences to our friends at the LAPd, as another officer is killed while deployed with the Marines in Afghanistan. Officer Joshua Cullins had just two days left in the field when he was killed by an IED; he had just recently recovered from injuries received while attempting to disarm another explosive device in July.

And my sympathy and condolences to Chief Charlie Beck on the death of his mother.

If you’ve noticed a change in the way L.A. cyclists are treated on the streets, don’t forget that it all started with the appointment of Chief Beck last year.


Maybe they need a bike safety course at City Hall, as new Planning Director Michael LoGrande becomes the latest city official to be injured on a bike. Another Santa Monica City council candidate responds to Gary’s survey on biking and transportation issues. KCRW’s Kajon Cermak looks back on CicLAvia. How to stay dry on your commute during L.A.’s early winter, following our virtually nonexistent summer. The world is rediscovering the odd-looking Pedersen bike; at least one L.A. bike shop actually sells them. A Modesto musician becomes the latest cyclist to die from the hit-and-run plague. San Jose’s Bike Party gets thousands of people on their bikes to celebrate cycling without the conflict of Critical Mass. A look at Oakland’s Scrapertown scene. A Walnut Creek cyclist suffers major head injuries after falling from his bike; that’s exactly the sort of accident helmets were designed for.

A Utah teenager drives with her windows decorated for 17th birthday, and crosses onto the other side of the road to kill a cyclist. An Iowa father deliberately runs down his son’s bike because the teenager hadn’t been home in two days. Two Wisconsin hockey players face murder charges after knocking a cyclist off his bike, while another faces obstruction charges and eight teammates have been suspended for one year. Hundreds rally is support of New York’s new Prospect Park West bike lane; the downside is that yes, you do have to look both ways when you cross the street, a skill most non-New Yorkers master by age 7. The off-duty NYPD officer accused of threatening a cyclist with a gun says it was just his badge instead; easy mistake, since guns and badges look so much alike. A Tampa Bay homeowner is up in arms about the “20-plus” cyclists who invade her quiet equine community each weekend.  Now can we look forward to mandatory cyclist airbag laws? Yet another cyclist/driver complains about how those darn bike riders could ruin his life by forcing him to kill them.

A Montreal man gets 8 years for killing a cyclist during a police chase. Removing traffic signals to improve road safety. The UK’s bike-to-work plan may survive the country’s budget cuts after all. A London rider says he loves bicycling, but he’s not prepared to advertise a bank for the privilege of doing it. Viscously beat a cyclist unconscious, and get community service. Speaking of community service, that’s what a van driver got for killing a rider after a 13-hour, all-night shift. A new autobiography from the other Isle of Man cyclist. Biking through the Italian countryside.

Finally, in the Netherlands, bike theft isn’t just a crime, it’s an avocation.

Breaking News: Teenage cyclist killed by drunk driver

According to the L.A. Times, a 17-year old cyclist was killed by an alleged drunk driver while riding on Laurel Canyon Blvd in Pacoima about 2 am today. Twenty-six year old Shawn Fields was booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol.

More later as information becomes available.

Update: The Daily News reports that the driver fled the scene after striking the rider at the intersection of Laurel Canyon Blvd and Chamberlain Street at 2:11 am. Witnesses gave police the license number of the suspect’s car; he was arrested after it was found parked at his home in Mission Hills.

The victim’s name has been withheld pending notification of relatives.

Another bike shooting in Pacoima, a local cyclist DJs for clean drinking water

In a repeat of a recent incident, an 18-year old cyclist was shot and killed in Pacoima in an apparent gang-related attack. According to LAist, Sebastian Caldera was riding near Pierce Street and Laurel Canyon Boulevard around 7 pm Friday when he was shot several times and pronounced dead on the scene. Anyone with information is urged to contact LAPD homicide detectives at 818/834-3115.

KABC Channel 7 reports another shooting at virtually the same location just two hours earlier in which the shooter fled the scene by bike.


One of my favorite local bike bloggers, James Haygood, author of Bike Date Santa Monica, will be a guest DJ at TapRadio.org this Sunday.

In this country, we take clean water for granted. But too many people around the world lack access to safe drinking water — in fact, waterborne illness is the second leading cause of death for children under five. The UNICEF fundraiser will help provide clean drinking water for 900 million people in over 100 countries; half of those are children.

As James points, out, just $5 will get a kid clean water for 200 days.

He’ll be spinning online at 11 am, 5 pm, 11 pm and again at 5 am Monday. Other Sunday DJs include John Taylor of Duran Duran, Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy and actor Kevin Durand of Lost and Robin Hood. Among the others contributing their time and skills throughout the two-week project are Tom Arnold, Lucy Liu, Elijah Wood, the Village People and Joey Santiago of the Pixies.

Tap Radio is scheduled to continue through April 5th; he will be online again on Sunday, April 4th. You can contribute via the Tap Radio website, or by texting “TAP” to UNICEF 864233 to make a $5 donation.

And be sure to check out Bike Date; while he’s been inactive lately, the archives are definitely worth scrolling through.


In honor of Dodger owner Frank McCourt’s planned bike race, Damien invites you to plan it for him; the first Streetsblog fundraiser is less than two weeks away. Courtney Cox rides a bike, at least when she’s filming; Miley Cyrus and boyfriend ride through Toluca Lake. San Francisco’s new police chief keeps his promise to ride a bike. The San Diego Custom Bicycle Show kicks off on April 9th. Just weeks after Albuquerque unveiled a new bike safety campaign, a ghost bike appears for a cyclist killed by a driver who didn’t see him riding on the bike path. A Memphis rider asks, if traffic flows at the speed of a bike, why not just ride one? The driver who hit and killed a Northern Irish cyclist while rushing to catch a flight is sentenced to five years; in proof that some people just don’t learn, he was also ticked for speeding twice after killing David McCall. Former TdF winner Stephen Roche says it’s no contest between Lance and Contador, with his vote going to the latter. The hit-and-run epidemic spreads to South Africa, where police say there’s safety in numbers. Finally, the fixie has officially jumped the shark — Walmart unveils its $150 Fixed-Speed Bike.

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