Tag Archive for Phillip O’Neill

Morning Links: Phillip O’Neill memorial ride and walk, cyclist’s rights on PCH, and a new bike video from LACBC

4314394Hard to believe it was a year ago that Phillip O’Neill lost his life riding on a Pasadena street.

O’Neill was on a bike date when he was struck from behind with enough force to throw him into a parked car on the other side of the street.

Fortunately, his companion was unscathed, although I’m told witnessing the collision took a tremendous emotional toll. As did the loss of someone she, and many others, cared about.

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition is holding a memorial ride and walk this Sunday to remember Phillip as someone who should still be with us, and who is sadly missed. And to help ensure he will be the last bike rider or pedestrian to be killed in the city.

Let’s hope they succeed.

Phillip O’Neill Commemorative Ride/Walk this Sunday at 7:30 PM

This Sunday, June 15, we’ll be walking and riding to commemorate the one year anniversary of the death of Phillip O’Neill. Phillip was riding his bicycle on Del Mar on June 15, 2013 when he was struck from behind and killed by a motorist. Phillip was an amazing person who had already accomplished a tremendous amount at a young age. We mourn his loss.

We also gather to pledge to work together make our streets safer for people like Phillip and all the pedestrians and bicyclists in Pasadena. We want Pasadena to be a place where this never happens again.

DATE: 
Sunday, June 15, 2014
SCHEDULE: 
7:30 p.m.  Riders gather at City Hall, walkers gather at Grant Park.
7:45 p.m.  Riders and walkers depart from their respective locations.
8:00 p.m.  Riders and walkers gather at Grant Park for commemoration.
RIDE INFORMATION:
Ride gathers at Pasadena City Hall, Garfield steps (100 N. Garfield Ave., 91101). Rides to Grant Park via Del Mar (past ghost bike on Del Mar and Wilson). Please bring your bike with lights and in good working condition.
Pasadena City Hall: 100 N. Garfield Ave., 91101
WALK INFORMATION:
Walk gathers at Grant Park. Walks west on Blanche Street, south on Wilson, east on Del Mar, and north on Michigan to return to Grant Park.
Grant Park: 232 S. Michigan Ave., 91106
TO RSVP and LEARN MORE:
https://www.facebook.com/events/664199610324547/

#PhillipO’NeillGhostRide

Thanks to Candace Seu and the Caltech Bike Lab for the heads-up.

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Usually I try not to link to anything this old.

But everyone who rides PCH through Malibu should carry a copy of this 2009 — or maybe 2010 — letter from former CalTrans District 7 Director Michael Miles, which specifies that cyclists are allowed to ride in the right traffic lane. And that there is no restriction on the number of cyclists who can ride side-by-side in an non-sharable lane.

Then again, maybe every rider everywhere should carry a copy, since too many motorists and law enforcement officers still don’t seem to get it.

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Vote for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s entry in the DoGooder LA video competition.

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The Race Across America — aka RAAM — kicked off today as solo competitors departed from the Oceanside pier; teams leave on Saturday. A UK rider hopes to be the first British woman to finish the race, while Pippa Middleton — yes, that Pippa Middleton — will take part in the team competition.

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Local

KCBS-2 reports on the cyclist-buzzing Metro bus driver we wrote about yesterday.

LA is slowly pedaling to a more bike friendly future.

Metro, CICLE and Bike Odyssey LA host a Pedal Powered Street Theater Ride on June 21st.

Streetsblog invites you to join in a family-friendly fundraising walk and party to honor Streetsie Award winners Jessica Meaney and Alissa Walker.

Great looking plans for resurrecting the Pacoima Wash, including a bike path.

Team Bike Santa Monica invites you to join the National Bike Challenge.

The Downey Kids Bike Festival is scheduled for the end of this month.

 

State

As it turns out, Newport Beach is facing more than one lawsuit from the families of fallen cyclists.

A San Francisco cyclist and musician is getting close to a $3.75 million settlement after he was run down by a city street sweeper two years ago.

Oakland is remaking famed Telegraph Avenue to be more bike friendly, which should benefit local businesses.

Huh? An Oroville judge rules a hit-and-run driver didn’t cause great bodily injury when he killed a bike rider.

 

National

How HR Departments can encourage bicycling by employees.

USA Today looks at 15 fantastic bike trails across the US.

Pro rider Taylor Phinney is on the road to recovery, and refusing to be bitter about the injury that ended his season.

Cyclists participating in Colorado’s Ride the Rockies get caught in a blizzard, and have to be bused to a warmer location.

Good for her. A university website profiles a transgender TCU student and BMX rider.

A GoFundMe campaign for New England cyclist and Internet jokester Ryan Kelly, whose daughter was born last week with major heart problems.

An Atlanta SUV driver fled the scene after making a U-turn to deliberately run down a bike rider following an argument, dragging the victim 50 feet under his car.

 

International

Now that’s more like it. The UK gets serious about speeding by increasing the maximum fine to £10,000 — the equivalent of $16,745. That should make a dent in someone’s wallet.

Yorkshire cyclists create a bike-themed lingerie calendar to raise money for an air ambulance.

UK police search for yet another road raging cyclist who tried to throttle a motorist. Not that we all haven’t been tempted, but still.

A new report shows separated bike lanes in Sydney carry as many people as the cars in the lanes next to them.

 

Finally…

How to avoid seven beginner cyclists faux pas; I still get that chainring tattoo almost every ride. And Torrance paramedics discover a three-foot python in the backpack of a bike rider after he’s hit by a car; the victim should be okay after suffering a broken collarbone and ribs.

 

Morning Links: Torrance father rides for his daughter, and court hearings for Wendy Villegas and Jose Gonzales

Metro unveils their new Bike Week flyers. So what do you think?

Metro unveils their new Bike Week flyers. So what do you think?

A Torrance father is going the extra mile for his daughter.

Or rather, 300 miles.

On May 3rd, Joel Elliot will ride his bike 24-hours straight, with a goal of riding 300 miles in that time, to call attention to the rare disease that renders his daughter unable to speak.

The purpose of my ride is to bring attention to Hannah, to Selective Mutism, and to the failure of Torrance Unified to properly address Hannah’s needs.

My ride will take place on the 1-mile industrial loop just outside of the Strand Brewing Co tap room. I invite you all to come do the first few laps with me to kick off my 24 hours. After a few laps, I will continue solo and the group will move into the tap room to celebrate and prepare to help support my long ride. We will do something similar on Sunday when I finish. I would love to have a large group of riders as there is a good chance local news will be there.

Thanks to Lynn Ingram for the heads-up.

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A couple of important court hearings today.

First up, cyclists will ride to attend the sentencing of Wendy Villegas for the drunken hit-and-run death of Andy Garcia.

And riders are encouraged to attend the pre-trial hearing for Jose Gonzales, charged with vehicular manslaughter in the death of Pasadena cyclist Phillip O’Neill.

Sometimes it seems like justice moves slowly. And it doesn’t often seem sufficient in cases involving bike riders.

But at least prosecutors seem to be paying attention these days, in part because cyclists are turning out for cases like this.

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I plan to spend a lot of time checking out this website about Vintage Trek bikes.

My 33-year old steel-frame Trek is still parked in my office, waiting for the funds to fix it up and get it back out on the streets where it belongs. It may not be as fast as my LeMond, but it hugs the road like it’s on rails, and you won’t find a smoother ride anywhere.

My wife has suggested selling it more than once. But after roughly 130,000 miles stretching from LA to LA — Louisiana to Los Angeles — I’d no more get rid of it than I would her.

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Local

West LA Councilmember Mike Bonin helps a city work crew prepare for Backbone bike lanes on Manchester Ave.

Flying Pigeon says South Pasadena’s Public Works Commissioners should be sued for refusing to close a dangerous 528 foot gap connecting with LA’s new bike lanes on York Blvd.

The Hollywood Reporter reviews the new women’s cycling documentary Half the World, and finds it not to their taste.

The Eastside’s Ovarian Psychos Brigade will screen the Saudi Arabian bike-themed movie Wadjda as a fundraiser this Wednesday.

CICLE is looking for volunteers for next month’s Bike Week Pasadena.

The local mountain bike racing season starts at the end of next month.

 

State

Mad props to the 75 fifth graders — yes, I said 5th graders — who rode their bikes 267 miles from Yuma AZ to Carlsbad CA over spring break, riding up to 53 miles a day and up a five-mile climb. At that age, I was happy to ride to the other side of my own neighborhood without falling over much.

A new San Diego River bike path allows cyclists to ride from Ocean Beach to the 805 Freeway.

Frequent contributor and ghost bike documentarian Danny Gamboa will be curating the Bike Love Art Show next month in Ventura. Knowing Danny, I’d highly recommend checking it out.

Cyclelicious looks at the need to develop a traffic safety culture.

UC Berkeley student with Crohn’s Disease will ride to LA to raise funds for a cure.

A San Francisco cyclist is understandably critical of the way the city’s police deal with cyclists after they let the driver who rear-ended her and her son drive away without even a ticket.

Tiny Arcata CA — population 17,726 — could soon have one more bike boulevard than massive Los Angeles, which currently has none for its over 3.8 million residents. Correction: Richard Risemberg writes to remind me that LA does actually have a bike boulevard, aka bicycle friendly street on Yucca Street in Hollywood, though it doesn’t actually connect to anything.

 

National

The national traffic fatality toll is bad enough; now it turns out it doesn’t include motor vehicle deaths that don’t occur in traffic situations. So add another 6,483 deaths and 91,000 injuries from 2008 to 2011, 39% of whom weren’t in cars.

The publishers of Momentum Magazine says it’s time to move the conversation beyond helmets. I couldn’t agree more; there are lots of good reasons to wear one, but no adult should ever be compelled to.

Bicycling’s Heidi Swift says riding through a cemetery isn’t disrespectful, it’s showing respect for life. Someone should explain that to the director of the Los Angeles National Cemetery, which continues to ban bikes for reasons I will never understand.

A Texas woman gets a well-deserved 10 years for killing a bike rider while drinking, using her cellphone and falling asleep at the wheel.

Cincinnati proposes killing trees to preserve parking while making way for a protected bike lane.

A writer for the Times rides along with Boston’s equivalent of LA’s Marathon Crash Race.

 

International

Great Britain is opening a memorial to bicyclists killed in war; turns out the first British soldier killed in WWI was a 15-year old bike rider who lied about his age — and may have been killed by friendly fire.

The reward for recovering a stolen Brit bike is home-made banana bread.

Once again, a cyclist is caught on video narrowly avoiding getting hit by a train, this time in India; the rider had to abandon his bike on the tracks to get away.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to steal a bike, don’t park it at the local Walmart, then go inside and fall asleep on a bean bag chair.

And Gothamist totally freaks out over a helmetless Orthodox father riding a Citi Bike with his helmetless daughter on his hip.

 

Morning links: Arraignment in the Phillip O’Neill case, and a preview of this weekend’s Donut Ride

One quick note before we get started.

I’ve been a little under the weather lately, so today I finally got out for my first good ride in a couple of weeks.

And proceeded to get buzzed by two cyclists in two separate incidents — one male and one female — each one passing just an inch or two from my shoulder.

Maybe I should be impressed by their skill in somehow managing to just miss me as closely as possible; instead, I was awed by their overwhelming jerkishness and willingness to risk a total stranger’s safety.

So let’s make one thing clear.

Whenever you pass another rider on a city street or bike path, call it out to avoid startling them and causing a bike-on-bike collision. A simple “On your left” or “Passing left” can make all the difference.

And don’t pass on the right. Just don’t.

If you can’t give another rider at least an arms-length passing distance — if not the three feet you’d expect from a motorist — then don’t pass, dammit.

You can wait a few seconds until it’s safe to pass, just like drivers can.

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Ghost bike for Phillip O'Neill; respectfully borrowed from Ghost Bikes-LA

Ghost bike for Phillip O’Neill; respectfully borrowed from Ghost Bikes-LA.

A source who prefers to be anonymous reports on the recent arraignment of the driver charged with taking the life of cyclist Phillip O’Neill in Pasadena last year.

According to her report, the motorist, who wasn’t named, did not appear; his lawyer entered a not-guilty plea for him and a pretrial date was set for this month, However, the prosecutor is expecting the defendant to plead out.

On the other hand, the prosecutor said he’d never seen so many people show up to support the victim at an arraignment.

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The authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles are joining with the LACBC for their monthly bike tour of the LA area, this time through the Palos Verdes area.

And they’re expecting more perfect weather for the ride, so don’t rub it in when you talk to your friends in other parts of the country.

The Donut

When: Saturday, March 15, 2014

Time: Meet at 8:30am; ride at 9:00am

Where: Wilmington Waterfront Park

Drive south on the 110 Freeway to the C Street exit in Wilmington. Then, continue east a short distance to the Park. We will meet at the small parking lot at the Park’s east end off Lagoon Avenue. Here’s the to map the Park: Wilmington Waterfront Park

This is a San Pedro version of the classic “Donut” tour around the Palos Verdes Peninsula. We’ll start (and finish) with an easy warm-up (and cool down) through the port city of San Pedro where we will see everything nautical (tankers, container ships, old battleships, merchant vessels, cruise ships, lighthouses, seagulls). Then, we’ll ride into PV proper and tackle the famous switchbacks (the one big climb of the day). From there we’ll continue around to Malaga Cove (rest stop), Point Vicente, Abalone Cove, and Fort McArthur. We should have many wonderful vistas of the South Bay, Catalina and the Port of Los Angeles as we ride back to San Pedro and Wilmington.

Ride Length:  43 miles.

Ride Duration:  Approximately 5-6 hours, including stops.

Difficulty:  Recommended for intermediate-level riders, aged 16 and up. Expect a mix of city and rural riding conditions—busy bike paths and city streets from the start to the switchbacks, then bike lanes and quieter roads circling the peninsula. We’ll tackle one climb at the beginning, then mostly rolling terrain, for total elevation gain of roughly 2,500 feet.

Rain Policy:  Torrential rain, snow, earthquake or fierce wind cancels the outing. Otherwise, we ride.

What to bring:  A road-worthy bike, extra inner tubes, a patch kit and pump, drinking water, a pocket snack (such as an energy bar, banana or trail mix), a helmet and money for refueling stops and post-ride refreshments.

Parking:  There’s plenty of street parking around Wilmington Waterfront Park

RSVP:   Strongly encouraged, via wheretobikela@gmail.com, so we can send you last-minute advisories, particularly about weather.

Touring Los Angeles County with LACBC and Where To Bike Los Angeles is a series of rides that are free and open to every LACBC member, plus one guest.

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People for Bikes selects six new cities for their second Green Lane Project; needless to say, LA ain’t one of them. I wonder if the recent lack of support for bike lanes from a handful of city council members had any anything to do with our non-selection.

On the other hand, Santa Monica is installing new green lanes on Broadway and Main.

The Daily News talks to Damien Kevitt about his plans to Finish the Ride that cost him a leg in a still unsolved hit-and-run last year.

The Weekly goes on the off and then unexpectedly back on Marathon Crash Ride, but fails to obey the rules, unlike the less aggressive rider representing Streetsblog.

A Bakersfield rider gets pinned between two cars by a suspected stoned driver; fortunately, the cyclist only suffered moderate injuries.

Baseball legend Barry Bonds is one of us, even if the writer can’t resist the usual steroid/doping comparisons.

The Supreme Court throws an unexpected wrench into the Rails to Trails movement; the family bringing the suit would rather have a train on their land than a bunch of us nasty bike riders.

Consider it a Mood Ring for your head. A new helmet tracks your stress levels and transmits them to your iPhone. Because it’s so hard to know when your stressed while riding your bike, right?

Finding an alternate path to equity for women’s cycling.

A nine-foot travel lane costs less than a 12-foot lane, and can make everything better.

Bike tourism goes to the next level as Oregon builds a network of Overnight Bike Pods.

The New York Times offers a number of gadgets to improve bike safety, and correctly notes the most common mistake new riders make is not riding predictably. Which means riding in a straight line, with traffic, signaling and obeying the right-of-way; now that’s not so hard, is it?

Virginia legislators vote to keep it legal to tailgate bicyclists. After all, what harm could possibly come from that?

The World Naked Bike Ride pops up in Peru; evidently, Peruvians are growers not show-ers.

London plans a network of bicycle Quietways to shift riders onto underutilized side streets. Can’t call them Quietways here because this city is seldom silent.

Don’t piss off this 91-year old Baroness, or she’ll whack you with her handbag — then re-enact it for the cameras.

Finally, in LA we dodge cars; in Florida, golf balls.

Update: Another drunken OC driver, another fatal hit-and-run; arraignment Friday in death of Pasadena cyclist

It’s happened again.

An Orange County man gets behind the wheel after drinking, and flees the scene after running down a bicyclist riding in a Huntington Beach bike lane.

According to KTLA-5, the victim was riding south in the bike lane near Edwards Street and Ellis Avenue just before 11 pm last night when he was hit from behind by a 2012 Toyota Camry.

The rider, identified only as a 37-year old Huntington Beach resident, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver fled the scene — leaving behind one of his front tires — and was found by police about a mile away, with damage consistent with a collision. And presumably, only three tires.

Police arrested 29-year-old Antonio Magdaleno Jr. of Oxnard suspicion of driving under the influence and felony hit-and-run leading to death.

Anyone with information is urged to call Huntington Beach Accident Investigator Tai Huynh at 714-536-5670 or Accident Investigator Robert Barr at 714-536-5666.

This is the 14th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Orange County; in both cases, the victim was hit from behind by an alleged drunk driver while riding in a bike lane.

It’s also the 6th cycling death in Huntington Beach since 2011 — half of which were hit-and-runs, and involved drivers under the influence.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Matthew Liechty and his family.

Thanks to Ed Ryder for the heads-up.

Update: The Orange County Register has identified the victim as 37-year old Matthew Liechty of Huntington Beach. And yes, the photo with the story clearly shows the driver fled the scene on only three wheels.

Meanwhile, a source tells me HBPD Investigator Huynh averages over 100 DUI arrests each year, and had 445 in 2008.

Evidently, there are a lot of drunks on the road in Huntington Beach. We all owe a round of thanks to Investigator Huynh for taking some of the off.

Thanks to the OC Register for making this story public.

Update 2: The Witch on a Bicycle points out that the speed limit on that Edwards Street is 45 mph; given that most California drivers exceed the post limit by at least 10 mph, any collision with a cyclist or pedestrian is almost guaranteed to be lethal.

The Register has updated their story to report that Liechty was a former employee of the Orange County Probation Department, and briefly worked in a non-sworn position with the OC Sheriff’s Department before leaving last year.

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On an all too similar note, I’ve received word that the driver who killed Pasadena cyclist Phillip O’Neill last June is — finally — being arraigned tomorrow.

O’Neill was riding with a companion near Caltech when he was hit from behind as he rode in the lane on Del Mar Blvd; he was struck with enough force to throw him across the road and into a parked car before striking the curb.

The woman he was riding with still struggles with the devastating effects of watching her friend fly through the air to his death. I’m respecting her privacy by withholding her name; however, here is her email urging bike riders to attend the arraignment.

Dear Friends and Family,

As some of you may know, the arraignment for the Pasadena motorist who struck and killed Phillip O’Neill on Del Mar Blvd. on June 15, 2013 is this coming Friday.

Phillip’s family and I would very much appreciate a show of support at the arraignment. We all feel that it’s important to send a message to the city that taking the life of a vulnerable road user is a very serious offense and should be treated as such. I have included details of the arraignment below.

Date: February 21, 2014

Time: Arrival 8:30am. Note that this case is one of six which will be heard this morning. We do not know the order in which the cases will be heard, however the prosecutor believes the case will be heard before noon.

Place: Pasadena Superior Court, 300 E. Walnut, Pasadena 91101

In the event that the case goes to trial there may be additional opportunities to show your support. I will share those if it does. To find out more about how Pasadena CBO’s and residents have come together in response to Phillip’s death, and others like it, go to the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition website at http://www.pas-csc.org/.

In a follow-up email, she describes the man whose life was ended by a careless driver that day.

Phillip was an amazing person – young but incredibly accomplished, with a master’s degree in renewable energies, he was a master gardener at one of the best botanical gardens in the nation, amateur chef; these are just a few in an impressive list.

I know it’s a lot to ask to sacrifice your morning, especially on such short notice. But if you’re in the Pasadena area on Friday, they could really use your support.

And it couldn’t hurt to send a message to the court that we’re watching this case.

Meanwhile, it serves as a reminder that Pasadena still has a long way to go to make the roads safe for everyone.

Update: 25-year old bike rider killed near Caltech in Pasadena

More bad news.

According to the Pasadena Star-News, a bike rider described only as a man in his 30′s was hit and killed while riding near Caltech in Pasadena this evening.

The paper reports the collision took place at Del Mar Blvd and Wilson Avenue just north of the campus about 5:30 pm; the L.A. Times places the location mid-block between Wilson and Michigan Ave, with the time of the collision around 6 pm.

The victim was taken to Huntington Hospital where he died from his injuries. The driver of the compact car remained at the scene and was reportedly cooperating with police.

No other details are available at this time; no word on which way the rider was headed or how the collision occurred.

This is the 33rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year; remarkably, 17 of those deaths have been in Los Angeles County. This is also the third bike death in Pasadena since 2011.

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

Update: The Star-News reports that the victim, who still has not been publicly identified pending notification of next of kin, was a 25-year old resident of Los Angeles. 

According to the paper, he was riding west on Del Mar with a female companion when he was struck from behind, with the force of the impact throwing him into a parked car.

The woman he was riding with was not struck by the car.

Update 2: The Caltech Bike Lab is sponsoring a petition calling for better east-west bike routes in Pasadena, including sharrows on Del Mar; whether it would have helped in this case may never be known. 

Update 3: In a comment below, a blogger links to her thoughts about witnessing the collision. According to her, the victim was thrown across the road to collide with the parked car before landing crumpled on the sidewalk, suggesting an impact of significant force. 

Update 4: The victim has been identified as 25-year old Los Angeles resident Phillip O’Neill

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When I learn about a case like this, in which the victim has not been publicly identified, I pray it’s not someone I know. And feel guilty, because even if I don’t know who it is, someone else will.

Because it’s never just a stranger on a bike.

It’s always someone’s son or daughter, mother or father, sister, brother, cousin, nephew, co-worker or friend. It’s someone someone loves, or likes or maybe even can’t stand, if only just a little.

It’s never just a statistic, regardless of those stats I keep.

It is a real person who was here, and now, suddenly and without warning, isn’t. A meteoric flash of life snuffed out in a relative instant, leaving a gaping hole in the lives of those left behind.

It’s always heartbreaking. It’s always tragic. It’s always a loss beyond our comprehension, if only because we can never know what might have been.

And it is always — always — unnecessary.

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