Tag Archive for Rancho Cucamonga

Three SoCal cities in top 10 for Complete Streets policies; proposed three-foot law moves forward

A national organization honors the Best Complete Streets Policies of 2012.

According to a press release from Smart Growth America, three of the top 10 policies are from cities in the greater L.A. area — though they define that as a far greater area than anyone here would. They list Hermosa Beach and Huntington Park tying for second behind Indianapolis, with Rancho Cucamonga in 10th place.

I think San Bernardino County would dispute that it’s anywhere near L.A. And I’m not sure L.A. would admit to more than a passing acquaintance it.

According to the SGA website, 488 cities and towns nationwide have adopted Complete Streets policies.

There may be hope for this country yet.

Update: I initially wrote that Orange County’s Huntington Beach received the honor, rather than L.A. County’s Huntington Park. Thanks to TQ for the correction.

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California’s latest proposed three-foot law is amended to address the improbable concerns of our veto-wielding governor. Can’t say I’m familiar with the bill’s sponsor, Assemblymember Steven Bradford, but I’m liking the guy more and more each time I read about this bill. Here’s who you need to bug before April 22nd to get the bill out of committee.

But will Ohio get theirs before we get ours? Depends a lot on Governor Brown and his veto pen.

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The Antelope Valley Times offers a detailed update on the two idiots — and I use the term advisedly — who intentionally Jerry Browned a group of cyclists on Sunday morning, as we discussed here yesterday.

Idiot one is being held on $100,000 bail, while idiot two was released on $30,000.

Thanks to Michele Chavez for the link.

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The authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles will team with the LACBC for L.A. Roubaix, our own not-so-hellish cobblestone-equivalent ride this Sunday; I’m told participants may have an opportunity or two to join in on Sunday’s Rowena Ave Cash Mob, as well.

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Will pedestrian improvements make Downtown’s freeway overpasses more walkable? A petition calls for completion of the planned Confluence Park and its connecting bikeways. Santa Monica students go car free. Time for a little beer-induced bike-centric socializing in Upland. Calabasas bike-centric eatery Pedalers Fork is looking damn good, even if we have to wait until the 22nd for it to open. Long Beach police are on the lookout for a bike-borne groper, who evidently owns, steals or borrows multiple bicycles. Signal Hill wants to hook up with Long Beach, bike lane-wise.

A visit to frame building school, in two parts. Velodrome season opens in San Diego on Wednesday. San Diego needs to work with SANDAG to develop a regional bicycling plan. San Francisco Streetsblog discusses raised bike lanes to separate bikes from taxis; they’re coming to Chicago, too. A 12-year old Oakland thief is arrested after attempting to make his getaway by bike. Santa Rosa is the latest city to consider a cyclist anti-harassment ordinance. A Novato bike shop gets the okay to sell beer to its customers; now that’s what I call full-service. A Vacaville cyclist is recovering after being seriously injured riding salmon.

The late Annette Funicello was 1958’s Bicycle Queen, while Stephen Colbert wipes out on a pink cruiser in the House office building. A Great White North news site challenges Lance to earn back a little respect by competing in the Iditarod Trail Invitational bike race through the Alaskan wilderness — in winter; or he could just sponsor my brother so he doesn’t have to sell his entire dog team and equipment, damn it. An OKC cyclist is looking for the hit-and-run motorist who gave him fifty bucks, then drove off. New York’s long-delayed bike share program will kick off next month; Gothamist offers a first look at a new station in Brooklyn. New York cyclists push for bike lanes on the famed Verranzano Bridge. A Brooklyn cyclist is billed $1,200 for damage to the NYPD patrol car that hit him. A Daytona Beach mother is killed riding on her way to a job interview. A Pensacola man gets 24 years for killing a cyclist in a hit-and-run six months after getting out of prison on a DUI. Miami Heat stars LaBron James and Dwayne Wade support the city’s Critical Mass.

A Vancouver cyclist is killed in a collision with a pedestrian; when bicyclists collide with pedestrians or other bike riders, it can be deadly for both victims. After the latest London bike death, cyclists call for a ban on large trucks at rush hour. London Cyclist explains why drivers get mad at us, and offers slang you need to know. A UK writer points out the first death from performance enhancing drugs occurred in 1886; not surprisingly, the victim was a cyclist. Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili breaks his shoulder riding his bike in Turkey.

Finally, all the hot vampires and werewolves from Twilight recommend using bike lights so you won’t end up undead like them; or am I reading a tad too much into it? Perez Hilton loves this bike. And it turns out Niceville isn’t for at least one pedestrian and bike rider.

Suspect arrested in hit-and-run death of Michael Vega; bike-jacking bank robber and Sat’s Tour de Fat

Let’s start with good news from the Inland Empire.

The Press Enterprise reports an arrest has been made in the late August hit-and-run death of Michael Vega in Rancho Cucamonga.

According to the paper, published news reports and a phone tip led police to a truck driven by construction worker Jason Cox; after inspecting the vehicle, they arrested Cox on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run resulting in death or injury.

It will be interesting to see how they can make the intoxication charge hold up, since Cox had over two weeks to sober up.

The paper says he’s being held in the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga on $250,000 bond.

But before you get too excited, remember this is the same DA and court system that let the street racing killer of Jorge Alvarado off with just three lousy months in jail.

Thanks to Joe Devito for sending the link.

Update: The Inland Valley Daily Enterprise reports that the tip that led to Cox’s arrest came as a result of a video plea for information from the Sheriff’s Department that was posted on their website Tuesday.

Deputies received a tip Wednesday evening pointing them towards Cox, who drove a work truck for a construction company in Chino. When Police inspected the truck, they found heavy front-end damage, as well as paint the matched the truck and the bike.

Cox will appear in court on Monday.

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A Santa Ana cyclist chases down a bike-jacking bank robber with the help of a stranger, recovering his bike and leading to the arrest of the thief, who had previously failed to carjack three separate vehicles.

The thief may want to consider a new career once he gets out. Which isn’t likely to be anytime soon.

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This weekend’s big bike news is the return of Tour de Fat at L.A. State Historic Park — a full day of bikes and beer, starting with a can’t miss bike parade through Downtown from 11 to noon, with registration for the parade starting at 10 am.

Entertainment runs from noon to 5 pm. I’ll be there volunteering at the LACBC booth until at least 1 pm, so stop by and say hi; anyone who signs up for LACBC membership gets a token for a free beer.

And if you hurry, there’s still time to sign up to trade your car for a bike worth up to $2,250.

Admission is free. Costumes are encouraged, but remember the forecast is for temperatures in the mid to upper 90s on Saturday. So you might want to dress for the weather and wear as little as possible.

And no, you don’t need arrive by bike; there’s plenty of parking in the area, and it’s walking distance from the Chinatown Metro station.

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Don’t forget tonight’ Dinner & Bikes (& Cupcakes) with Elly Blue, one of the cycling community’s leading writers and thinkers, presented by LACBC affiliate Santa Monica Spoke.

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The Los Angeles Valley College Valley Star newspaper takes a look at California’s recently passed three-foot passing law. Jessica Simpson’s dad is given permission to drink again following an August DUI arrest, as long as he stays out of cars, bikes or motorcycles; nice to know the courts take these things not very seriously. West Hollywood teams with Sustainable Streets to offer a free Confident City Cycling course this Sunday. Courtesy of my friends at Altadenablog comes word of a lifelong cyclist and ex-Marine who won’t let MS stop him from riding, turning to Altadena custom bike-maker BlackSmith for a competitive hand bike. A Shell Beach physician is killed by a big rig after allegedly riding through a stop sign in San Louis Obispo; for some reason, a local TV station quotes bike injury stats from the Royal — note that word — Society for Prevention of Accidents. A bicyclist is injured every nine days in Mountain View; maybe he should learn to ride more carefully. It’s starting to seem like open season on bike riding pastors, as a Crestline Baptist minister is injured on a training ride.

People for Bikes wants your helps landing a $250,000 grant. The League of American Bicyclists responds to the National Women’s Bike Summit in Long Beach by announcing the launch of Women Bike to encourage greater female ridership. Analyzing Ebony magazine’s unhappy bicycle wedding. New bike helmet impact sensor automatically calls for help if it detects an impact. Bike Lawyer Bob Mionske offers advice on how to cover your ass if you lead a group ride. The massive Interbike trade show cracks down on non-industry entries; I’ve got a press pass, but no money to go, dammit. A suburban Iowa town is the latest to attempt to ban bikes. A Houston cyclist avoids serious injuries after falling 25 feet off a bridge. A Michigan judge agrees to sentence a hit-and-run driver to a minimum term after she pleads guilty, despite a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit. Why cyclists do the things we do. Remarkably, a jury concludes that it was just a coincidence that a New Jersey driver happened to run down and kill the teenage boy who vandalized his car. New York is failing to protect its vulnerable road users; a blind Detroit attorney sues the city for failing to stop reckless cyclists. Not surprisingly, a Brooklyn driver isn’t charged after hitting a cyclist and driving through a fence into a 50-foot pit. Courtesy of our friend Zeke comes word of a South Carolina salmon cyclist who was the victim of a hit-and-run; also by way of Zeke is a nice story of a successful 25-year old bike shop — as well as word that Albert Einstein came up with the Theory of Relativity while riding his bike. No, really, if you’re going to carry 12 grams of dope on your bike after dark, use some lights.

Editors at the Washington Examiner fan the flames of bike hatred with a highly inflammable headline unsupported by the even-handed article. Edmonton cyclists get their first bike box, which is one more than L.A. cyclists have. Better UK bike commutes through technology. As usual, British courts give a slap on the wrist to a killer driver who failed to see a cyclist before running him over; they’re almost as bad as New York. The World Anti-Doping Agency considers amnesty for riders who confess to drug use, but too late to help Lance, who rudely insists on riding anyway. You won’t want to miss the tongue-in minutes of an appeasing — not appealing — Aussie bike club.

Finally, after a driver attempts to run a cyclist off the road, they talk it out like British gentlemen. And it turns out giving birds the bird won’t stop Aussie avian attacks.

Update — Rancho Cucamonga cyclist latest victim of a fatal hit-and-run; 2nd in last two months

KCBS-2 reports that yet another cyclist has been killed in a Southern California hit-and-run.

According to the station, 25-year old Michael Vega was riding west on Foothill Blvd near Ramona Avenue in Rancho Cucamonga around 6:40 pm Tuesday, when he was run down from behind by a white truck, which fled the scene.

A fire captain reports the impact was hard enough to knock Vega out of his shoes. The station also notes that Vega was wearing a helmet, but the force of impact was too great for it to be of benefit.

And yet a police spokesperson suggests that unless the driver was drunk — which will probably never be determined, since he fled the scene — it will amount to nothing more than a simple traffic accident.

Thanks for having our back, dude.

Hint to the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department — killing another human being with a motor vehicle is a serious matter. Or at least, it should be.

Whether or not the driver was drunk.

KCBS reports the witnesses tried to comfort Vega where they found him crumpled in the gutter; he was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Police are looking for a white work truck with a ladder or lumber rack in the back. Anyone with information should contact the San Bernardino County Sheriff Department’s Rancho Cucamonga station at 800/477-2800.

Vega is the 49th cyclist to die on Southern California streets this year, excluding gunshot victims, and the eighth in San Bernardino County.

This is also the third cycling death in Rancho Cucamonga — a frighteningly high total for a city of less than 168,000 — and the second fatal hit-and-run involving a cyclist in that city in just the last two months.

My prayers and deepest sympathy to his family and loved ones.

Update: Michael of CLR Effect offers his thoughts, which are always insightful and always worth reading, including this:

Almost as troubling is the initial reaction from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. I don’t normally like to knock law enforcement, they are only charged with enforcing existing laws, not making them, not prosecuting them. But tied into the process of enforcement is the act of interpretation. When a department spokesperson says “unless the driver is intoxicated, nothing other than having a traffic accident taken is going to come out of this” has to leave me wondering what ever happened to the serve and protect code (granted that is the LAPD motto, but have always believed it should apply to all in the public service sector). 

Update 2: The Press-Enterprise says Vega was a resident of Norco, and died at the hospital less than an hour after being hit.

Update 3: KCBS offers a good follow-up on their original story, noting a ghost bike has already been installed, and that Vega worked at the Apple Store in Victoria Gardens. 

He was on his way to his girlfriend’s home when he was killed; his mother thanked those who comforted her son as he lay dying, and said she saw a double rainbow that night, taking a picture of it at the same time he passed away.

Update 4: An arrest has been made in this case

Update: Make that nine — Rancho Cucamonga cyclist killed in hit-and-run, adding to bloody SoCal body count

I could just cry.

Minutes after finishing a report on yesterday’s fatal solo cycling collision in Chula Vista comes word of yet another fatality on Thursday, this time in Rancho Cucamonga.

According to the Press-Enterprise, 25-year old Fontana resident Alex Patrick Silva was riding with a friend on Wilson Avenue just east of San Sevaine Road when he was hit from behind by a car around 11:55 pm. He was transported to the Kaiser hospital in Fontana, where he died in the ER.

The driver fled the scene. No description of the suspect vehicle is available at this time.

Anyone with information is urges to call San Bernardino Sheriff’s deputies at 909/477-2800, extension 7680.

This is the 38th cycling fatality so far this year, and the sixth in San Bernardino County, as well as the ninth cycling fatality in just the last eight days. It’s also the 10th fatal bike-related hit-and-run in the seven county SoCal region so far this year — and the 4th since last Friday.

My prayers for Silva and all his family and loved ones.

Update: KABC-7 reports that witnesses have identified the suspect vehicle as a sporty, red car, possibly a convertible, likely to have damage to the left front, including broken windshield and driver’s side window. According to the station, Silva was an art student and avid cyclist who died just a mile from his home.

Update 2: KTLA-5 reports that an arrest has been made in this case. Fifty-seven-year old Fontana resident Mark Sanders reportedly turned himself in to sheriff’s deputies at the Rancho Cucamonga station while detectives were searching his home after serving a warrant. He was booked on a charge of hit-and-run resulting in death, and is now free on $100,000 bail.

Rancho Cucamonga cyclist dies after being found injured on bike trail

Monday was not a good day for badly injured cyclists.

Just hours after Lihsiang Chang passed away in La Jolla on Monday, 51-year old Robert Snedacker of Rancho Cucamonga lost his life after being found laying next to his bike on a noted biking and hiking trail.

A passerby dialed 911 at 8:19 pm last Wednesday after finding Snedecker lying on the Pacific Crest Bike Trail with a head injury; he was pronounced dead just after 10 pm on Monday. No information is available on what caused his injury, and no word on where he was found on the trail or if he was wearing a helmet.

While it seems obvious that he fell while riding, it’s also possible that he could have hit his head on a low branch or other object while riding or suffered a medical condition that caused him to fall, or less likely, that he could have been the victim of violence.

This is the 25th cycling fatality in Southern California this year and the third in San Bernardino County, as well as the sixth solo cycling death since the first of the year. That compares with seven solo bike fatalities in all of 2011.

My prayers for Robert Snedacker and all his family and loved ones.

Yet another teenage cyclist killed earlier this month, this time in Rancho Cucamonga

A 16-year old Rancho Cucamonga cyclist died August 5th, nearly a week after he collided with a car.

Bernie Cota, who would have been a junior at Rancho Cucamonga High School, was riding his bike to a friend’s house on Friday, July 29th when the wreck occurred at the intersection of Milliken Ave and Terra Vista Parkway. No other details about the collision are currently available.

Cota was not wearing a helmet at the time, even though helmets are required for anyone under 18 in California. He suffered severe brain injuries, and despite surviving emergency surgery, lingered in a coma before being declared dead on Friday, August 5th.

According to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, his organs were donated after his death.

All of Cota’s organs were healthy and his mother opted to have them donated. She is absolutely certain that her son would have wanted it that way.

“Many people got good news that day,” Denise Cota said.

But many others received news that broke their hearts, including friends, relatives and Bernie Cota’s two younger brothers, Brent and Brandon.

A public memorial was held for Cota this past weekend, while a local hair salon and pizza parlor both held fundraisers for the family; friends made and sold t-shirts and bead bracelets to raise money for the funeral.

A local mortuary offers a moving slide show of a life cut short.

This is the 49th confirmed traffic-related cycling death in Southern California this year, and 4th in San Bernardino County; Cota was the second teenage cyclist to die in the county this month.

My heart and prayers go out to his family and loved ones. Thanks to Ann for forwarding the news.

Rancho Cucamonga man dies in first SoCal biking fatality of the new year

You knew it wasn’t going to last.

Just nine days into 2011, the first fatal bicycling collision of the new year took the life of a 44-year old cyclist northeast of Glendora in San Bernardino County.

According to Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Kevin B. Unck of Rancho Cucamonga was riding south on Glendora Mountain Road just north of Sierra Madre Avenue when he rounded a blind curve at approx. 30 mph; unable to negotiate the turn, he drifted onto the other side of the road and collided with a Land Cruiser driven by Martin Habern of Glendora.

Those of us who’ve ridden road bikes through mountain canyons have probably all been in that same situation; you misjudge a corner or take a curve faster than you should, trusting that you’ll get away with it. And most of the time you do.

It could have me many times over the years.

There were countless times when I drifted over the center line rounding a corner; fortunately, there was no one else coming the other way when I did. Or the few times there were, I was able, somehow, to avoid them.

I knew each time that I was risking my life. But as it turned out, I was lucky.

Kevin Unck wasn’t.

Not this time.

My prayers go out to him and his family and loved ones.

Update: This morning I received an email from Kevin Unck’s sister Autumn, who corrected some of the information contained in the initial news report:

Kevin was riding with his cycling team and was 4th in position, the guy in front of him slipped on mud and gravel that was on the road. He fortunately pulled out of his near fall, however, my brother wasn’t so lucky. He hit the mud and gravel, lost control, took a spill and slid across the lines, he was then run over by the vehicle.

I write this to you again, not complaining, but simply hoping that a reminder might be made to even the most experienced and talented riders; as you said, you never know and road conditions are a HUGE obstacle in the cycling world.

Kevin passed away doing what he absolutely loved, cycling.

Again, we’ve all been there. As Autumn makes clear, it only takes a little mud or gravel to take down even the most experienced rider, and sometimes, there’s little or nothing you can do to avoid it on blind curves. The only way to avoid it is to scout your route in advance, or slow down when you can’t clearly see the road ahead of you.

And even that isn’t always enough.

I’ve often written that most collisions aren’t accidents, because in most cases, one or more of the people involved were careless, distracted or broke the law; the rare exception is when road design or conditions are a contributing factor.

Sometimes, an accident is just that.

Update 2: Michael at The Claremont Cyclist offers his condolences, and directs readers to the Facebook page for Coates Cyclery in Pomona to leave thoughts and memories of Kevin, who evidently was a top racer on the masters circuit.

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The Orange County Register has a moving piece about Jurgen Ankenbrand, the cyclist killed during the heavy storms just days before Christmas.

An ultra distance runner, Ankenbrand had survived another serious collision in 2006, when he was critically injured after being hit from behind while riding his bike just days after his 65th birthday.

He was killed December 22nd, just weeks before his 70th birthday, when he was struck by a Toyota 4-Runner that somehow turned left into him, knocking him into the path of an oncoming vehicle; the driver of the 4-Runner fled the scene.

Witnesses are urged to contact the Huntington Beach police at 714-536-5666.

No one deserves to be run down like that. Especially not someone who fought so hard to make it back.

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We are all in shock over the attempted assassination of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

As one who’s earliest memories include the assassinations of the Kennedy’s and Dr. King in the 60s, I’d long hoped that our country had grown beyond such mindless violence. And feared in equal measure that we hadn’t, and possibly never will.

I am heartbroken to see those fears realized.

Aaron Lawrence sends a reminder of something I had forgotten in my outrage and grief, that Giffords is one of us — a devoted cyclist who enjoyed riding to work at the Capitol. And one who didn’t hesitate to yell at drivers who cut her off.

I hope you’ll join me in sharing a prayer or best wishes, or whatever you’re comfortable with, that she may make a full and speedy recovery.

My thoughts and prayers as well to all those injured in this horrific event, that they may recover completely. And that all those killed may rest in peace, and that their families may find some solace in this nationwide outpouring of grief.

And please, let this be a reminder to all of us that words have power, and that the hatred and vitriol in our political discourse have gone far too far.

We are all Americans.

It’s damn well time we started acting like it.

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