Tag Archive for San Diego

Morning Links: Leading San Diego bike advocate dies, CA bicycle car license plates, and 2017 Tour de France route

Heartbreaking news from San Diego, as one of the city’s leading bike advocates has passed away.

The news came this morning that Bill Davidson, a passionate fighter for the rights of bicyclists, had died earlier this month of undisclosed causes.

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Bill was a reader of this site, and had contributed to it in the past. And he was quick to shoot me an email if there something he thought we should know, or to correct any perceived mistakes.

While I didn’t always agree with him, I always listened to him and respected his opinion. And more than once he managed to change my mind through his detailed and impassioned reasoning. Or at the very least, get me to see things in a different way.

The California bicycling community will be much poorer without him.

Services will be held at 4 pm today.

He was only 53.

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David Drexler forwards a photo of a bicycling automotive license plate from Oregon, and asks how we can get something like that here in California.

Oregon Share the Road License Plate

Actually, Calbike is already on it.

Even if their webpages aren’t loading properly, for some reason.

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The Tour de France unveils its route for next year’s edition of the race. The Telegraph says it’s designed to break the dominance of Chris Froome’s Team Sky, while the Guardian says it’s designed for sprinters like Froome. Reuters says it will favor aggressive riders.

Bike racing returns to Colorado following the collapse of the USA Pro Challenge, with the four-day Tour of Colorado stage race; the race is part of the UCI Americas Tour, along with another new four day race in Richmond VA.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton looks at Sunday’s CicLAvia, and the changes LA has seen in the six years since the first one.

In a rare moment of wisdom, the LA County Board of Supervisors votes to bring all the various interest groups together to craft a single, unified master plan for the LA River; hopefully, that will include bicyclists.

KNBC-4 reports on the call to ban bikes from the LA River bike path in Elysian Park. There’s almost no chance of an actual ban, but it’s yet another reminder to always ride safely around people who are walking.

Evidently, we have a budding bike racer in the making, as Pink’s five-year old daughter takes third in her first BMX race; her father is former motocross champ Corey Hart.

Pasadena’s Gooden Center will host their fourth annual Richard Selje Ride for Recovery on Saturday the 29th, with rides of 100, 62 and 25 miles benfitting Pasadena’s oldest non-profit recovery center.

Someone stole three bikes worth $1000 each in a smash and grab burglary from the ElectroBike store on Main Street in Santa Monica.

Serious Cycling in Agoura Hills is hosting a SoCalCross Happy Hour Tour this evening, ending with a few cold beers at Ladyface Ale after the ride.

 

State

A Costa Mesa man dropped his bike and fled onto the 405 Freeway to avoid a drug bust, shutting the freeway down for ten minutes early Tuesday morning.

Police seek witnesses after a 92-year old Newport Beach bike rider suffered major injuries in a crash Monday night.

Irvine’s ARB Cyclery is holding a shop ride, followed by a screening of a new documentary about Ride 2 Recovery a week from tonight.

San Diego beach communities continue to fight against bikeshare stations, while the owner of a bike rental business claims the city’s bikeshare system has cost him $120,000 over the past two years.

Apple Valley will begin work on a 2.75 mile multi-use path along the Mojave River next week.

Calbike honors the founder of Santa Barbara’s Bici Centro with the organization’s 2016 Dreamer Award.

Sad news from Kern County, where a bike rider was killed in California City Monday morning.

 

National

A new bike helmet will monitor your heart, signal your turns, allow you to communicate with other riders, and send a text alert if you fall off your bike; no word on whether it will actually protect your skull.

The historic Colorado casino town of Black Hawk, which famously — and unsuccessfully — tried to ban bicycles a few years back, is now trying to lure mountain bikers by building 12 miles of singletrack in the mountains above town. Which is not the same as welcoming bicyclists on the main street through town.

Once again, a bike was a getaway vehicle, as Kansas grocery store was robbed by a man with a mask who made his escape by bicycle.

A St. Louis man is alive today because his heart rate monitor warned he was having a heart attack while he rode. And the first person who came along after he got off his bike just happened to be a doctor.

A Chicago cyclist won the title as the fastest bike messenger at the North American Cycle Courier Championship last week.

Chicago advocates call for an unbroken, 27-mile long bikeway along both branches of the city’s eponymous river.

A road raging Connecticut driver faces charges for assaulting a bicyclist and throwing his bike across the road after he right hooked the rider, who had responded by yelling what “may” have been a swear word.

In a bizarre case from upstate New York, a woman committed suicide by handcuffing herself to a mountain bike and riding into a lake.

New York hopes more protected bike lanes will help the city close the cycling gender gap. Meanwhile, an editor for Gear Junkie takes a white-knuckle ride with a bike messenger through the city’s streets.

A South Carolina teacher starts a crowdfunding campaign to give all 650 students in her school a new bicycle for Christmas; GoFundMe tossed in another $10,000 for winning the company’s competition for the most successful school crowdfunding campaign.

 

International

Vancouver business leaders oppose construction of a permanent separated bike lane on a busy commercial street, citing stats saying only seven percent of shoppers arrive there by bike. Which is kind of like saying don’t build a bridge because only a handful of people currently swim across the river.

Many cyclists ask motorists to give them at least an arm’s length passing distance; a Montreal man will settle for a pool noodle. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Caught on video: A London bike rider is knocked on his ass when a scooter rider cuts directly into him.

A new short film from Apple shows Rapha designers crafting their new line on iPads.

The award for learning Gaelic goes to an Italian cyclist.

A Kiwi cyclist was saved by his fellow riders when he suffered a heart attack during a crit while medical staff were occupied with a crash.

Even in extremely auto-centric Australia, the city of Adelaide decides future streets will be built to favor pedestrians and cyclists while reducing vehicular traffic; naturally, one city councilor complains that it’s social engineering.

 

Finally…

Anyone can lead police on a car chase; it takes skill to lead police on a 20-minute bike chase because you don’t want a ticket for an open container. Clowns may be creepy, but they’re not bike thieves.

And once again, don’t ride your bike over another man’s Lamborghini.

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Thanks to everyone for your kind words yesterday. It’s been a rough 24 hours, but I’m glad to be back at work.

 

Morning Links: Clueless think tankers get bike funding wrong, and LA TranspoComm votes to screw cyclists

How does someone get a job at a think tank when they’re this clueless?

The San Diego Reader talks with Cato Institute Senior Fellow Randall O’Toole, who goes to great lengths to stress that he is, in fact, a cyclist himself, in discussing the city’s planned downtown bikeway network.

When I spoke with O’Toole, he wanted to make sure that he wouldn’t be construed as anti-bicycle or anti-public transportation. His stance is that the best form of transit is the one that pays for itself, which leads, he says, to vital questions: Why should the government subsidize non-automotive transportation, and if said modes can’t make it on their own, why should they be preferred? O’Toole urges governmental neutrality when it comes to how Americans choose to travel, adding, “That neutrality should extend to financing. There should be no subsidies to any form of travel.”

Never mind that the automobile is the most heavily subsidized form of surface transportation in the US.

So sure, let’s level the playing field.

Let’s stop subsidizing freeways and road expansions, traffic signals, traffic enforcement, pothole fixing and the whole auto-industrial complex that is funded, not out of gas taxes, but out of the same general fund everyone pays into.

Bike riders included.

You’d think even someone with a Koch Brothers funded think tank would know that.

And we’ll see how long it takes for drivers to rise up in revolt when they suddenly have to pay the full cost of the roads they use, and every other associated service, out of their own pockets.

Then there’s Baruch Feigenbaum of the libertarian-leaning Reason Institute, who also gets it wrong when it comes to who pays for the road.

And a lot more.

If the streets are underused and there’s room for the bicycle lanes, I have no problem with San Diego putting them in. They’re relatively cheap to install, assuming all you’re doing is re-painting lines or painting the bicycle lane green. That’s fine. The challenge is that when you have a lot of car traffic in that area, the bike lane will make congestion worse. Since car traffic seems to be dominant in San Diego, motorists are the folks we should actually be building the infrastructure for. There is a subsidy for automobiles, but it’s typically much smaller than the ones for other forms of transportation. Cyclists don’t pay for the use of the infrastructure they’re utilizing; there’s no ‘bicycle tire tax’ or anything like that. But we should be planning for the way people actually commute, not the way we’d like them to commute. Since most San Diego residents are driving, I’m hesitant to take away lanes for cars and allocate them for bike use unless there’s excess capacity.

Never mind that taking those lanes away can improve safety, livability and air quality, along with a host of other benefits to the general community.

And never mind that studies consistently show that up to two-thirds of the American people would like to ride a bike if they felt safe doing it.

Or that with many of our streets already at or over capacity, the only way to improve traffic congestion is to get people out of their cars by providing them with viable alternatives to driving.

Which is exactly what San Diego is doing. And what LA desperately needs to.

You’d think someone with a high-paying job at a prestigious think tank would get that.

But evidently, you’d be wrong.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

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No surprise here.

Streetsblog reports the LA City Council’s Transportation Committee voted to adopt the anti-bike amendments to the Mobility Plan, stripping bike lanes planned for Westwood Blvd and Central Ave out of the plan.

Especially since Paul Koretz, who has led the fight against the Westwood bike lanes on behalf of a small group of entitled homeowners, sits on the committee.

Although it’s disappointing to see CD4 Councilmember David Ryu vote to support Koretz’ ill-advised motion to keep continue to depress business and keep Westwood Blvd dangerous.

Now all that’s left is for the full council to rubber-stamp the decision in a week or two; as we’ve noted before, the fix is in, and has been for some time.

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Vuelta officials apologize for a bollard near the finish of Wednesday’s course that left Dutch rider Steven Kruijswijk with a broken collarbone; Chris Froome narrowly avoided the crash.

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Local

A website talks with Manny Silva, owner of Manny’s Bike Shop in Compton, who claims to have invented the lowrider bicycle.

Westwood officially became the only section of the city where it’s legal to lock a bicycle to a parking meter, as LADOT installed hoop racks on the meters. However, the law against locking up to parking meters is rarely enforced.

The LACBC is now looking at families who ride together with the new LACBC Family page, leading to a family bike ride next month; the site profiles LA Bike Dad Terence Heuston, who we met here last week.

LA’s Eco-Village is planning to develop a Koreatown lot currently containing an auto repair shop into a four story, carfree mixed use building.

Evidently, Haley Joel Osment is one of us, as the paparazzi catch him going into a Burbank bike shop.

The nation’s first Raleigh store opened on Main Street in Santa Monica over the weekend.

The LACBC is hosting their Beach Cities Sunday Funday ride on Memorial Day weekend.

The inimitable Seth Davidson will host the fourth annual South Bay Cycling Wanky Awards on October 22nd. I’d probably need a hankie if I won a Wanky.

And mark your calendar for the return of Long Beach’s Beach Streets open streets event on November 12th.

 

State

An Encinitas cyclist is recovering from a hit-and-run that nearly left him paralyzed earlier this month, but the driver remains at large; a gofundme account has raised over $5,000 for a reward.

Coronado, where bike lanes make local residents dizzy, has installed a pair of city-owned bike repair stations. Which means residents are probably sharpening their pitchforks and prepping their torches for the next city council meeting.

A Ramona cyclist raised nearly $29,000 for Alzheimer’s research on a 9-1/2 week ride across the US to honor his late wife.

Two years later, opinions are still split on a Riverside road diet, even though crashes are down 29%; bike crashes increased from two to four after the bike lanes were put in, perhaps because ridership also doubled.

Katy Perry is one of us, too, as she admits to singing while riding her bike on the way to a Santa Barbara studio to record her new album.

A Redding driver, who says he’s a cyclist himself, says bike riders need to share the road too. Even though he seems to think that means we should get the hell out of his way.

 

National

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says go ahead and keep using that cellphone while you drive.

Co.Exist lists 50 reasons why everyone should want walkable streets. Virtually all of which apply to bicycling, as well.

Bicycling, the magazine, adapts Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to bicycling, the sport/transportation mode.

A Kickstarter project is funding a locking wall bike mount that could secure your bike in your home, garage or office.

Portland proposes considering all road users, including bike riders and pedestrians, in setting speed limits, which could result in slashing limits on several streets. A similar interpretation of the deadly 85th percentile rule could improve livability and save untold lives here in Los Angeles.

A Seattle area blogger says he’s quit bike commuting due to the terrible state of bike infrastructure on the east side of the city.

A Utah truck driver, who apparently doesn’t have brakes on his rig, warns cyclists not to ride abreast and to get the hell out of his way when he honks because he doesn’t want to kill them.

A Wisconsin bike shop owner says you don’t have to be a pro to get out on your bicycle.

A Wisconsin woman gets just 60 days for fleeing the scene after crashing into a nine-year old boy, despite trying to cover-up the crime by removing her hubcaps and dying her hair.

The mother of a fallen Chicago bicyclist calls on the Catholic school her younger kids attend to lift its ban on biking to school. Meanwhile, a Chicago advocacy group starts a public campaign to stop people from blocking the bike lanes.

A newly re-configured New York protected bike lane appears to be protecting cars instead of bike riders.

Philadelphia police are on the lookout for a bike-riding serial groper who sexually assaults women in dresses.

 

International

Great ad campaign from the Whistler Mountain Bike Park in the Canadian Rockies says if you’re not riding, you’re not really awake.

An Ottawa man now walks wearing a t-shirt reading “Use your bell” after getting knocked down by a bike rider. I find saying “passing on your left” works better than a bell, since it tells people exactly where you’re going, and usually get thanked for it. Although Bike Snob somehow finds that rude.

A Toronto personal trainer offers tips on how to mitigate the negative effects of cycling on your body.

A coalition of British cycling groups says drivers should have to interact with cyclists as part of their driving test. So who wants to volunteer to be the driving test crash test dummies?

A new Swedish apartment building is the country’s first built around the needs of bicycle and cargo bike riders, with no motor vehicle parking.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo is committed to giving Parisians back the space cars have stolen from them.

A writer for the Guardian asks if Sydney, Australia’s draconian anti-bike laws have gone too far, as a rider gets $531 in fines — including a $106 fine for not having a bell — and bike riders will soon be required to carry ID at all times. Gee, you think?

 

Finally…

No, seriously. Don’t ride up to a driver, punch him in the face and steal his sunglasses. Just don’t. Call it the Swiss Army Knife of Kickstarter smart bike gadgets.

And your next Brooks product could go on the other end.

 

Update: San Diego cyclist killed in pre-dawn trolley collision

More bad news today.

Multiple sources are reporting that a San Diego bike rider was killed by a trolley in the city’s Barrio Logan neighborhood.

The victim, identified only as a 27-year old man, reportedly stopped at the trolley crossing alongside Harbor Drive near Sampson Street around 5:45 this morning.

After a southbound trolley passed, he rode around the crossing bars, and was immediately struck by a second trolley headed in the opposite direction. Emergency personnel tried to revive him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Witnesses said that he was wearing earbuds, and may not have heard the second trolley approaching.

San Diego’s KUSI TV reports employees of both Naval Base San Diego and cyber-defense company BAE Systems, located nearby, rushed to the scene, concerned the victim may have been one of their co-workers.

This is a tragic reminder to always wait until the crossing arms are raised before walking or riding across any railroad tracks.

This is the 25th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in San Diego County; it’s also the third bike-related death in San Diego since the first of the year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 27-year old Robert Jamil-Hanna Warren, possibly of National City.

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

Morning Links: Killer SD hit-and-run driver has a bad night; next Griffith Park access meeting on Wednesday

This is why so many people hate lawyers.

The attorney for a San Diego driver who fled the scene after driving though a bike lane, jumping the curb and hitting two young girls, leaving one brain dead, says she’s just a “really good person who obviously had a very bad night.”

Right.

The victims’ family had a worse one.

He goes on to give reasons that he says affected her ability to control her car, which may or may not be valid.

But the bottom line is, if you can’t operate a motor vehicle safely, for whatever reason, don’t get behind the damn wheel.

And nothing excuses running off like a coward, leaving a couple of little girls bleeding in the street.

Ever. Period.

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A couple quick events, complete with massive graphics.

The next meeting to discuss access plans for Griffith Park, which could include frequent, yet inadequate, shuttle service on previously closed Mt. Hollywood Drive is scheduled for next Wednesday night.

Griffith Park Access

And CICLE is hosting a Bikes and Beats Community Bike Ride this Saturday.

Flyer_Bikes_and_Beats_Community_Bike_Ride_v3-1

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A 31-year old transient is suspected in the stabbing death of cyclist Sidney Siemensma on an Irvine bike path last month; the suspect, an acquaintance of the victim, was already in custody on kiddie porn charges.

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Bikeshare continues to expand across North America, with new programs coming to Evanston IL, Richmond VA and Vancouver, British Columbia, and another under consideration in Tacoma WA.

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The website is up for live streaming of American cyclist Evelyn Stevens’ attempt to break the women’s hour record, starting at 10:30 am this Saturday.

My money is on her to smash it.

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Local

Streetsblog looks at that crazy, unmarked detour around the LA River Bike Path, which has been closed to make way for the El Niño flood control barriers installed by the Army Corps of Engineers. And suggests it’s an opportunity to stripe bike lanes on a more direct route, if anyone at LADOT or the mayor’s office happens to be listening.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department is asking for the public’s help in finding the people who fatally shot a father of four last year as he rode his bike on a Compton sidewalk.

Richard Risemberg says horses have gone into war for millennia, but somehow can’t see a bicycle on the Mariposa bridge without suffering a heart attack.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune says Temple City missed an opportunity to remake Las Tunas Drive and revitalize the city’s downtown, ensuring the city’s main drag will “remain a big drag, a four-lane plus turn-lane place to drive while going somewhere more interesting.” Not to mention keeping it dangerous for anyone not encased in a ton of steel and glass.

 

State

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Calbike’s Jeanie Ward-Waller about a proposal to rebate up to half the purchase price of a commuter bicycle.

A Camp Pendleton spokesperson discusses the new rules for riding on the base, but says the Boob Ride will go on.

Bike thefts have spiked in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood, with reports of thieves breaking into apartment complex garages.

A man on a bicycle allegedly stabbed two people following an altercation at a Victorville gas station.

Palm Springs is adding bike lanes to five streets and improved signage and street markings to 17 others in the next few months, after painting green lanes on another five streets since last September.

Santa Barbara approves a new bike plan, although in yet another battle over bike lanes versus parking, the city just gives provisional approval to a bike lane on one commercial street after the city attorney raises questions about whether it requires an additional environmental review. I could have sworn we recently passed a law precisely to exempt bike plans from that.

A Fresno bike shop is considering closing after bike thieves broke in for the second time in just 10 days.

 

National

A new Boulder CO off-road cycling tour company promises to take you on mountain biking trails you’ve never heard of. Grammatically, that should be “of which you’ve never heard.” But screw that.

You’ve got to be kidding. A North Dakota driver gets a whopping six months — half of that to be served at home — and a lousy $1,000 fine for killing a cyclist because he was busy taking a selfie as he drove. Nice to see they take distracted driving seriously up there. And yes, that’s dripping with sarcasm. And contempt.

A Cincinnati councilman wants nearly a half mile of protected bike lanes ripped out so people can continue to park illegally; a local paper says the focus should be on scofflaw motorists instead.

Most snow belt cities ignore bikeways in the winter time, but Chattanooga TN has a cute little de-icing buggy for their protected lanes.

A Philadelphia bicycle company is working with local advocates this weekend to build 100 bikes to donate to community groups that were promised during last year’s papal visit.

A New York writer makes the case for enforcing red light laws against reckless bicyclists who blast through red lights, while maybe looking the other way when riders roll through more placid intersections.

A New Jersey website profiles the executive director of the state’s Bike and Walk Coalition.

 

International

Londonist says the future looks bright for London cyclists, but much depends on who wins the city’s upcoming mayoral election.

A British cyclist will attempt to ride up France’s famed Mont Ventoux by three separate routes, on a Brompton. So the question becomes, will he ride like the wind or fold like the bike?

Copenhagen is replacing all traffic lights in the downtown area with bike-friendly lights designed to recognize and favor bicycles.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A South African grandmother is still riding strong at age 87.

Bike ownership is no obstacle to joining the Singapore national cycling team.

 

Finally…

It does seem somewhat incredible two teams are withdrawing from the Movement for Credible Cycling because their test results aren’t. Here’s your chance to be a Cat 3 lab rat.

And if you really want to scare the hell out of drivers, this should do the trick.

 

Morning Links: A bridge over troubled roadway, post memorial hit-and-run, and buffed Cipollini in the buff

Metro is preparing to open a new pedestrian bridge linking the Universal City Metro stop to the Universal Studios across the street this April.

Because slowing traffic and fixing the street on busy Lankershim Blvd so it would be safe for pedestrians was apparently out of the question.

So if you take your bike on the subway to visit City Walk or take the studio tour, you’ll need to either cart it over the elevated walkway — if bikes are allowed on it — or risk your life crossing a street that city officials seemingly determined was too dangerous to fix.

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Something is seriously wrong when a bike rider is injured in a left cross hit-and-run after attending a memorial for a fallen 13-year old San Diego bicyclist. Thanks to Bryan Jones for the heads-up.

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Italian cycling great Mario Cipollini responds to complaints about riding without a helmet by donning one to ride on rollers. And doffing everything else.

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Local

The Biking Black Hole is looking for volunteers to test its new bikeshare program starting next Monday; there will be two stations with 50 bikes in Beverly Hills during the pilot phase, part of the promised expansion of Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare program. Although the question remains whether users will be able to find a safe place to ride in the notoriously bike-unfriendly city.

CiclaValley urges you to write to keep Griffith Park’s Mt. Hollywood Drive closed to motor vehicles, citing Burbank’s Mariposa Street bridge debacle as an example of what could happen.

 

State

Irvine is asking bike riders to ring a bell to politely announce their presence. Or you could just say “hello” or “excuse me.”

The San Diego Reader talks to local residents who accepted New Belgium Brewery’s challenge to live carfree for a full year, and finds they like it.

Tres shock! A planned road diet reducing the Coast Highway in Oceanside to two lanes, along with bike lanes on either side, is meeting resistance from some local residents. Not unlike virtually every proposed road diet, and most bike lanes, everywhere.

The CHP blames a Palo Alto cyclist for making an unsafe lane change in a fatal collision; he was riding in a bike lane that forces riders to cross high speed traffic merging right onto an on ramp. From the description, it sounds like the real person responsible the tragedy is whoever designed the bike lanes in the first place. Not to mention whoever approved a 55 mph speed limit on a surface street.

A Dublin driver who hit a 12-year old boy riding his bike swears he didn’t do it on purpose; fortunately, the victim is expected to survive.

 

National

Dallas and Forth Worth plan a 64-mile bike trail connecting the two cities. Yet we can’t even manage to get a continuous bikeway connecting Downtown LA and Santa Monica.

Women bike messengers in Chicago call for an end to cat calls and harassment. Seriously, women should just be allowed to do their jobs, and ride a bike without being subjected to abuse.

Urbana IL police donate abandoned and unclaimed bikes to people who need transportation.

A Brooklyn street gets an upgrade from sharrows to buffered bike lanes after overcoming previous opposition. Meanwhile, the head of a neighborhood group is trying to stir up a scandal, saying two members of a community board should have abstained from the vote that overwhelmingly approved bike lanes on another street, even though it wouldn’t have made a damn bit of difference in the outcome.

NY Streetsblog questions why one police precinct openly permits illegal parking in a bike lane.

Outside reports on the sad last days of BMX legend Dave Mirra, who took his own life in North Carolina earlier this month; friends say he was depressed and had lost direction, despite making plans for a comeback.

 

International

Caught on video: A British cyclist narrowly escapes being hit by a large truck in a dangerously close pass.

Former Brit pro cyclist David Millar says he can teach young cyclists about the dangers of doping, following his two-year ban for using EPO. In that case, just imagine what Lance could teach.

Russian two-time road cycling bronze medalist Olga Zabelinskaya is cleared to compete in the Rio Olympics after accepting a postdated 18-month ban for a performance enhancing drug, which expired five months ago.

To cut down on congestion, Mumbai is proposing to ban all new car and motorcycle registrations after a yet-to-be-determined date; the city also plans 100 new cycle tracks, among other roadway improvements.

The five best places to ride you bike on your next business trip or vacation in Abu Dhabi.

Aussie world track champ Annette Edmondson is lucky to escape serious injury after t-boning a car on a blind corner at 31 mph.

A Singapore writer puts his own local spin on the old “we’re not (insert bike-friendly city here) cliché.

 

Finally…

Why roll when you can walk while you ride. Now you can use your butt to fill your tires.

And who needs wheels when you’ve got snow?

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Come back later this today when we’ll have the latest Bikes Have Rights guest post from LA bike lawyer and LACBC board member Jim Pocrass.

Update: Teenage bike rider killed Monday afternoon in San Diego solo fall

A teenage San Diego boy has died as a result of a fall onto train tracks in the Encanto neighborhood this afternoon

According to KFMB CBS-8, the 14-year old, who has not been publicly identified, was riding down a steep hill at a high rate of speed when he hit a fence at 2:30 pm and was launched into the air, landing on the trolley tracks that run parallel to Imperial Avenue at 60th Street. He was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering massive head trauma.

He was not wearing a helmet. And yes, in this case, it matters.

The only hill visible in a street view is to the north on 60th, suggesting he was descending southbound and jumped the curb, striking the fence blocking access to the tracks.

Under California law, anyone under the age of 18 is required to wear a helmet while riding a bike. And solo falls like this are exactly what bike helmets are designed to protect against, though it’s possible that his speed may have exceeded the design limitations for a helmet.

KSWB Fox-5 suggests he landed in a way that a helmet may not have been much benefit.

This is the 16th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in San Diego County; it’s also the second in the City of San Diego.

Update: The victim has been identified as Jose Guadalupe Hernandez Dominguez of San Diego.

However, the location has been changed to Imperial Ave and 61st Street, suggesting that he was riding down the hill from the north side of Imperial, not the south.

Multiple news reports indicate he was riding with a friend when he struck the curb and crashed through the guard rail, going airborne and landing hard on the tracks.

In a report unconfirmed by any other source, KGTV ABC10 says he and his companion were fleeing from a robbery attempt as they sped down the hill. 

The poorly written story alternately gives his age as 13 and 14, though, and says the two boys were riding along the trolly right-of-way, which is impossible since it runs along Imperial, rather than on 61st, and there is no significant hill in either direction on Imperial.

Update 2: CBS8 is confirming that Dominguez and his friend may have been fleeing from a group of men who robbed them.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jose Guadalupe Hernandez Dominguez and all his family and loved ones.

San Diego woman killed by alleged road raging, DUI hit-and-run driver

Sadly, a well-loved San Diego woman has died a day after she was struck by a hit-and-run driver in Mission Beach.

Sixty-nine-year old Maruta Gardner had reportedly gotten off her three-wheeled bike to remove some graffiti at the entrance to the jetty at 800 San Diego Place around 5:45 pm Friday, when an alleged road raging driver sped around to the right of another car, driving on the shoulder and slamming into Gardner.

She was hospitalized with a skull fracture and life threatening injuries, and passed away before 11 am Saturday.

The 23-year old driver, who has not been publicly identified, reportedly got out of his car to check the damage, and paused to look at Gardner before getting back into his car and speeding away. He was stopped by police a short distance later and was arrested suspicion of driving under the influence.

A retired educator, Gardner was well-loved within the local community, and recognized forgoing out of her way to help make it a better place. She had been honored by the city council last November for her years of service to the city.

She made a habit of riding her tricycle along the beach looking for graffiti with cleaning materials in tow.

Friday, it cost Gardner her life.

This is the 15th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Diego County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Maruta Gardner and all her loved ones.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

 

Update: Bike rider killed in San Diego’s Mission Valley Thursday night; ; 12th cyclist killed in SD County this year

This is not the news any of us wanted tonight.

Multiple sources are reporting that a bicyclist was killed while riding in Mission Valley in San Diego around 8:31 pm Thursday.

According to the Union-Tribune, the 22-year old victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding east on Friars Road near Rio Bonito Way when he crossed the road diagonally and was hit by a BMW traveling in the same direction.

He died before he could be taken to a hospital. The driver, who remained at the scene, suffered a minor injury in the collision.

A street view shows four lanes of traffic on what appears to be a high speed roadway, narrowing to three near the Rio Bonito Way exit. Meanwhile, a satellite view shows a curving road with an entry lane not far west of Rio Bonito.

There’s nothing on the opposite side of the roadway, which raises the question of why the victim would have been attempting to cross; a more likely explanation is that he may have been moving from the right parking lane into the through lane as the roadway narrowed.

It’s also possible that he may not have been able to see the car coming up behind him, as it could have been hidden by the bend in the road, especially if it was traveling at a high rate of speed. It also would have been out of view if it had entered Friars Road via the ramp at Qualcomm Way, so poor road design may have been a contributing factor.

This is the 71st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in San Diego County; it’s also the seventh in the city of San Diego. That compares with nine in the county this time last year, and just one in the city.

Update: KUSA-TV reports that it’s unclear if the driver may have been under the influence. 

Update 2: Vision Zero San Diego forwards raw video footage from the scene, which shows a green bike lane that was not shown in the satellite view. It also shows extensive damage to both the car and the bike, suggesting the collision occurred at a high rate of speed.

There is a visible debris field in the right lane shortly after the onramp from Qualcomm Way merges into Friars Road; the victim and his bike came to rest shortly after the exit lane to Rio Bonito Way. 

Note: This video shows graphic damage from the collision, and may be difficult to watch. 

Update 3: Turns out out the real story is a lot different from what was originally reported.

According to a press release from the San Diego Medical Examiner’s Office, the victim was a 65-year old Matthew Driggers, a homeless man who was walking his bike across the street when he was struck.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Matthew Driggers and his loved ones.

Update: San Diego bike rider killed in foggy, early morning Mira Mesa crash after allegedly running red light

Evidently, we’ll have to take the driver’s word for it.

According to multiple sources, a San Diego bike rider was killed in an early morning crash in the Mira Mesa district after allegedly running a red light.

The San Diego Union Tribune reports the 63-year old victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding west on Flanders Drive at Camino Ruiz around 5:30 this morning when he went through the light and was struck by a car headed south on Camino Ruiz.

He was taken to a hospital, where he passed away.

The driver reportedly didn’t have a cell phone, and left the scene to call 911 before apparently returning to cooperate with police.

Police don’t suspect drug or alcohol use contributed to the collision. However, it’s possible that heavy fog in the area may have been a factor, as the cyclist and driver may not have been able to see each other until it was too late.

No word on whether the victim had lights on his bike an hour before sunrise; video from the scene shows no sign of lights on the badly mangled bike, though it’s possible they could have been damaged in the collision.

Given the early morning hour, and the fact that the driver had to leave the scene to find a phone, it’s unlikely that there were any independent witnesses to the wreck, which suggests that police had to rely on the driver’s word that he had the green light.

The heavy fog and severe damage to the bike also suggest that the driver may have been in violation of California’s basic speed lawCVC 2250 says that no one may drive “at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent” with regard to a number of factors, including weather and visibility.

This is the 53rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in San Diego County; it’s also the sixth in the city of San Diego.

Update: The victim has been identified as 63-year old San Diego resident Rodolfo Tejedor.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Rodolfo Tejedor and his loved ones.

Morning Links: San Diego police blame bike mob; unconfirmed report of bicycling fatality on PCH in Malibu

No bias here.

Not from the press. And certainly not from the San Diego Police Department.

According to San Diego’s ABC 10 News, a female driver called 911 to report a “mob” of nine or ten bicyclists had chased her down and smashed her car window.

It must have seemed frightening to the people huddled at home watching the broadcast.

But the real story is hidden in the details.

The bike riders were using the sharrows in the city’s Normal Heights neighborhood when the driver came up behind them and began harassing them by honking nonstop, which is a violation of California law. Even though they were exactly where they were supposed to be.

She then broke the law again by passing too close, striking one of the bikes; fortunately, the rider was able to jump off just in time to avoid serious injury.

The riders then chased down the hit-and-run driver as she dragged the bike for several blocks, banging on her window in an attempt to get her attention and keep her from fleeing the scene.

Pedestrians and other motorists are often called heroes when they stop a fleeing driver under similar circumstances.

Instead, these riders were portrayed as a crazed mob, and threatened with prosecution on vandalism charges for punching and kicking the car.

So it’s okay for the driver to mangle a bike after running down the rider. But not for riders to break a window, apparently inadvertently, in an effort to make her stop.

Got it.

Police refused to even ticket, let alone arrest, the woman, despite obvious violations for

  1. harassing the cyclists
  2. breaking state law governing the use of a horn
  3. violating the three-foot passing law
  4. destruction of property
  5. failing to stop and exchange information following a collision

And yet somehow, she’s portrayed as the victim, with the people on bikes her attackers.

It’s sadly reminiscent of a case that marked the first stirrings of the bicycle rights movement here in Los Angeles.

Andres Tena was riding with a group of friends in the spring of 2009 when they were confronted by an impatient Hummer driver, who attempted to flee the scene after striking Tena’s bike and injuring him enough to require hospitalization. The other riders chased the driver down and blocked his way; in response, they were threatened with an unseen gun before the driver ran over their bikes in an effort to escape.

When police arrived, they somehow concluded that Tena had crashed into the side of the Hummer — which would have required backing into it at a high rate of speed, since he was thrown forward by the impact and suffered significant damage to the rear of his bike.

And that the driver was justified in attempting to flee, because he was frightened by all those scary bike riders, despite being safely ensconced within his multi-ton urban assault vehicle.

The cop on the scene took it a step further, saying if the cyclists had surrounded him like that, he would have done the same thing the Hummer driver did.

In fact, the only criminal prosecution that was even contemplated was a misdemeanor charge against a cyclist for “throwing his bike at the Hummer.”

Funny how some things never change.

It took years of sometimes difficult negotiations, but now LA’s bicycling community has a much better relationship with the LAPD than we did back in the dark days of just six short years ago.

But clearly, San Diego police haven’t gotten the memo.

And as this case clearly shows, they have a long way to go before cyclists can feel like they have the same support from law enforcement that drivers have come to expect, and are considered equal road users rather than two-wheeled pirates.

None of us are safe on the streets if we can’t count on the police to be there when we need them. And to do it fairly, without an obvious — and repugnant — windshield bias.

According to a tweet from BikeSD, they’re working with the San Diego Bicycle Coalition to arrange legal representation for the bike riders.

They may need it.

And sadly, the angry hit-and-run driver who started it all won’t.

………

The publisher of the Malibu Times mentioned Tuesday that a bike rider had been killed on PCH near Busch Drive, but didn’t have any details.

However, the report cannot be confirmed at this time.

There have been no other reports in the press, and repeated web searches have turned up empty. And there has been no response yet to a request for information from the CHP.

Meanwhile, he goes on to criticize cyclists for riding with inadequate lighting on their bikes. While he has a point, it is irresponsible to bring it up in response to the unconfirmed report of the bicycling fatality without knowing if a lack of lights had anything to do with it.

Or if it even happened.

It’s no better than if someone went off on a rant against speeding, texting drivers after hearing about a traffic collision without knowing if those were contributing factors in the wreck.

Yes, we should all ensure that we are visible to those we share the road with, especially after dark or in the late dusk or early morning hours when it can be most difficult to see.

But it’s wrong to imply, intentionally or not, that it may have had anything to do with a wreck that can’t even be confirmed.

………

I don’t even know what to think about this.

TMZ reports the DA’s office is unlikely to file charges against Caitlyn Jenner for a fatal collision on PCH last February, since they wouldn’t even file charges against the sheriff’s deputy who killed Milt Olin while using his onboard computer.

………

Just like anyone else, Alejandro Valverde used Google to plan his route to victory in stage four of the Vuelta.

And after the Feds drop fraud charges against the other disgraced former Tour de France champ, Floyd Landis — remember him? — still has to repay nearly half a million dollars to the 1,700 people who donated to his defense fund when he was still pretending he hadn’t doped.

………

Local

A Texas study says LA has the second worst traffic in the US, costing commuters 80 hours a year lost to traffic delays. To which bike commuters respond, “So?”.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks Vision Zero with LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds in the latest #DamienTalks podcast.

For those who read español, a nice profile of Carlos Morales and the Eastside Bike Club; Morales saved his own life by losing 250 pounds riding a bike, and now works to spread the gospel of bikes and health to others. For those who don’t, Google Translate offers a passable translation.

 

State

Congratulations to the newly announced Bicycle Friendly Businesses in Southern California, including Santa Monica ad agency Ruben Postaer and Assoc, Giant Santa Monica bike shop, and the San Diego Association of Governments.

San Diego police bust a bike-riding bank robber. Or maybe they just assume everyone on a bike is a criminal.

Apparently, not everyone in Coronado opposes a bike path along the beach. Nice to see a rational, non-NIMBY response for a change.

The El Cerrito Planning Commission approves an Active Transportation Plan, including bike boulevards, traffic calming on narrow streets and a bike route providing access to the Bay Trail surrounding the San Francisco Bay.

 

National

Bicycling offers tips on how to avoid helmet hair, as well as advice on meditating to get more out of bicycling. Meditation will also improve your health. And life. Trust me.

A Utah man is ordered to pay a whopping $8,000 restitution for intentionally running down a man on a bike over a property dispute. Twice.

Turns out that despite vocal opposition, 57% of Boulder CO residents support the right-sizing of a city street to make room for protected bike lanes; bike traffic is up 38% in just the first three weeks, while average vehicle speeds have dropped from 39 mph to 37 mph — in a 30 mph zone.

Colorado transportation officials plan to improve bicycle safety on a major street by turning it into a high speed virtual freeway and forcing bikes off it. Memo to Colorado DOT: The auto-centric ‘70s are over.

In a bizarre assault, a Boise man who was driving erratically shouted at a bike rider at an intersection, then made a U-turn, drove up on the sidewalk and punched the rider in the face before driving over his bicycle.

A Wisconsin driver faces charges for running over a bike and a child’s bicycle attachment following a dispute after passing a father and his two kids too closely; the driver claims the father threw his $2,000 bike in front of the truck’s wheels. Sure, that’s credible.

No bias here, either. Two people were killed and eleven injured in seven separate Chicago shootings, yet the headline only mentions the one involving a bike.

It’s bicycle back to school time. Indiana’s Purdue university opens its own bikeshare system, while the University of Florida is offering to rent students a bike, helmet and lock.

Pittsburgh’s transit system will open its third bike garage, which will hold up to 80 bikes on pneumatic, spring-loaded double-decker racks.

Over 800 Philadelphia bike riders are planning to participate in a PopeRide when the city’s downtown streets will be shut down for the papal visit.

A Staten Island website questions whether bikes, recreational or otherwise, should ply the island’s narrow colonial-era streets. Never mind that bikes are better suited for narrow streets than cars and SUVs, or that they could provide an alternative to heavy traffic.

The mayor of an Alabama town lost his bid for a fifth term two weeks after he was bopped in the head with a baseball bat for schtupping the wife of a bike riding attorney.

 

International

A Quebec cop is charged with killing a bike rider last September; he faces charges of reckless driving and criminal negligence, even though witnesses say he backed into the victim’s bike on purpose.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 90-year old British man still rides every day on the 1939 Triumph bicycle he got for his 14th birthday.

People get killed or injured by being passed too close, and some post video of those dangerous passes online. Evidently, a group of British filmmakers who posted a YouTube style parody online think that’s funny.

Caught on video: A Brit bike thief makes off with a bicycle in less than a minute after casually joking with the staff at a gym, where the owner had gone in to take a shower.

A writer from the UK says she belongs on the road as much as any man, and despite the harassment she faces, the freedom of bicycling more than makes up for it. All cyclists are subject to harassment, but the added sexual component woman face is one of the factors that helps keep bicycling a predominately male form of transportation.

The Smithsonian recommends touring Kaohsiung City, Taiwan by bike, calling it one of Asia’s best cycling cities, with a world-class bikeshare program.

 

Finally…

Painting eyes over a bike rack helps prevent thefts, although the thieves just seem to go somewhere else. If you’re going to “borrow” a bike to get to work, make sure it’s not a cop’s patrol bike first.

And a Baltimore writer finishes dead last on what the Smithsonian calls the world’s “most difficult feat in uphill cycling.” But he finished.

Then again, they probably never heard of LA’s own Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer.

 

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