Tag Archive for San Pedro

Near head-on collision with scofflaw tricyclist, OC hit-and-run, good news in San Pedro and NELA

Talk about close.

A late start meant I didn’t have a lot of time to ride yesterday, so I took a quick spin along the beachfront bike path through Santa Monica and Venice — despite my long-held preference to avoid it as much as possible this time of year.

And I nearly paid for it with a head-on collision with a scofflaw salmon cyclist.

Make that a four-year old scofflaw.

On a tricycle.

She didn’t seem too pleased when I suggested she should ride on the other side, either.

……..

Yet another coward has fled the scene following a serious collision, leaving a bike rider to bleed in the street. This time in Orange County.

According to KABC-7, a teenage cyclist suffered critical head injuries when he was hit by an unidentified vehicle around midnight Wednesday on North Harbor Boulevard near La Palma Avenue in Orange.

A passing motorist saw the victim lying in the street and called for help.

Anyone with information is urged to call Anaheim police at (714) 765-1900.

……..

Tuesday’s twin meetings called to oppose bike lanes in NELA and San Pedro may not have turned out the way opponents might have planned.

The special meeting of the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council’s Sycamore Grove Local Issues Committee — maybe they could work on shortening that just a tad — gave every indication of being a set-up for opponents of bike lanes on Figueroa Street in Northeast L.A. Even going so far as to allow a bike lane hater to present an uncontested 15 minute video in opposition to the lanes.

A presentation he reportedly botched — eventually leading to his ejection from the room for disrupting a public meeting.

The Fig4All website calls the meeting a farce in every sense. Yet one that resulted in an overwhelming 41 to 16 in favor of the bike lanes.

Meanwhile, the highly contested road diets and bike lanes recently installed in San Pedro received unexpectedly strong support from city officials, in a special meeting with area Councilmember Joe Buscaino.

The lanes were installed as part of the 2010 L.A. bike plan, as well as in an attempted to calm traffic on streets with excess capacity — including in front of a school, where parents inexplicably complained about the difficulty of dropping their children off, rather than praising the attempt to increase safety for their own kids.

Fortunately, cooler heads seemed to have prevailed, as Buscaino suggested drivers get used to the changes and find ways to avoid the brief periods of congestion.

I’m starting to like this guy.

Now let’s see if he, and the other members of the council, show as much backbone dealing with Hollywood’s irrational demands to remove the Spring Street green bike lanes at Friday’s council meeting.

………

A couple bike-related items from Metro made it into my inbox yesterday.

First up is how to cope with the new locking turnstiles being activated in Metro train stations this summer.

Metro Rail turnstiles will be activated this summer and open only with a valid TAP card. If you bring your bike on board, please plan ahead for how this change can affect your station access.

Some important tips to remember for bringing your bike through turnstiles:

  • Follow ADA-accessible routes to find elevators and wider turnstile gates to safely walk your bike in and out of stations.
  • If lifting your bike over turnstiles, please be careful. Avoid lifting your bike over turnstiles in a crowded station.
  • Using the emergency exit gate for non-emergency purposes is not allowed and punishable by fine.

Whatever type of fare you’re using – single ride, pass or transfer from another system – it must be loaded on a reusable TAP card to ride any Metro Rail line. Please be sure your TAP is loaded with cash or valid fare before approaching turnstiles at Metro Rail stations. If you don’t already have a TAP card, you canpurchase one along with your fare from the TAP vending machine for a $1.

I can’t say I’m fond of the idea that one-time train users will be forced to buy a tap card, increasing the cost of a single ride to $2.50.

And Metro will be working with bike advocacy organizations to co-sponsor a series of bike education and safety classes throughout the county.

All cyclists can benefit from a working knowledge of the rules of the road.

Continuing efforts to educate all road users, Metro presents a new series of free bicycle traffic safety workshops, rolling out across the county over the next few months.

With funding from the Office of Traffic Safety, Metro is working with the LA County Bicycle Coalition, Bike San Gabriel Valley and Multi-Cultural Communities for Mobility to lead the workshops. A 3-hour beginner’s road rules class will be offered in English and Spanish, and an 8-hour workshop for intermediate cyclists will focus on building traffic skills.

The series kicks off with the following classes. As more classes are scheduled, information will be available able at metro.net/bikes andfacebook.com/bikemetro.

Street Cycling Skills Class 
Saturday, June 22 

8am-5pm
Alexander Hughes Community Center
1700 Danbury Rd
Claremont, CA 91711
Register with LA County Bicycle Coalition here

Street Cycling Skills Class 
Saturday, July 6 

9am-6pm
Culver City Veteran’s Memorial Building
4117 Overland Av
Culver City, CA 90230
Register with LA County Bicycle Coalition here

Street Cycling Skills Class
Friday, July 12, 6pm-9 pm 
AND Saturday, July 13, 8am-2 pm

Azusa Memorial Park Recreation Center
320 N Orange Pl
Azusa, CA 91702
Register with LA County Bicycle Coalition here

Bicycling on the Road Class
Sunday, July 14 

10am-1pm
South El Monte Community Center
1556 Central Av
South El Monte, CA 91733
Register with Bike San Gabriel Valley by emailing info@bikesgv.org

Street Cycling Skills Class 
Wednesday, July 17, 5:30pm-8:30pm 
AND Saturday, July 20, 9am-1pm

California State University Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Bl
Long Beach, CA 90815
Register with LA County Bicycle Coalition here

Bicycling on the Road Class
Saturday, July 20

10am-1pm
El Monte Senior Center
3120 Tyler Av
El Monte, CA 91731
Register with Bike San Gabriel Valley by emailing info@bikesgv.org

Bicycling on the Road Class 
Saturday, July 27 

10am-1pm
Palm Park Rec Center
5730 Palm Av
Whittier, CA 90601
Register with Bike San Gabriel Valley by emailing info@bikesgv.org

Bicycling on the Road Class 
Thursday, August 4 

1-4pm
Culver City Veteran’s Memorial Building
4117 Overland Av
Culver City, CA 90230
Register with LA County Bicycle Coalition here

Bicycling on the Road Class 
Sunday, August 18 

10am-1pm
La Verne Community Center, Classroom 1
3680 “D” St
La Verne, CA 91750
Register with Bike San Gabriel Valley by emailing info@bikesgv.org

Bicycling on the Road Class 
Saturday, August 24 

10am-1pm
Barbara J. Riley Community & Senior Center
7810 Quill Dr
Downey, CA 90242
Register with Bike San Gabriel Valley by emailing info@bikesgv.org

………

Finally, you could soon fly over potholes; no, literally. And if you’re going to steal precious artwork by a revered artist, bring a bag big enough that it doesn’t stick out of your backpack as you make your getaway by bike at 4:30 am. Let alone big enough to carry everything you meant to steal.

Save the endangered San Pedro and Spring Street bike lanes; hit-and-runs involving bicyclists up in L.A.

I’m a little battered and bruised tonight.

Riding home from another wildly successful River Ride, I hit an open 8-inch mini-manhole cover somewhere along the transition from Silver Lake to Beverly Blvd. I somehow managed to stay upright, although how I have no idea, finding myself momentarily riding a wobbling and fully ballistic bike veering dangerously towards both the curb and the asphalt.

Falling down there would have meant going down hard and in front of traffic. It would have also meant my second fall of the day, as I misjudged a steep hill on my way there in the morning, and couldn’t clip out from pedals in time after a bad shift.

Which would have made it just my second fall in the past several years, as well.

Even so, I ended up with cuts and bruises where my legs smacked the frame. And everything from butt up feels like I was hit by a Mack truck.

Yes, everything.

Enough said.

Just a reminder that something most drivers wouldn’t even notice can be dangerous if you’re on a bike.

Even if you don’t hit the street.

So with that, let’s catch up on the news we missed as I tried to sleep off my bumps and bruises yesterday.

………

Bad news from Redondo Beach, as a 48-year old triathlete Michael Giardano collapsed and died after the swimming leg of the Redondo Beach Triathlon. My condolences to all his loved ones.

………

Buscaino FlyerIf you’re anywhere near San Pedro tonight, try to make it to the 6 pm meeting with Councilmember Joe Buscaino to defend the recent road diets and bike lanes in the area.

As we’ve discussed before, the primary complaints center on the road diet installed on Westmont Drive, which reportedly results in traffic congestion just 20 minutes each morning and afternoon as parents pick their children up at the local school.

Yet the bike lanes those parents complain about exist primarily to tame traffic and improve safety around that very school. Which means that instead of demanding that they be removed, parents should be thanking city officials for taking tangible steps to protect their children.

The mantra for this meeting should be it’s not about bicyclists, it’s about the safety of your children. And if local residents somehow think the convenience of a few drivers is more important that, something is seriously wrong in San Pedro.

With school ending for the year, they’ve got all summer to find a solution that works for everyone. And returning to the previous status quo ain’t it.

………

Remember that vivid green paint that lasted about a week on Spring Street, which Hollywood location scouts claimed was impossible to avoid filming or remove in post-production and was used nowhere else in the known universe?

Yeah, right.

Mark your calendar for a Battle Royale this Friday when the issue comes before the full City Council. Every bike rider who can make it should be at City Hall at 10 am Friday to refute the lies and demand that the safety of our citizens should take precedence over the convenience of filmmakers — as if there’s not enough money in their bloated budgets to cover-up a little green paint on the street.

Tell you what.

Just give me a couple of hours and a box of gaffers tape, and I guarantee they won’t see an glimpse of green in the dailies.

Fortunately, not all Hollywood types are bike-unfriendly. Or have such small hearts.

………

I haven’t had a chance to dive into it yet, but the long-awaited LAPD report on hit-and-runs has finally been released, and will be presented to the Police Commission at today’s meeting.

At first glance, it suggests that the city’s rate of hit-and-run, while not acceptable, is not out of line for comparable major cities, and hit-and-runs resulting in death or serious injuries to pedestrians is on the decline.

But if you think more drivers fleeing after killing or injuring bicyclists, you’re right.

………

The “new” LADOT issues their annual report, and takes credit for more than doubling the number of bike lanes in the last eight years compared to the previous 32, with 150 miles installed during the eight-year Villaraigosa administration.

………

A bike rider is shot in Santa Monica in an apparent gang driveby, which had absolutely nothing to do with last week’s shooting rampage, despite the Times unfortunate spin on the story. L.A. mayor-elect Eric Garcetti promises bike lanes and walkable communities. The Source names the bikiest guy in L.A. The upcoming Wilshire Blvd CicLAvia should be better for pedestrians; CicLAvia means open streets for everyone, not just bike riders. Another neighborhood council wants your take on bike lanes on North Figueroa; take a few minutes to respond, because the bike haters certainly will. Turns out handlebars aren’t the safest place to ride, but you knew that, right?

Laguna Beach sees an increase in bicycle collisions. If you hit another cyclist or a pedestrian, stick around until you know they’re okay, hit-and-run laws — and common human decency — apply to us, too; thanks to Allan for the heads-up. A Sacramento man faces a murder charge after deliberately running down a bike rider he’d argued with, then getting out and kicking him repeatedly. An 18-year old Pleasanton driver kills a woman cyclist and injures her husband; since she rear-ended both of them, it doesn’t really matter if one might have been outside the bike lane, does it? In what was clearly a horrible weekend for NorCal cyclists, a 25-year old bike rider is killed in Elk Grove, a San Jose cyclist is killed in a collision with a train and a Modesto man is killed in a hit-and-run. Once again, a San Francisco pedestrian is injured by a cyclist.

Your next bike could be a lot smarter than your last one; on the other hand, I’m not looking forward to a bike that can say “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.” Especially since my name’s not Dave. IsolateCyclist looks at the people who self-identify as cyclists in order to criticize other cyclists. Bicycling is catching on with the NBA. Members of my college fraternity will be riding cross-country to raise half a million dollars for people with disabilities. Lessons learned by a first-time bike commuter from my hometown. A Kansas man is electrocuted trying to steal copper wire, but props for riding a bike to do it. Chicago’s bike-specific traffic signals increase compliance by 161%. New York’s new bike share program currently reaches just 10% of the city’s population; the NY Times asks why the fuss over bikes in a city that can tolerate anything? Why conservatives should love bike share; then again, no one ever said embracing bike share would be easy. NYC bicyclists offer their wisdom on riding in the city in 10 words or less. A struggling rider finds advice on how to ride uphill. Even when one of their own editors is doored, the NY Daily News blames the victim; however, they agree cyclists aren’t the real danger, despite what the WSJ’s wicked witch says. Boston incorrectly blames bicyclists for most collisions. Bob Mionske relates how a local Tennessee political boss got away with murder — or vehicular homicide by intoxication, in this case — something I suspect occurs far more often than we’d like to admit. The wife of North Carolina’s Bicycle Man fills in during his illness.

A British PSA might just shock a few drivers into sobering up first; thanks to Day One for the heads-up. London’s bike czar says the city needs fewer testosterone-fueled cyclists and more careful female ones; nope, not a hint of reverse sexism there. A UK cyclist suffers a broken arm in a road rage assault. As usual, the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain offers a blog roundup that puts this one to shame. Bike safety devices designed to prevent collisions with trucks could make things worse. Guess which country has gone pazzo for bicycling? A South African driver flees the scene after plowing into three cyclists. An Australian woman is killed while riding with her husband the day before an appointment to find out if she was pregnant. Proof that bike riders aren’t always the good guys, as an Aussie cyclist shoots a sleeping transient with an arrow. A special New Zealand inquest rules mandatory hi-viz clothing won’t cut bicycling deaths. Chinese authorities apologize for beating a bike salesman. Well said: “If we meet out on the road or trail, let that be the start, not the totality, of a friendship.”

Finally, it’s seldom a good idea to celebrate your birthday by riding drunk and trying to strangle the cop who stops you. This is why it’s not a good idea to use people instead of traffic cones at bike races, with entirely predictable results. And someone should tell this 10-time loser that just because the sign says Highway 101, that’s not actually the speed limit; seriously, if you lose your license 10 times in four years, you shouldn’t even be on the damn highway. Or any other street, for that matter.

Too easy to get, too hard to lose, indeed.

Counter-protest angry motorists in San Pedro, ride in Simi Valley to fight homelessness

A couple quick time-sensitive items to wrap up a far too busy first full day back online.

And hey, thanks to the Santa Monica Police Department for cracking down on sidewalk cyclists on Bike to Work Day. That will certainly encourage more people to take up bike commuting.

Not to mention this was the first time I’ve visited a B2W Day pit stop that was delayed by a gun threat.

………

First up is the all-too-typical furor over road diets and bike lanes, this time in L.A.’s long suffering and usually forgotten port city of San Pedro.

A pair of underused streets — Westmont and Capitol Drives — recently underwent reductions to calm high-speed traffic, dropping one lane in each direction and installing the typical door zone bike lanes.

And needless to say, motorists are up in arms, even though the streets are almost always empty. And even though it should be bike riders complaining about the lack of buffers between them and flinging car doors.

In fact, I’m told Westmont, which is causing most of the anger, only backs up twice a day, when parents drop off and pick up their children at the local school. And then for only 20 minutes at a time.

Which means the roads are clear for 23 hours and 20 minutes every weekday — which, by my admittedly math-challenged calculations, that would appear to be most of the day. And which would suggest that it doesn’t back up at all on weekends.

God forbid that parents would address that minimal level of congestion by allowing their children to use those bike lanes to ride to school — let alone walk — and avoid the whole barely there mess to begin with.

After all, this is a community where the local high school students are forbidden from riding to school because the campus doesn’t even have or want bike parking.

And as we all know, the convenience of drivers is far more important than the lives and safety of cyclists. Even school aged ones.

I’m told the villagers are planning to shake their pitchforks angry motorists are planning to take to the streets in protest on Monday at 4 pm. Just coincidentally in time for the evening news.

Meanwhile, bike riders are encouraged to counter protest, not by confronting the insistently motoring public’s complaints, but simply by riding the bike lanes when the cameras are present.

The message will be clear, as the cameras will show angry drivers protesting over streets devoid of traffic backups, while bike riders calmly make use of the lanes studies show will reduce collisions and serious injuries for all road users.

Even for drivers who insist road capacity should be maintained for 40 minutes of peak traffic, at the expense of all other users at any other time.

If you ride in the San Pedro area — or can make it down to a part of the city most Angelenos have never seen and many don’t even know exists — you’re strongly encouraged to meet at the Albertson’s parking lot at Westmont Drive and S. Western Ave at 3:45 pm Monday.

Short notice, I know.

But it’s a good cause. And all you have to do is keep calm and ride your bike.

Thanks to Allyson Vought for the tip.

………

Some people complain about the many homeless people in Southern California.  Most simply ignore them.

A few — far too few — actually care enough to do something about it.

If you fit in that category, you’ll want to head up to Simi Valley on Saturday for the first ever — not the oxymoronic first annual, thank you — Ride for the Homeless. Rides range from two to 10 miles for a $20 registration fee and 25, 50 or 100 miles for just $40, followed by a barbeque and raffle.

It’s a great cause, and highly recommended.

Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the heads-up.

………

The LA Weekly abandons its sometimes irrational anti-bike attitude — okay, the anti-bike attitude is always irrational; they just don’t always express it — to profile one of my favorite people, LACBC Executive Director Jen Klausner.

………

Oh, please.

In an absurd take on the current state of bicycling that ignores trends over the past several years and assumes that the highly diverse bicycling community is just one big monoculture, the Wall Street Journal concludes there is a trend towards casual wear when riding.

And points the finger at a backlash against Lance Armstrong.

Never mind that the more casual, non-spandex bikewear has been growing in popularity for several years, dating back to when only the French and Greg LeMond accused Lance of doping.

Accurately, as it turns out.

Or that bike riders ride in different ways and for different purposes. And what works for a half-century ride up the coast isn’t what you’d want to wear for a bike date or a quick ride to the corner market.

I can also assure the WSJ that the reason no American municipality ranks among the world’s top 20 bike-friendly cities has a lot more to do with a lack of decent infrastructure and governmental support — not to mention San Pedro-style anti-bike lane NIMBYism — than a little spandex.

………

Finally, I hope to see you next Wednesday, when the LACBC presents five perspectives on California’s rules of the road for cyclists. One of which will be mine.

Perspective, that is, not rules. Although I have a few of those, too.

It takes place on the first floor of LACBC’s headquarters, 634 South Spring Street, from 7 pm to 8:30 pm; free for LACBC members and just $10 for non-members.

……..

I’ll be guest editing LA Streetsblog on Friday, as Damien Newton takes some well-deserved time off. So be sure to stop by and see if I can make a muck of their well-oiled transportation news and advocacy machine.

Second L.A. rider dies from injuries suffered on a bloody 4th of July

A second L.A. area cyclist has died of injuries received on the Fourth of July.

According to the Daily Breeze, 39-year old Steven Pyle was critically injured when he rode off the sidewalk and out into the street between two parked cars. As he emerged from between the cars, he was hit by an eastbound Nissan Altima near the intersection of 22nd Street and Barbour Court in San Pedro around 2:05 pm Monday.

The paper reports that he was narrowly missed by a white van before being struck by the car; the driver of the car that hit him stopped at the scene, while the other driver did not.

Pyle, a musician who was well-known in the area, suffered a severe head injury and was rushed into emergency surgery; he was taken of life support Tuesday afternoon and died later the same day.

The paper quotes LAPD Lt. Brian Whitten as saying no charges were expected to be filed in this case.

“It’s a traffic accident,” Whitten said. Pyle “rode between parked cars and into traffic. He was crossing the road when it wasn’t safe to do so.”

Pyle’s death is the second cycling fatality in Los Angeles resulting from collisions on the 4th of July; 32-year old cyclist George Loudon was killed on a dark El Segundo street while riding home from work early Monday morning. It was also the second fatal traffic collision in San Pedro in two days, as a pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run early Sunday morning.

This is the 36th confirmed traffic-related cycling fatality in Southern California this year; five other riders have died as a result of shootings. Pyle is the 11th confirmed cycling traffic fatality in Los Angeles County since the first of the year; that compares to an average of 24.2 for the last five years for which statistics are available, from 2005 – 2009.

My deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones.

%d bloggers like this: