Tag Archive for Seal Beach

Breaking news: OC DUI hit-and-run driver Juli Ann Brown gets serious jail time

It looks like a dangerous driver may be off the streets for awhile.

And for once, she didn’t have to kill someone to get the court’s attention. Just nearly kill three people in an allegedly intoxicated state.

I’m told that Juli Ann Brown, the driver who ran down three members of the Long Beach Lightening Velo bike club in a drunken hit-and-run on PCH last year, was sentenced on Friday to a total of one year in county jail, 15 years in state prison, plus fines, restitution and an 18-month alcohol offender program.

Yes, you read that right.

A total of 16 years, though what that will mean in real life remains to be seen, as she was convicted of multiple counts, and some or all of those terms may end up being served concurrently.

Brown was convicted of plowing into a group of cyclists riding in the bike lane on PCH in Seal Beach in February 2012, then fleeing the scene. Three of the riders were hospitalized with moderate to severe injuries.

Brown was arrested shortly afterwards when Huntington Beach police officers observed her damaged car swerving repeatedly, and booked on suspicion of hit-and-run, driving under the influence and possession of narcotics.

All before 10 am on a Saturday.

This is her second conviction for a DUI offense. Brown was convicted on two separate DUI counts in 2003, one for drug use and another for a blood alcohol level greater than .08. Amazingly, she was sentenced to just 10 days in jail — which as then stayed — and just 90 days of driving restriction, as well as a nine month alcohol treatment program.

This time, at least, she should do some serious jail time.

Whether it will be enough to keep her sober and off the streets once she gets out, only time will tell.

Breaking news — Long Beach hit-and-run driver runs down two cyclists on PCH Saturday

I’ve just received a first-hand report about a Long Beach attempted hit-and-run that left two riders injured — possibly seriously — on Saturday.

The writer, who prefers to remain anonymous, reports that he was riding on PCH, waiting at a red light between Sunset Beach and Seal Beach, when passing motorists called out to him to stop an elderly driver who had just hit two cyclists riding 100 feet apart.

He says the driver waived his handicapped parking placard at him as if to say he had a free pass, and claimed he didn’t know he’d hit anyone. Even though he reportedly later told police investigators that both riders were out in the middle of the road and he couldn’t avoid them — despite what the writer describes as a 10-foot wide bike lane in that area.

According to my source, the police seemed to be buying that explanation — which he described as total BS, and which was contradicted by his earlier statement that he didn’t know he hit anyone. However, it’s always possible the officer was playing along to get more information from the driver.

He indicates that one of the victims was in bad shape with what he described as a nasty head injury, and that the other, who appeared to be a member of local riding club Velo Allegro, had suffered a hip injury.

If you have any more information on the collision or the condition of the riders, let me know.

Update: I’ve just been forwarded word from Velo Allegro that their rider suffered road rash, while the injuries to the other rider are not life threatening. According to them, the 85-year old driver was arrested by Seal Beach police, apparently on site.

Update 2: Carey left the following comment to this post, including contact information for the Seal Beach police.

A good friend of mine was one of the cyclists injured in the crash. I have since spoken with the officer investigating the case and he would like to hear from anyone who saw anything, including what happened after the driver fled the scene. Please contact the Seal Beach Police Department at (562) 799-4100 and any officer would be able to help you. Let’s try and help make the road safe for all cyclists.

If you have any information, please call them right away so we can get this driver off the road.

Permanently. 

Update: 3 cyclists hospitalized after Seal Beach DUI hit-and-run; Palms Desert cyclist critically injured

Over the weekend, I heard numerous reports of a bad hit-and-run collision on PCH in the Seal Beach area Saturday morning.

It wasn’t until Sunday night, though, that I received an email from a member of Long Beach’s Lightning Velo bike club confirming that three cyclists participating in the club’s Saturday Social Ride had been sent to the hospital with moderate to serious injuries.

Fortunately, none were life-threatening, and the driver was quickly apprehended; I’m told this was her 2nd DUI offense.

From the reports on our email group – Our ‘C’ group (the slower group) was on Pacific Coast Highway on Saturday, in Seal Beach, near the Taco Surf going into Sunset Beach.  The bike lane is very wide there and our group was riding 2 wide completely in the bike lane. A driver swerved into the bike lane and hit several riders and then swerved back to the left and drove away from the scene. The group got a good description of the car and also had the side mirror in their possession. They reported it to the Seal Beach police, who spread the word and the Huntington Beach police were able to locate the car.  The police went back and got two of our riders to identify the vehicle. The driver failed a sobriety test (This was before 10AM!).

One of the cyclists involved stated today: “The Seal Beach police officer, Joe Garcia, is going to bring me my bike today, which is supposed to be in pretty bad shape. The officer stated that the driver was not only drunk, but she had cocaine and prescription meds in her car to go along with her two felony warrants and the hit and run. The case # is: 12-0246, in case anyone would like it.”

Three of our riders went to the hospital and two stayed overnight.  One reportedly had elbow surgery for a bad break. Another has a severe bruises & road rash all over, sprained elbow & ankle, neck & head trauma, and a concussion. The 3rd has a broken right thumb, hairline fracture of the pelvis, a large hematoma on his right hip, road rash, pain in his neck & back. All in all, they are VERY lucky to be alive.

We are discussing as a club how we can take our concerns to the justice system. This person should be taken off the roads.

It’s long been my belief that every hit-and-run driver should automatically lose their driver’s license — not suspended, but permanently revoked, since they’ve shown themselves unfit to be behind the wheel by failing to observe one of the most basic legal requirements for any driver.

Or any human being, for that matter.

I think any car used in a hit-and-run should be impounded as evidence until a trial is held. If the driver is convicted, the vehicle should be seized by the state and sold, with the proceeds going to the victim.

After all, we don’t let bank robbers keep the gun they used to commit the crime. And California law already allows seizure of a vehicle if it’s used in a drug crime or to solicit a prostitute.

Isn’t a hit-and-run that leaves an innocent person bloodied or dead in the street just a little more serious than asking a hooker for a blow job?

My prayers and best wishes go out to all the cyclists injured in this case; it was a large hematoma that laid me up for three months after the Infamous Beachfront Bee Encounter, and it was at least that long before my head finally cleared from the effects of the concussion I suffered.

So I know just how serious those injuries can be.

And I wouldn’t wish road rash on my worst enemy.

Update: An anonymous source identifies the driver as Juli Ann Brown. Brown reportedly was convicted of two separate DUI counts in 2003, one for drug use and another for a blood alcohol level greater than .08. In a sign of just how lenient  the courts are in what should be a serious crime, she was sentenced to just 10 days in jail — which as then stayed — 90 days of driving restriction, and fines and restitution. In addition, she was required to attend a nine month alcohol treatment program and a MADD victim impact panel.

In other words, not one day in jail. And she had her license back in just three months.

No wonder people continue to die when the courts refuse to get drunks off the road.

The Seal Beach Police Department is looking for more witnesses; contact Officer Joe Garcia directly at (562) 799-4100, ext. 1649

Update: The Orange County Register reports that Brown, a 46-year old resident of Anchorage, Alaska, has been arrested on suspicion of hit-and-run, suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of narcotics. She was arrested by Huntington Beach police near the intersection of PCH and 17th Street in Huntington Beach. Thanks to Duan Dao for the link.

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In related news, a Palm Desert cyclist was sent to the hospital in critical condition after a collision at Portola Avenue and Frank Sinatra Drive at 11:18 Sunday morning; no other information is available at this time. Also, a San Diego cyclist suffered a serious arm injury when he was hit by an 85-year old driver in a left cross around 1:20 pm Saturday.

And I’ve received an unconfirmed report — from a very reliable source — about a cyclist struck by a hit-and-run around 6 am Friday in Laguna Beach; let me know if you have any information.

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The call for bike safety inspired by the Times of London spreads, with a must-read letter from a business writer for the Independent to UK Transport Minister Mike Penning.

I should say, Mr Penning, I am also a motorist – or at least I was before I was seriously disabled by that tanker. And I can tell you that, as a motorist in London, the thing I’m afraid of is other motorists, not cyclists. That is because other motorists can hurt me even when I’m in a car. And when I’m on a bike, they can kill me.

Meanwhile, a New Zealand paper calls for taking cycleways — and cyclists — seriously.

Cyclists, in particular those who commute, are not obscure oddball hobbyists; they are the trailblazers of a transport future whom we should applaud and accommodate.

And be careful what you wish for — the new call for bike safety could go a little too far.

……..

After dragging his name through the mud for the past several years, we’ll never know the truth after federal investigators drop their investigation into seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong. However, even though US cycling officials welcome the end of the probe, the doping investigation may go on.

But do we really care?

Then again, by the time you read this, we may finally know the outcome of the Contador clembuterol-tainted meat case. Or not.

Update: In a major shock, Alberto Contado has joined Floyd Landis in being stripped of 2010 Tour de France title, and has been banned for two years. Très surpris!

……..

The Westside Cities Council of Governments wants your opinion on closing gaps in Westside bikeways. Rick Risemberg writes in praise of the new Main Street road diet and bike lanes in Venice, and suggests turning bus benches into bike racks. How can we stop bike thefts when police are doing the stealing? More grants for environmental projects — including bike paths — goes to NorCal than SoCal. Pomona plans a ciclovia of their own.

Frank Peters of cdmCyclist takes a ride up the coast. A San Diego cyclist may never walk again after he was run down by a 76-year old driver who never knew she hit him. Some schmuck fled the scene after running down three girls walking on a Ventura County bike path. Police say 70% of people killed in Petaluma in the last 25 years have died from traffic collisions, and 30% from criminal attacks; evidently, no one ever dies from accidents or other causes in Petaluma.

This year’s Ride the Rockies will travel 442 miles across the Colorado high country through two national parks, five mountain passes and the highest continuous road in the U.S. An Amarillo banker fights bikeway improvements in the city. A Louisville KY family moves two-and-a-half miles to a new home by bike. A Baton Rouge engineer says it’s time to put the brakes on the bicycling movement, and blames a biased liberal press for pushing it; an LSU Ph.D candidate seems a little more rational. Pennsylvania’s Governor signs a four-foot passing bill into law, unlike California’s governor who doesn’t seem to think we deserve three. A 79-year old PA woman gets a whopping $500 fine and six months suspended license for killing a popular Bethlehem bike advocate. A New York writer says it’s time to stop accepting the culture of traffic deaths. Writing in Bicycling, a copy editor for the Washington Post says you can’t trust other people to do the right thing. In a heartbreaking story, a 68-year old South Carolina man is killed while riding a tandem with his wife.

An Ontario study shows you’re three times more likely to have a collision in a roundabout than a signalized intersection — but three times less likely to be injured if you do. Ottawa authorities throw the book at an alleged drunk driver who critically injured a cyclist. Even so, cycling may make you a happier person. Some Japanese cyclists will be forced from the roads and onto a bike path. Eight years later, a daughter complains about the lack of justice in a notorious hit-and-run case that took the life of her father.

Finally, a great photo of a cyclist walking his bike through the weekend blizzard in the plains states.

Long Beach fire captain John Hines arraigned for drunken hit-and-run

An anonymous reader sent me the following email this morning.

In case it slipped under your radar, yesterday Fire Captain John D. Hines entered a preliminary plea of not guilty to three of his felony charges in the hit-and-run of of Jeffrey Gordon.  A judge then inexplicably denied the prosecutor’s request to increase the bail amount fivefold to $250,000, which incidentally was the amount of the arrest warrant issued on April 26th.  Hines has retained a bulldog of an attorney with a great deal of experience in keeping dangerous drivers on the streets.

Hines’ EMT certificate, #E030577, has not been revoked, and probably is not under review.

The writer goes on to note that Hines is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on June 17th.

And yes, it did slide under my radar, even though I’ve been following this case and scan the news for anything bike-related several times a day. So a big thanks for forwarding this information.

When I went back to look again after receiving the email, I found a number of stories like this one in the Contra Costa Times, each containing the same news release, virtually word for word, about Hines arraignment for running down a cyclist, then hitting the gas and fleeing the scene. And adding little to the story beyond what you see above.

Credit then, to the Los Alamitos-Seal Beach Patch, which took the time to dig a little deeper into the story — including noting, as we speculated, that Hines reportedly had checked himself into rehab following his initial arrest.

No doubt at the suggestion of the afore mentioned bulldog attorney, Vince Tucci, in the hopes of getting leniency from the court.

Hines faces a maximum of six years and eight months if convicted on the felony DUi and hit-and-run charges; two hours after the collision, his blood alcohol level was .24, three times the legal limit of .08.

“Instead of staying to render aid, he left the victim like common road kill in a pool of blood, and fled the scene…it is egregious,” Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz said last week. “It’s 1 in the afternoon, he’s three times the legal limit. He’s a firefighter, no less, someone whose job it is to aid people in medical distress. It’s not some 18-year-old kid who had too much to drink. He knows better. He should know better.”

He’s released on just $50,000 bail, after the request to increase bail to the same $250,000 amount in the arrest warrant was denied.

Arrest warrant issued for Long Beach fire captain in drunken hit-and-run

Around 1 pm on April first, 47-year old Jeffrey Gordon was riding his bike on Westminster Blvd east of Bolsa Chica Street in Long Beach.

A moment later, he was sailing 70 feet through the air after being hit from behind by a Chevrolet pickup truck driven by Long Beach fire captain John David Hines.

Rather than stop and render aid as he is trained to do, Hines fled the scene as witnesses chased after him begging him to stop. They followed him to his home in Huntington Beach where he was arrested by the police, who allege that he looked drunk and had a strong odor of urine on his clothes.

The Belmont Shore – Naples Patch reports that Billy Chisholm was a passenger in one of those pursuing vehicles.

“I was sick to my stomach the whole time,” Chisholm recalled. “He just hit him and left him to die like he was a skunk in the road. He had to have known he hit him because his truck was all busted up. That was a human being he left there to die. It’s not right.”

Then again, maybe its a good thing he didn’t try to save Gordon’s life; with a blood alcohol level of .24 percent — virtually the same level as Marco Antonio Valencia showed when he killed Joe Novotny — he probably would have done far more harm than good.

And he’d already done more than enough harm behind the wheel.

Hines reportedly spent the morning drinking at the Schooner or Later bar in Long Beach before driving down to Seal Beach. That’s where he allegedly drifted into the bike lane and struck Gordon’s bike from behind, then sped off without ever hitting his brakes or slowing down.

Not surprisingly, an arrest warrant was issued for Hines on Wednesday.

According to the Huntington Beach Independent:

John David Hines, 38, is charged with one felony count each of driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, driving with a blood alcohol level of .08% or more causing injury and hit-and-run with injury, according to a release from the district attorney. He also faces sentencing enhancements for causing great bodily injury and having a blood alcohol level over .20%.

Fortunately, Gordon survived the collision, despite spending two weeks in the hospital with severe injuries ranging from head trauma, severe lacerations and bruising to his head and body, to internal injuries and spinal and vertebrae injuries. However, he reportedly continues to suffer limited mobility, and speech and memory loss.

Hines faces up to six years and eight months in prison if convicted. According to the Times, he is still being sought by police on $250,000 bail; it’s possible that he may have entered rehab in an attempt to get leniency from the court.

The only real difference between this case and that of Valenica — who faces 24 years to life in prison after being convicted of 2nd degree murder and felony hit-and-run while intoxicated on Wednesday —  is that Hines’ victim survived, while Valencia’s didn’t.

Thanks to master wrench Chris K for the heads-up.

LBFD Captain charged with DUI & felony hit-and-run; report on last weekend’s Sunday Funday ride

This one slipped under nearly everyone’s radar.

On Friday, April 1st, a cyclist riding in a Seal Beach bike lane was hit by a pickup traveling at roughly 60 mph. The driver, who fled the scene leaving the crumpled victim clinging to life, turned out to be a captain with the Long Beach Fire Department.

And yet the story didn’t break widely until a full week later.

Maybe they thought it was a particularly unfunny April Fool joke.

The still publicly unidentified 48-year old rider was headed east on Westminster Blvd east of Bolsa Chica Street at about 1:30 pm — the L.A. Weekly inexplicably places it at 1:30 am — when he was hit from behind by a Chevrolet truck, catapulting the rider onto the side of the road. According to press reports, he is still hospitalized with major head trauma.

To answer the inevitable question, there’s no report on whether the rider was wearing a helmet. And no, it doesn’t matter — no bike helmet is capable of protecting the wearing in a 60 mph collision.

According to multiple reports, the driver did not stop to check on the injured cyclist. Witnesses followed his truck to a home in Huntington Beach, where 38-year old John Hines was arrested on charges of DUI and felony hit-and-run; he was later released on $50,000 bond.

As it turned out, Hines is not only an LBFD captain, but the son of a retired captain and nephew of the department’s former chief.

Maybe he missed the memo that fire fighters save lives, not take them.

The first report I can find of the collision appeared on a local Seal Beach website the following Monday; not unusual for a story that breaks on the weekend. It identifies the driver only by name, age and place of residence.

The association between Hines and the LBFD first appeared the following day. Yet widespread coverage of the story didn’t occur until the Long Beach Press-Telegram took it up yesterday.

Just what took so long might make a very interesting story.

.………

Late word on the condition of cyclist Adam Rybicki, critically injured in an collision with an allegedly drunk, underage driver early Sunday morning. I won’t share the details, but it sounds like he could use your prayers.

.………

Eric Weinstein joined in on last weekend’s LACBC Sunday Funday ride. I invited him to offer his thoughts on the ride and the route we followed.

About 30 riders assembled in Westwood on Sunday morning for the Crosstown Traffic Ride. Latest in the LACBC rides, this one was lead by Greg (famous LACBC Board member), on a Dahon single speed folder. Many different, average, ordinary people were on this ride, with a multiplicity of bikes: a beach cruiser, an electric, a couple hybrids, a few fixies, and a bunch of road bikes. All suitable for this fun ride exploring the nice easy routes across town. There has gotta be a nicer way than Venice all the way to Downtown for me. And there is!

Sunday Funday riders gathered across from Angelus Temple in Echo Park

The route’s interesting details follow:

We started near the Westwood Federal Building (near to UCLA), turned onto Santa Monica Blvd, then demonstrated the trick of crossing to the opposite very wide sidewalk when the bike lane ends in Century City.

We then road through the Hilton and across Wilshire to North Beverly Hills. That is were the drivers are still BH friendly, and stop at intersections to wave you through first. Amazing.

From there, we took Carmelita across to Doheny at West Hollywood, returning to the Santa Monica Bvld. bike lane where it starts up again. When it ended, we turned north and rode up to Fountain. Fountain is not bad, passing near the Hollywood Bowl and Metro, and crossing the 101 on a quiet bridge. Brian sez “Watch for glass!” as he got one on this stretch.

A stop to fix a flat tire serves as a reminder...

After that, we turned onto the Sunset Blvd bike lane. Nice place and close to Dodger Stadium, if you ever go there. Then right on Park Avenue to Echo Park, around the lake on Glendale Blvd, and a quick jog west on Beverly Blvd before heading south down on Alvarado to MacArthur Park.

Excellent notable lunch stop at Mama’s Hot Tamales. Good, inexpensive, and politically correct, just as I like it. I’ll be back!

(Ed note: Mama’s offers some of the best coffee and tamales west of Downtown. And as for the politically correct part, it’s a non-profit restaurant that trains immigrants to work in the food service industry.)

A few Westward jogs and we’re on the famous 4th Street Bicycle Boulevard. Not a bad way across town, despite what they say about the potholes. After a few miles we turned left at Cochran, then south to 6th street, and kept on going West for awhile. Here’s where it got awkward. When 6th ends, turn left, then right on busy Wilshire for a few blocks to La Cienega. Walk the bikes across, then west to Le Doux, and a quick turn on wonderful Charleville through Beverly Hills.

...to look for rare beauty in unexpected places.

We followed Charleville across all of Beverly Hills. Nice! Where it ends bear left, then right, until you come to the next awkward part at Santa Monica Boulevard in Century City. You have to zoom across with the light, then get up on the same wide sidewalk next to the golf course that we took riding out.

Got that? I really, really like this route across Beverly Hills, but it’s quite hard to find.

Weirdly (to me) the ride dissipated from here towards the end. Almost everyone rode their bike to go on this ride, so they broke off near the end to ride on home. Clearly, this was a ride for people who ride.

You shoulda been on the ride!

Thanks to Greg and the LACBC for organizing this educational ride. Now I know a few nicer routes.

My apologies to Eric for the delay in getting this online due to this week’s breaking news.

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A New York cyclist is arrested a nearly getting doored, then chased in a road rage incident by a plain clothes cop who reportedly feared for his own safety. Yeah, a small woman on a bike is a real danger to a cop driving threateningly in an unmarked car.

Maybe it’s time for Mayor Bloomberg to call NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly on the carpet and ask him what the f*** is going on with his department.

..………

Way too many CicLAvia links to include here. I’ll try to catch up with them on my next post later tonight. In the meantime, Joel Epstein says he’s longing for CicLAvia in an insightful HuffPo piece linking Sunday’s event with the fight against obesity and diabetes. And fellow HuffPo writer Aaron Paley says CicLAvia is about overthrowing the tyranny of the automobile.

.………

Writing for Flying Pigeon, Rick Risemberg says get involved, get out there on your bike, be visible and make some noise. LADOT is moving forward with bikeways around the city, including an extension of the Orange Line bike path, and wants your opinion on how to build bike lanes on Venice Blvd. LACBC reports on the Tuesday’s Altadena workshop for the new draft county bike plan; the Messenger Online looks at the Monday Topanga workshop. Street-hassel asks if Stephen Box blundered in deciding to head up Budget LA. Seventh Street will soon go on a road diet; the new bike lanes won’t be ready for this weekend’s CicLAvia, but could be there for the next. Congestion due to roadwork related to the 405 expansion offers an opportunity to promote bikes as an effective alternative. The C-Blog looks forward to Sunday’s Queen of the Classics, aka the Hell of the North. A Redondo cyclist will ride 500 miles to call attention to his friend’s rare illness. Confused by Claremont’s double standards and rider-less bike signs. This time, Long Beach’s biking expats are riding for a cause.

The Daily Pilot tells distracted drivers — and cyclists — to pay attention; evidently, it’s a world-wide problem. San Clemente revises a proposed I-5 onramp design after complaints from cyclists. Not surprisingly, Herman Lopez Gonzalez has pleaded not guilty in the Oceanside death of 18-year old David Mendez last month. Ross del Duca of Just Another Cyclist is the new head of VeloReviews. Art of the Group Ride continues its series on the anatomy of a great group ride. Book a room at San Francisco’s Clift Hotel and get use of a Dutch-style bike during your stay. Thursday was Bike to School Day in the City by the Bay.

The Lovely Bicycle says the Urbana bike I reviewed last year would make a perfect hi-vis rainbike, and discusses the problem of female saddle discomfort; maybe that’s why more women don’t ride. Levis introduces a new line of bike-friendly jeans. An introduction to bike riding for beginners, and six tips on how to help your significant other learn to ride. Tucson bike commuting stalls. An Anchorage cyclist’s GPS iPhone app captured his rides throughout the city — including the exact point where he was killed by a car. Edmond OK okays their own three-foot passing law. Evidently, St. Louis-area bikes and bikinis go together after all. Tennessee state senator and triathlete Roy Herron suffers a broken collarbone, handful of broken ribs and a slightly collapsed lung following a Sunday riding accident. Detroit cyclists rediscover a long-forgotten velodrome. A rising New York politician swears he’s pro-bike, but won’t take a stand on bike lanes. When a New Jersey cyclist is hit in a classic right hook, local police can’t figure out the driver is at fault. A writer for the Baltimore Sun says roads weren’t actually made for cars, and says those who can’t watch out for bikes and interact safely with them should seek instruction or stop driving. A drunk driver keeps going after killing father and son cyclists in North Carolina. Zeke says cycling is blooming like spring. New Orleans in suddenly on track to be a leading bike city; take it from me, if they can do it there, it should be easy here. Look ma, no hands — no really, it could be legal in Florida soon. Michelin introduces self-sealing inner tubes.

Tijuana cyclists roll on monthly Friday night Paseo de Todos rides. Now that’s what I call a mostly off-road bike race. Kate and Will gear up for the big day with healthy bike rides. An insightful UK MP calls for more reliance on bikes and less on cars. The City of London gets new public bike pumps. The Guardian asks what’s the best way to pass other traffic. Maybe bikeways wouldn’t suck so much if we had a hand in designing them. David Hembrow looks at the new innovative NACTO bikeway standards, and finds them lacking.

Finally, a Montana legislature actually stands up to defend drunk driving as a traditional way of life; maybe you’d better wear some serious protective devices if you’re planning to ride up there. And the next time you’re stuck behind a bus sucking diesel fumes, you’ll wish you had new First Defense Nasal Screenstm. Wonder if they’d keep my wife from complaining about the dog’s gaseous emissions?

No, seriously, it’s the dog. Honest.

LBFD Captain charged with DUI & felony hit-and-run; report on last weekend’s Sunday Funday ride

This one slipped under nearly everyone’s radar.

On Friday, April 1st, a cyclist riding in a Seal Beach bike lane was hit by a pickup traveling at roughly 60 mph. The driver, who fled the scene leaving the crumpled victim clinging to life, turned out to be a captain with the Long Beach Fire Department.

And yet the story didn’t break widely until a full week later.

Maybe they thought it was a particularly unfunny April Fool joke.

The still publicly unidentified 48-year old rider was headed east on Westminster Blvd east of Bolsa Chica Street at about 1:30 pm — the L.A. Weekly inexplicably places it at 1:30 am — when he was hit from behind by a Chevrolet truck, catapulting the rider onto the side of the road. According to press reports, he is still hospitalized with major head trauma.

To answer the inevitable question, there’s no report on whether the rider was wearing a helmet. And no, it doesn’t matter — no bike helmet is capable of protecting the wearing in a 60 mph collision.

According to multiple reports, the driver did not stop to check on the injured cyclist. Witnesses followed his truck to a home in Huntington Beach, where 38-year old John Hines was arrested on charges of DUI and felony hit-and-run; he was later released on $50,000 bond.

As it turned out, Hines is not only an LBFD captain, but the son of a retired captain and nephew of the department’s former chief.

Maybe he missed the memo that fire fighters save lives, not take them.

The first report I can find of the collision appeared on a local Seal Beach website the following Monday; not unusual for a story that breaks on the weekend. It identifies the driver only by name, age and place of residence.

The association between Hines and the LBFD first appeared the following day. Yet widespread coverage of the story didn’t occur until the Long Beach Press-Telegram took it up yesterday.

Just what took so long might make a very interesting story.

.………

Late word on the condition of cyclist Adam Rybicki, critically injured in an collision with an allegedly drunk, underage driver early Sunday morning. I won’t share the details, but it sounds like he could use your prayers.

.………

Eric Weinstein joined in on last weekend’s LACBC Sunday Funday ride. I invited him to offer his thoughts on the ride and the route we followed.

About 30 riders assembled in Westwood on Sunday morning for the Crosstown Traffic Ride. Latest in the LACBC rides, this one was lead by Greg (famous LACBC Board member), on a Dahon single speed folder. Many different, average, ordinary people were on this ride, with a multiplicity of bikes: a beach cruiser, an electric, a couple hybrids, a few fixies, and a bunch of road bikes. All suitable for this fun ride exploring the nice easy routes across town. There has gotta be a nicer way than Venice all the way to Downtown for me. And there is!

Sunday Funday riders gathered across from Angelus Temple in Echo Park

The route’s interesting details follow:

We started near the Westwood Federal Building (near to UCLA), turned onto Santa Monica Blvd, then demonstrated the trick of crossing to the opposite very wide sidewalk when the bike lane ends in Century City.

We then road through the Hilton and across Wilshire to North Beverly Hills. That is were the drivers are still BH friendly, and stop at intersections to wave you through first. Amazing.

From there, we took Carmelita across to Doheny at West Hollywood, returning to the Santa Monica Bvld. bike lane where it starts up again. When it ended, we turned north and rode up to Fountain. Fountain is not bad, passing near the Hollywood Bowl and Metro, and crossing the 101 on a quiet bridge. Brian sez “Watch for glass!” as he got one on this stretch.

A stop to fix a flat tire serves as a reminder...

After that, we turned onto the Sunset Blvd bike lane. Nice place and close to Dodger Stadium, if you ever go there. Then right on Park Avenue to Echo Park, around the lake on Glendale Blvd, and a quick jog west on Beverly Blvd before heading south down on Alvarado to MacArthur Park.

Excellent notable lunch stop at Mama’s Hot Tamales. Good, inexpensive, and politically correct, just as I like it. I’ll be back!

(Ed note: Mama’s offers some of the best coffee and tamales west of Downtown. And as for the politically correct part, it’s a non-profit restaurant that trains immigrants to work in the food service industry.)

A few Westward jogs and we’re on the famous 4th Street Bicycle Boulevard. Not a bad way across town, despite what they say about the potholes. After a few miles we turned left at Cochran, then south to 6th street, and kept on going West for awhile. Here’s where it got awkward. When 6th ends, turn left, then right on busy Wilshire for a few blocks to La Cienega. Walk the bikes across, then west to Le Doux, and a quick turn on wonderful Charleville through Beverly Hills.

...to look for rare beauty in unexpected places.

We followed Charleville across all of Beverly Hills. Nice! Where it ends bear left, then right, until you come to the next awkward part at Santa Monica Boulevard in Century City. You have to zoom across with the light, then get up on the same wide sidewalk next to the golf course that we took riding out.

Got that? I really, really like this route across Beverly Hills, but it’s quite hard to find.

Weirdly (to me) the ride dissipated from here towards the end. Almost everyone rode their bike to go on this ride, so they broke off near the end to ride on home. Clearly, this was a ride for people who ride.

You shoulda been on the ride!

Thanks to Greg and the LACBC for organizing this educational ride. Now I know a few nicer routes.

My apologies to Eric for the delay in getting this online due to this week’s breaking news.

..………

A New York cyclist is arrested a nearly getting doored, then chased in a road rage incident by a plain clothes cop who reportedly feared for his own safety. Yeah, a small woman on a bike is a real danger to a cop driving threateningly in an unmarked car.

Maybe it’s time for Mayor Bloomberg to call NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly on the carpet and ask him what the f*** is going on with his department.

..………

Way too many CicLAvia links to include here. I’ll try to catch up with them on my next post later tonight. In the meantime, Joel Epstein says he’s longing for CicLAvia in an insightful HuffPo piece linking Sunday’s event with the fight against obesity and diabetes. And fellow HuffPo writer Aaron Paley says CicLAvia is about overthrowing the tyranny of the automobile.

.………

Writing for Flying Pigeon, Rick Risemberg says get involved, get out there on your bike, be visible and make some noise. LADOT is moving forward with bikeways around the city, including an extension of the Orange Line bike path, and wants your opinion on how to build bike lanes on Venice Blvd. LACBC reports on the Tuesday’s Altadena workshop for the new draft county bike plan; the Messenger Online looks at the Monday Topanga workshop. Street-hassel asks if Stephen Box blundered in deciding to head up Budget LA. Seventh Street will soon go on a road diet; the new bike lanes won’t be ready for this weekend’s CicLAvia, but could be there for the next. Congestion due to roadwork related to the 405 expansion offers an opportunity to promote bikes as an effective alternative. The C-Blog looks forward to Sunday’s Queen of the Classics, aka the Hell of the North. A Redondo cyclist will ride 500 miles to call attention to his friend’s rare illness. Confused by Claremont’s double standards and rider-less bike signs. This time, Long Beach’s biking expats are riding for a cause.

The Daily Pilot tells distracted drivers — and cyclists — to pay attention; evidently, it’s a world-wide problem. San Clemente revises a proposed I-5 onramp design after complaints from cyclists. Not surprisingly, Herman Lopez Gonzalez has pleaded not guilty in the Oceanside death of 18-year old David Mendez last month. Ross del Duca of Just Another Cyclist is the new head of VeloReviews. Art of the Group Ride continues its series on the anatomy of a great group ride. Book a room at San Francisco’s Clift Hotel and get use of a Dutch-style bike during your stay. Thursday was Bike to School Day in the City by the Bay.

The Lovely Bicycle says the Urbana bike I reviewed last year would make a perfect hi-vis rainbike, and discusses the problem of female saddle discomfort; maybe that’s why more women don’t ride. Levis introduces a new line of bike-friendly jeans. An introduction to bike riding for beginners, and six tips on how to help your significant other learn to ride. Tucson bike commuting stalls. An Anchorage cyclist’s GPS iPhone app captured his rides throughout the city — including the exact point where he was killed by a car. Edmond OK okays their own three-foot passing law. Evidently, St. Louis-area bikes and bikinis go together after all. Tennessee state senator and triathlete Roy Herron suffers a broken collarbone, handful of broken ribs and a slightly collapsed lung following a Sunday riding accident. Detroit cyclists rediscover a long-forgotten velodrome. A rising New York politician swears he’s pro-bike, but won’t take a stand on bike lanes. When a New Jersey cyclist is hit in a classic right hook, local police can’t figure out the driver is at fault. A writer for the Baltimore Sun says roads weren’t actually made for cars, and says those who can’t watch out for bikes and interact safely with them should seek instruction or stop driving. A drunk driver keeps going after killing father and son cyclists in North Carolina. Zeke says cycling is blooming like spring. New Orleans in suddenly on track to be a leading bike city; take it from me, if they can do it there, it should be easy here. Look ma, no hands — no really, it could be legal in Florida soon. Michelin introduces self-sealing inner tubes.

Tijuana cyclists roll on monthly Friday night Paseo de Todos rides. Now that’s what I call a mostly off-road bike race. Kate and Will gear up for the big day with healthy bike rides. An insightful UK MP calls for more reliance on bikes and less on cars. The City of London gets new public bike pumps. The Guardian asks what’s the best way to pass other traffic. Maybe bikeways wouldn’t suck so much if we had a hand in designing them. David Hembrow looks at the new innovative NACTO bikeway standards, and finds them lacking.

Finally, a Montana legislature actually stands up to defend drunk driving as a traditional way of life; maybe you’d better wear some serious protective devices if you’re planning to ride up there. And the next time you’re stuck behind a bus sucking diesel fumes, you’ll wish you had new First Defense Nasal Screenstm. Wonder if they’d keep my wife from complaining about the dog’s gaseous emissions?

No, seriously, it’s the dog. Honest.

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