Tag Archive for South LA

Morning Links: New bike lanes coming to South LA, and lawyer gets sidewalk riding law wrong, at least in CA

Los Angeles continues to rediscover — or maybe just discover, as in for the first time — that there’s life south of the 10 Freeway.

After years of not-so-benign neglect of the city’s Southside, it’s become a focus of LA’s Vision Zero efforts.

And now LADOT has submitted plans four road diets and bike lanes on four major north-south streets in South LA.

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Maybe the law’s different in Colorado.

A lawyer answers the question of who’s at fault when a driver pulls out of a driveway and hits a bike rider on the sidewalk, saying the rider could share some of the blame for a) riding on the sidewalk, and b) riding against traffic.

Except here in California, it’s legal to ride on the sidewalk in many cities, though seldom advised. And sidewalks are bi-directional; bicyclists aren’t required to ride with traffic anymore than people are expected to walk that way.

Despite a misguided and very outdated opinion by the then-state attorney general.

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Bicycling considers the crazy things that happen to a cyclist’s body while competing in the Race Across America. I remember one of the early RAAM competitor warning his crew about the dinosaurs along the roadway in Missouri.

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Local

The Eastsider looks at the new and improved Spoke Bicycle Café in Frogtown.

If Sunday’s CicLAvia is too tame for you, Helen’s Cycling is hosting a women-only mountain bike ride the same day.

The West Covina city council will consider the city’s possible participation in the San Gabriel Valley Greenway Network tomorrow.

Police stats show bike theft is down in Long Beach, but that may not really be the case.

The Long Beach Bikes bikeshare is offering free ride time for Friday’s Moonlight Mash Long Beach Mad Max Ride.

 

State

A curmudgeonly San Diego sports columnist has taken to calling Kevin Faulconer the city’s Bicycle Mayor. Funny thing is, he seems to think it’s an insult.

The Fish and Wildlife Department is kicking mountain bikers off trails near Carlsbad, where riding was apparently always illegal but no one knew it.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition prepares for the next round in the fight for parking-protected bike lanes in the SoMa district.

 

National

Things could get a little safer on the streets, as Apple introduces a “do not disturb while driving” setting for the iPhone. But probably not a lot, since its use is voluntary.

Boing Boing offers a video look at how bicycles boosted the women’s rights movement. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

A new Kickstarter project promises to turn any bicycle into a cargo bike, complete with removable two-wheeled trolley.

It slowly dawned on a Seattle writer that he’s been riding less after moving to a part of town with less safe bike infrastructure. Something I can relate to after moving to Hollywood.

Now you’ll be able to ride at least a portion of the infamous Trail of Tears as it follows through Arkansas, tracing the steps of the Cherokee Nation on their forced march to Oklahoma.

A year after five bike riders were killed by an alleged drugged driver in Kalamazoo MI, his trial is still at least three months off. The family of one of the Kalamazoo victims says life is uncertain, so enjoy the ride.

Baltimore’s mayor scratches plans for a protected bike lane as it was being built, settling for a narrow two-way door zone bikeway to appease local NIMBYs.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 70-year old Florida man is tackling the 2,745-mile Tour Divide down the full length of the Rockies; it’s his third attempt after failing when he was 63, and succeeding four years later.

 

International

You’ve got to be kidding. A Canadian coroner blames a bike rider’s death on not wearing a helmet. Never mind that she wouldn’t have needed one if a massive truck hadn’t made an illegal right hook directly into her.

Canada’s automobile association says the cost of treating bike injuries is probably going up there, too. But they don’t really know.

Toronto bicyclists complain the city is spending too much money on building out the easy parts of the city’s new bike plan, rather than the ones that would make riders safe.

Speaking of Toronto, 75% of city residents support what had been a controversial protected bike lane, and want it to be made permanent.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a cab driver was fined the equivalent of $387 for allowing a passenger to fatally door a bike rider, plus another $845 in fines. Which he can pay off in low installments of less than $26 a week.

Not surprisingly, new security barriers installed in bike lanes to protect pedestrians on London bridges may increase the risk for bike riders.

No, Taiwan’s Giant bike maker is not being purchased by a Chinese bikeshare company.

 

Finally…

Not only we do we pay way, but bikes can help keep the tax rate down, too.

And seriously, don’t be that guy.

Just don’t.

 

Morning Links: Yet another South LA hit-and-run, and Montana politician wants bike riders out of the state

A 50-year old woman was critically injured in yet another South LA hit-and-run Sunday night.

She had dropped something from her three-wheeled bike in the 8700 block of South Central Avenue, and was hit when she stopped to pick it up; she was taken to a nearby hospital with multiple injuries.

There was no description of the driver or suspect vehicle.

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You’ve got to be kidding.

It’s not just that the Montana Senate blocked a bill that would have required drivers to give bike riders a three-foot passing distance at speeds up to 35 mph, and five feet above that.

It’s the reason.

Consider this from unabashedly bike-hating Senate President Scott Sales, who says there are already too many cyclists in the state, and he doesn’t want anymore.

“They’re some of the rudest people I’ve ever. I hate to say it, but I’m just going to be bold — they’re some of the most self-centered people navigating on highways, or on county roads I’ve ever seen. They won’t move over. You can honk at them; they think they own the highway,” Sales said.

Never mind that they have as much right to the road as he does. And unless the law is very different up there, drivers are supposed to pass riders, rather than blare on their horns and expect them to get the hell out of their way.

So of course, the obvious solution is to keep the roads dangerous for people on bikes, because that should help reduce the number of riders on the road.

One way or another.

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Cycling Tips provides a belated wrap-up and photos of the 2017 World Paracycling Championships held in Carson earlier this month, which was completely ignored by both the local and national press; it turns out the US led the standings with 18 medals. Then again, late is better than not at all.

A European website says French cycling is up, British down.

Cycling Weekly offers five things they learned from Paris – Nice, including some new faces challenging the old guard.

A planned four-day bike race intended as a follow-up to the world championships in Richmond VA has been cancelled.

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Local

The LA Weekly offers photos from Sunday’s Tweed Ride though historic DTLA, which somehow managed to slip under the radar.

Get your fresh bagels by bike in Silver Lake and Echo Park.

The LACBC is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day Green on the Ground Lunchtime Ride on Friday.

The West Hollywood Transportation Commission will consider the city’s proposed Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Plan tomorrow night.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune offers a series of photos from the recent 626 Golden Streets.

El Monte is the latest SoCal city to adopt Vision Zero, pledging to eliminate all traffic deaths by 2027.

 

State

The LA Times recommends biking 17-Mile Drive at Pebble Beach past the famed Lone Cypress; drivers have to pay $10 for the privilege, but bikes are free.

The San Francisco Fire Department is butting heads with the city’s DOT over protected bike lanes required as part of the city’s Vision Zero plan, complaining they won’t leave enough space to respond quickly to emergencies.

 

National

Bad news for anyone who reads the print version of Bicycle Times, which has ceased publication; fortunately, it will continue to live online. And it should include a profile of yours truly next month. Which is probably the real reason they dropped the print version.

Continuing their emphasis on clickbait, Bicycling offers seven reasons why bicycling is better than running.

A Canadian cyclist is returning to the scene of the crime, going back to where his bike was stolen in Philadelphia on his way to Mexico.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will have to pay $5.4 million after a bike rider was severely injured on a badly repaired bridge. This is the cost of carelessness, to the victim and the taxpayers. All it takes is a little more effort to do the job right, and no one would get hurt.

A Pennsylvania man faces up to 13 years behind bars for fleeing the scene after running down a young girl as she was riding her bike.

The driver who ran down North Carolina bike shop owner, Dirt Rag columnist and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame member Jeff Archer as he crossed the street in front of his shop has been sentenced to up to five years behind bars.

The parish just west of New Orleans has developed its first-ever Comprehensive Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan for the largely rural area. Which was the very definition of bike-unfriendly when I lived down that way.

 

International

The editor of Outside Brazil and Bicycling Brazil shares moving photos from her treatment for breast cancer, and says cycling was the force that kept her alive.

Saskatoon, Canada gets a petite street sweeper to keep their protected bike lanes clean while lowering their costs.

Horrifying story from Australia, where two men in an SUV repeatedly tried to ram a bicyclist and run him into a parked car, just 30 minutes before killing another rider.

A Chinese court rules that that a bike shop that sold a banned fixie is responsible for the death of a woman who lost control on a steep downhill and rode off a mountainside; her boyfriend, who owned the bike, was also held liable.

 

Finally…

No, you can’t just run over bicyclists using a crosswalk. And why teach your kids to ride a bike when you can pay someone a hundred bucks an hour to do it for you?

 

Weekend Links: Making a difference 50 years after Watts, and a SoCal dozen of America’s best bike shops

Fifty years after the Watts Riots, KCET looks at people and organizations working to re-imagine a part of the city that usually gets ignored unless something bad makes the news.

Among the groups they profile are the Eastside Riders Bike Club, using bikes to make a difference in South LA.

“We will educate our community and hope to bring a sense of pride. We hope to increase ridership and educate all safety components when it comes to walking, cycling and driving. We must all live together, work together and play together, ” says Jones.

The group is planning to open the Eastside Riders Bike & Skate Shop on September 5, 2015, at Central Avenue and 114th Street.

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The National Bicycle Dealers Association listed the best bike shops in America for 2015, and Southern California was well represented.

The list includes four in the Los Angeles area, three in Orange County, four in San Diego County and one in Redlands. Interestingly, none of the LA area shops are on the LA Weekly’s nominees for the city’s best bike shops.

  • Bike Attack, Santa Monica
  • Pasadena Cyclery, Pasadena
  • Bicycle John’s, Santa Clarita
  • Topanga Creek Bicycles, Topanga
  • Rock N’ Road Cyclery, Mission Viejo
  • A Road Bike 4U, Irvine
  • Jax Bicycle Center, Irvine
  • Nytro Multisport, Encinitas
  • Revolution Bike Shop, Solano Beach
  • Bicycle Warehouse, San Diego
  • Black Mountain Bicycles, San Diego
  • Cyclery USA, Redlands

Congratulations to all. And next time you’re in one of these shops, remind them they need an ad on here.

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You still have time to learn how to ride a bike safely this weekend.

Bike SGV’s Dorothy Wong is teaching classes in Pasadena and East LA today, with additional classes available through Metro and the LACBC throughout the county through the end of September.

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Rohan Dennis added to his lead in the USA Pro Challenge by winning the time trial. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong won the women’s race; the 42-year old Armstrong has retired twice before coming back to beat riders half her age.

Today’s sand-covered beach time trial won’t count for individual standings in the Vuelta, following complaints from riders, while a record number of Americans will hit the starting line in Spain.

And Cycling Weekly looks at the top father and son combinations in bike racing. Or mother and daughter, as the case may be.

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Local

New bike rider Ryan Seacrest talks with his bro Eric Garcetti about riding a bike in the City of Angels and LA’s new Mobility Plan; Bike Style LA posted the five-and-a-half minute segment online. Someone should tell Seacrest if he’s going to ride in LA, he needs to read BikinginLA. Right?

A Los Feliz neighborhood councilmember explains why LA’s nearly 100 NCs should support the Mobility Plan.

The LA Times posts responses to the recent OpEd from a Santa Monica businessman complaining about the Mobility Plan.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton interviews Assemblymember Richard Bloom about transportation issues coming up in the legislature.

West Hollywood will be getting a 20-station bikeshare system next spring, part of the same system that just opened in Santa Monica, and which will extend to UCLA, Long Beach and inexplicably, bike-unfriendly Beverly Hills. Meanwhile, the local paper says Santa Monica’s bikeshare makes traveling around town a Breeze, pun apparently intended.

CicLAvia explains their outreach process for the upcoming return to the Heart of LA on October 18th.

 

State

Smart. San Clemente plans two-way bike path separated from El Camino Real by a median of decorative rock and landscaping, along with painted bike lanes on the roadway for faster riders.

Now that’s more like it. Santa Rosa police ticket 30 drivers for violating the right-of-way of cyclists and pedestrians. Nice to see a department focusing on operators of the more dangerous vehicle for a change.

Menlo Park debates adding bike lanes or more travel lanes to a major transit corridor through the city; the local fire chief says bike lanes will slow response times.

Auburn brags about besting bike-friendly Davis in bike miles per capita.

SF Gate profiles the Oakland cyclist who set a so-far unofficial record for most vertical feet climbed in 48 hours.

A Bay Area TV station catches Redwood City bicyclists behaving badly by running stop signs and riding on the sidewalk. Of course, we all know what would have happened if they’d turned the camera onto motorists, instead.

 

National

A great new animated video clearly illustrates how road diets work.

Bicycling explains how a quick-release works, and why you may be doing it wrong.

Last June, a Denver man handed his bikeshare bike over to a cop chasing a suspect down a bike path; yesterday, the police returned the favor by giving him a new bike.

A dangerous Minnesota street that took down a reporter will get a complete streets makeover. In 15 or 30 years.

An Ohio man is sentenced to four years for killing a cyclist while under the influence; he was somehow driving with a life-threatening alcohol level four-and-a-half times the legal limit. And had to go home to change clothes before coming back to get arrested.

The Hartford CT paper calls for more road diets, after plans are announced for the state’s first one on a deadly stretch of roadway.

A Brooklyn writer says the arrival of bikeshare isn’t synonymous with gentrification.

No bias here. A salmon cyclist was killed when he allegedly struck the side mirror of a U-Haul truck that was stopped at a stop sign in Queens, NY. He must have been hauling ass to suffer “severe trauma about the body” by hitting a stationary object like that.

 

International

The CBC talks with the director of Bikes vs Cars, a documentary examining the conflict on streets around the world, including right here in LA.

Wired offers a fascinating look at how the McLaren Technology Group applies the technology behind Formula 1 racing to various industries, including their partnership with Specialized.

A 76-year old Brit cyclist has been racing bikes since 1976.

The Guardian looks at five innovative ways to get people on their bikes in the UK. I vote for the cake ride, myself.

A British driver fled the scene after knocking a bike-riding reverend out cold. But at least he stopped long enough to move the victim’s bike out of the road before driving off, right?

There have been a lot of stories about people riding bikes, accidently or otherwise, on major freeways lately; a South African rider paid for it with his life when he was hit by a motorcycle.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: Take a stomach-churning two-minute ride down an abandoned Sarajevo bobsled track. That’s one way to get into the classic bike business; just keep buying bikes for parts until your wife insists you sell them.

And the LA Weekly says if New York’s mayor doesn’t want topless, body painted women besmirching Times Square’s pedestrian plazas, just send ‘em here.

Morning Links: Westwood BID considers Westwood Blvd bike lanes, South LA cyclist critical after collision

If you hurry, you may still have time to make this morning’s meeting of the Westwood Village Business Improvement District, which will vote on the much needed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd.

The proposed lanes have faced intense opposition from Westwood area business and homeowners, even though the latest proposal doesn’t remove a single traffic lane or parking spot, suggesting the real opposition is to having bikes on the boulevard, period.

The meeting begins at 8:30 this morning, at the Skylight Gardens Restaurant, 1139 Glendon Ave.

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KCBS-2 reports a cyclist is in very critical condition after being hit by a car in South LA Wednesday evening, following earlier reports that the unidentified rider had been killed

Sounds like prayers or good thoughts, whichever you are comfortable with, are in order.

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Are you excited yet?

Streetsblog offers detailed tips on how to get the most out of Sunday’s first San Fernando Valley CicLAvia.

Walk Bike Burbank is offering free safety checks on Saturday to help you get ready, while Flying Pigeon is hosting a feeder ride from Northeast LA.

We Like LA explains what a CicLAvia is for the uninitiated.

And the Militant Angeleno once again provides his incomparable guide to CicLAvia, proving he knows the Valley as well as he does the rest of LA. Although he’s got some serious competition from upstart CiclaValley this time around.

My advice is print out both guides and carry them with you.

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In a case way too reminiscent of the death of LA cyclist and former Napster executive Milt Olin, a Florida sheriff’s deputy is cleared of charges he killed a 15-year old bike rider while using his car’s onboard computer.

Then again, he only faced a $1,000 fine.

Evidently, life is cheap down there.

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Local

LADOT, LA Great Streets and Bureau of Street Services officials visit the Temple City cycletracks on Rosemead Blvd. Let’s hope they were taking notes.

Very cool Strava graph shows riders convening for, then riding, last Sunday’s Marathon Crash non-Race; Milestone Rides writes about riding the Crash for the first time.

Actress AnnaLynne McCord, who was blessed with an abundance of capital letters, dons a purple robe to ride her orange Townie on Venice Beach.

Glendale is about a year away from creating a bikeable recreational riverfront across the LA River from Griffith Park.

The Easy Reader names Hermosa Cyclery as the South Bay’s best bike shop.

 

State

Two bike riders are injured in Orange County collisions, though neither appears to be seriously hurt.

An SUV driver takes out a fire hydrant in San Diego, so naturally, a bike rider gets the blame.

A Central Coast TV station explains why green lanes are. Green, that is.

Two recent CSU Monterey graduates are riding cross country to raise funds for a homeless shelter.

Palo Alto opts for a more conservative and bird-friendly design for their new bike and pedestrian bridge.

A Napa Valley letter writer says it’s impossible to comply with the state’s three-foot passing law without risking a head-on collision with another vehicle, not realizing that the law actually allows drivers to wait until it’s safe to pass.

 

National

Nice to know the head of AASHTO, the organization representing state DOTs, says highway design has absolutely nothing to do with cyclist and pedestrian deaths. Odd that he could talk with his head buried so deeply in the sand, among other places.

More great research from the University of Duh, as a new study shows we ride our bikes because we like it better than driving.

Portland riders are about to get a new car-free bridge. And yes, we should be jealous.

A Maine driver gets 10 years for the drunken wreck that killed a bike riding father and injured his wife and 17-month old son while they were riding on the sidewalk.

The US pro national championships will return to Chattanooga for the third straight year. Let’s hope they train race moto officials a little better this time around.

After a DC cyclist has his bike stolen at gun point, he gets it back when the thief brings it into the same shop where he’d just gotten an estimate to have it fixed.

A Baton Rouge judge sentences a DUI driver to 25 years in jail for killing one cyclist and maiming another, then suspends all but 7.5 years; the driver had a blood alcohol level of .307 — nearly four times the legal limit — at the time of the crash.

Alabama considers giving cyclists a five-foot passing margin, rather than just three.

 

International

Two Cambridge UK councilors call for bike riders to be registered and insured, and have to pass a national proficiency test; an Aussie writer provides 18 reasons why that’s a bad idea, all of which apply here, as well.

France offers to pay people to bike to work. And almost no one bites.

Secretary of State John Kerry gets free service on his Serotta when it breaks down while taking a well-guarded ride during the Iran nuclear talks in Lausanne, Switzerland.

 

Finally…

Lance Armstrong is reportedly trying to get his lifetime ban reduced; let’s hope he has better luck than Pete Rose has. An NFL medical consultant says more kids get hurt riding bikes than playing football, but fails to note that a hell of a lot more kids ride bikes, too.

And new LA resident and former Bicycling Editor-in-Chief Peter Flax writes movingly about how a good ride can help you cope with life’s most heartbreaking challenges.

 

Update: Seven-year old e-bike rider killed by ice cream truck in South LA; driver attacked by bystanders

Just heartbreaking.

Several media sources are reporting that a seven-year old boy has died after falling under an ice cream truck.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was reportedly riding a motorcycle-style e-bike when he fell under the rear wheels of the truck.

According to KABC-7, he was riding next to the slow moving truck, and possibly holding on to it, before falling for an unknown reason. The LA Times reports that police consider it an “unfortunate accident,” though the investigation is still ongoing.

He was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, but died at 9:15 pm after emergency surgery.

However, in a report on KNBC-4, which is not available online as of this writing, a man identified as the victim’s uncle said the boy was walking his bike next to the truck, rather than riding, in an attempt to catch up to his older brother. And that the truck had been traveling too fast for the neighborhood street.

To make matters worse, the driver suffered minor injuries after he and his truck were attacked by people in the area who threw bricks at the truck and threatened him with a knife.

According to the man claiming to be the victim’s uncle, the attackers included the boy’s mother.

This is the 74th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 29th in the County of Los Angeles; it’s also the 10th in the City of LA.

Update: The victim has been identified as Jamarion Thomas. Meanwhile, the Times reports that family members dispute the version of events given by the police, as noted above, insisting that he was walking his bike and was too small to hold onto the truck, even if he wanted to.

Update: As this story has developed, it has become clear that Jamarion Thomas was not riding or walking a bicycle when he was killed, since his bike didn’t have pedals. Instead, it was a toy motorcycle powered by a battery.

This does not make his death any less tragic, but it does mean it does not belong among the statistics for bicycling fatalities.

As a result, I have removed his name from this year’s total. That returns the number of SoCal bicycling fatalities to 73 for this year, with 28 in LA County and the 9th in the City of Los Angeles. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jamarion Thomas and his family.

19-year old bike rider killed in South LA hit-and-run

Yet another teenage cyclist has been murdered by a heartless hit-and-run driver.

Late last night, news broke that a South LA pedestrian had been seriously injured by a driver who fled the scene. By this morning, it was clear that the victim, identified as by the LA Times as 19-year old Oscar Toledo Jr., had been riding a bike when he was run down.

KNBC-4 places the collision around 9:40 pm at the intersection of South Normandie Ave and West 47th Street. Toledo was reportedly crossing Normandie on 47th when he was hit by a car traveling south on Normandie; no word on which direction he was riding. However, the Times story says he was making a left, apparently onto Normandie.

The driver fled the scene, evidently without slowing or stopping.

Toledo was transported to a local hospital in critical condition; KNBC reports he died there while the Times says he passed away in the ambulance.

Police are looking for a red Toyota Corolla or burgundy Pontiac, which suggests there may have been at least two witnesses to the crash. KNBC reports police will be looking to see if  collision may have been captured on surveillance video from local businesses.

KABC-7 quotes an LAPD detective, who says the vehicle may have front end damage constant with striking a bike.

“The young man was 19 years old, leaves behind a caring family, his mother, his brother. It’s very important that if witnesses have any information to come forward so we can solve this crime,” said Render.

Anyone with information is urges to call the LAPD at 877/LAPD-24-7.

This is the 44th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, which compares with 32 this time last year. It’s also the 18th cycling death in LA County, and the fifth in the City of LA; three of those five deaths have been hit-and-runs.

Update: KTLA-5 reports Toledo had recently become a father; now a child will grow up never knowing his dad. A ghost bike will be installed at the location Friday evening.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Oscar Toledo Jr. and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Richard Risemberg and James Johnson for the heads-up.

Woman killed by tour bus in South LA; bike stolen as she lay dying

There’s a special place in hell for someone who’d steal a bike from a dying woman.

That’s apparently what happened after a woman was fatally struck by an empty tour bus in South LA this morning.

In what turned out to be a very confusing story, KABC-7 initially reported that a 56-year old woman on her way to a local clinic was hit by a private tour bus at 8:30 am Saturday as she was crossing Slauson on northbound Figueroa. The station reported she was in the crosswalk when she was hit by the bus, which was turning left onto Slauson from southbound Figueroa.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the report, investigators say the driver did not see the woman in the crosswalk, while witnesses reported he appeared to be in a hurry to make the light.

“She had the right of way and the bus came and just took her out, ran her over,” said Johnathon Pineda.

And yet, police appear to be excusing the driver’s actions, saying it appears to be “nothing more than a tragic accident” despite the ongoing investigation.

And that’s where things really get confusing.

KTLA-5 says the bus had a green light, and the woman, who they say was 54, was walking outside the crosswalk when she was hit.

Meanwhile, according to KCBS-2, the victim was either carrying or riding a bicycle, which they say was taken from her before police arrived; they also give the victim’s age as 54.

Finally, KNBC-4 says the victim, who they identify as a 50-year old resident of the area, was riding her bike when she was hit, and that her bike was stolen after the crash.

The bus driver remained at the scene and was cooperating with the police.

And as if to complicate the matter further, two paramedics were injured — fortunately not seriously — when their ambulance overturned following a three-car collision as they rushed to the scene.

This is the fourth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Los Angeles County. It’s also the first in the City of Los Angeles, which suffered at least 18 bicycling fatalities last year.

Update: The victim has been identified as Ena Villalobos.

 My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ena Villalobos and her loved ones.

Rail-to-River comes to South LA, important meeting in BH, and e-bikes to help the recently homeless

We finally made it.

As you can see, things look a little different around here.

Which is a clear sign this site finally made the transition to a new server, the first step in transitioning to an advertising supported bike news site.

There are still some bugs to work out, including the fact that links from the old site haven’t followed over to the new one yet, and visitors to the old site aren’t automatically transferred over here.

Meanwhile, the design is just temporary, an attempt to replicate the old look and feel while we work on the cool new site to come.

So bear with me while we work out the bugs, and build a whole new bigger and better BikinginLA.

And thanks to everyone for the kind words of support in recent days.

I’m definitely feeling the love.

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Big news from LA’s undiscovered country south of the I-10.

County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has joined with fellow Supervisor Gloria Molina to propose an 8.3 mile rail-to-trail conversion through the heart of South LA.

The proposed Rail-to-River trail would follow Slauson Avenue east from the future Crenshaw/LAX rail station in Inglewood to just north of Washington Blvd near the LA River. Which means that riders will finally have a direct off-road route from the LA River bike path most the way to the beach.

More importantly, bike riders — and potential riders — in one of LA’s most underserved areas will have a safe place to develop their skills and build a healthier lifestyle. And the county will turn an underutilized eyesore into an asset that could help revitalize the area.

What’s not to like?

The first meeting to discuss the trail will take place this Wednesday at the Los Angeles Academy Middle School, 644 E. 56th Street in Los Angeles.

Big thanks to Ridley-Thomas and Molina for bringing this to the table.

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The Cyclist Down Facebook page reports yet another hit-and-run in Downtown LA.

A Cyclist was injured in a Hit & Run early Sunday morning in DTLA.

The cyclist suffered injuries to his wrist and a broke his nose in two places.

The incident occurred around 1 am near 4th & Hill. Cyclist was knock unconscious and does not remember the incident and was transported to a local hospital.

No further details available at this time.

Hopefully, we can find the jerk who left yet another rider bleeding in the street.

In case you have noticed, I effing hate hit-and-run drivers.

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The Biking Grey Hole of Beverly Hills — upgraded from Black Hole thanks to some nice bike lanes on Burton Way — will host a meeting tonight to discuss the planned reconstruction of Santa Monica Boulevard through the city, including the possibility of bike lanes to fill the gap between lanes in Century City and West Hollywood.

The meeting will take place in the Municipal Gallery on the second floor of the Beverly Hills City Hall, 455 North Rexford Drive starting at 6 pm. If you ride through the city — or would if you felt safer on the streets — you owe it to yourself to be there.

Or at least voice your opinion on the comment page.

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I’m not one to simply repost a press release.

In fact, most never make it any further than the trash bin on my email account.

But I’m going to make an exception this one time. Because not only is the piece unusually well-written, but it tells the tale of a young man determined to make a difference.

And we could use a lot more like him.

bikeshareLOS ANGELES, CA, December 9, 2013 – Formerly homeless residents at two Los Angeles supportive housing projects will soon have wheels to get to jobs and job training, school, interviews, medical appointments, sober meetings, and gatherings with loved ones – courtesy of a teenage Eagle Scout candidate and competitive bicyclist.

Diego Binatena of Boy Scout Troop 927 in Westchester learned that the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), a bicycle advocacy group, was looking for a good home for 20 electric pedal-assist bicycles that were sitting unassembled in a warehouse due to the closure of a bicycle company.

“A bicycle is a terrible thing to waste,” joked Binatena, a Scout since first grade, a bicycle commuter and national-level competitive racing cyclist. More seriously, said the Playa del Rey teenager, he created “Cycle Forward BIKESHARE” as his Eagle Scout Service Project to put the LACBC bicycles to use as transportation for formerly homeless youth and men trying to improve their lives.

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

Binatena is aware of the effects of poverty and homelessness. His mother, Julie Lansing, is the administrator of a rent-subsidy housing program for low-income families and chronically homeless adults.

“Our dinner table conversations were often about the problems of homelessness and how our family could help with solutions,” said Binatena. “My mother had us participate in food drives, adopt-a-family, and fundraising events. She taught us that everyone who cares about people in need can make a difference in their lives.”

Binatena found his partners and beneficiaries for BIKESHARE at two Los Angeles transitional housing agencies: Jovenes, Inc, in Boyle Heights and PATH La Kretz Villas in East Hollywood. Jovenes focuses on helping at-risk men ages 18-25 years and PATH provides intensive supporting housing for 48 residents.

“Moving around the city is a tremendous challenge for our residents, and this bike sharing program will make a real difference,” said Eric Hubbard, Development Director for Jovenes, Inc.

Be Prepared

Binatena launched his project in September and quickly learned that for his project, the Boy Scout motto “Be Prepared” required hard work, money and friends. After consulting with bicycle advocates, he set a $25,000 budget for the project. Beyond the bikes donated by the LACBC, valued at $1,000 each, he needed bike racks, safety equipment, locks, commuter bags, and safe-cycling program materials.

With a polished Power Point presentation in hand, Binatena got agenda time at the Westchester/Playa and East Hollywood Neighborhood Councils and the Westchester Rotary Club. He left all three meetings with checks in his pocket. He got donations from the South Bay and Los Angeles Wheelmen Bicycle Clubs and the Southern California Gas Co. He successfully solicited bicycle accessories, and safety equipment from KHS Bicycles, Collision & Injury Dynamics, and Planet Bike. He recruited fellow Scouts and friends to assemble the bicycles and racks.

Three months after project launch, Binatena exceeded his goal: He collected $2,700 in donations and $2,300 worth of bicycle equipment.

“I was not prepared for such a positive reaction from everyone,” he said.

Hard work and persistence are not new to Binatena. Bicycle racing requires planning, preparation and focus – plus countless hours on the bike in training to compete at a high level, he said. After winning the 2013 California Junior State Road Championships and other elite races, he was recruited by the USA Cycling National Team to race in Europe against the best in the world.

When Cycle Forward “BIKESHARE” is rolling at PATH and Jovenes, Binatena will present his service project to the Eagle Board of Review to become an Eagle Scout, the highest rank a Boy Scout can achieve.

………

Finally, maybe you missed the uproar over the weekend about the overly-litigious gang that couldn’t shoot straight, as Specialized threatened to sue a small Canadian bike shop that dared to use the name Roubaix, which Specialized claims to own but really doesn’t.

No offense to local bike shops who carry the brand. But it’s going to be a long time before I’ll be willing to buy anything bearing the Specialized S. Evidently, I’m not the only one.

And no, an apology won’t be enough.

Not this time.

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