Tag Archive for traffic fatalities

Morning Links: Marin driver arrested for swerving into 4 cyclists, and traffic deaths up in US, including bicyclists

Call it attempted murder.

In just the latest horrifying attack on the streets, four cyclists participating in the Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin were injured when a driver allegedly swerved his truck into them.

The pickup driver fled the scene after smashing into them from behind, in an attack that witnesses described as intentional.

One of the riders is in stable condition after suffering major injuries; the other three were not seriously injured.

It’s probably not what any of them expected when they signed up to ride with cycling legend Jens Voigt.

Police later arrested 21-year old Novato resident Aaron Michael Paff, an off-duty maintenance worker for the Marin Municipal Water District.

He was taken into custody roughly 12 hours after the attack, and released on $50,000 bond. There was no word on possible charges as of Sunday night.

However, this should be a case of assault with a deadly weapon, at the bare minimum.

Dr. Christopher Thompson got five years in state prison for a similar assault, in which he intentionally brake-checked a pair of riders on Mandeville Canyon Road in 2008.

Photo of suspect vehicle from CHP. Thanks to everyone who let me know about this case.

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It shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that our streets are getting even deadlier.

In the latest report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic fatalities shot up another 5.6% in the US last year, coming on the heels of an 8.4% increase the year before.

According to the report, there was an increase in almost every category, from pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists, to DUIs and day versus night crashes.

A total of 37,461 people were killed on American streets last year, up from 35,485 the year before.

Four hundred ninety-two pedestrians lost their lives, the highest figure since 1990. And 840 bicyclists were killed, a 1.3% increase and the most since 1991.

It’s worth noting, especially in light of the next item, that an average of over 102 people died in crashes in the US every day — dwarfing the 58 killed in Las Vegas last week.

But no one is holding vigils. No one is sending thoughts and prayers.

And hardly anyone even seems to notice.

Or care.

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Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has written a hard-hitting piece comparing gun violence with the violence on our streets.

In the first instance, Americans have decided that mass shootings are a reasonable and acceptable cost of being able to easily and legally obtain weapons of virtually any kind. In the second, Californians have decided that individual killings of cyclists are a reasonable and acceptable cost for being able to drive as fast as possible to get where they want to go.

Whether or not you agree with his premise, it’s worth the read. Because this is a conversation our country will have to have sooner or later.

And it’s already a lot later than it should be.

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A Belgian cyclist is lucky to walk away after flipping over a barrier at the Giro di Lombardia, as Vincenzo Nibali takes his 50th career win.

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Local

An LA company presents its vision for a four-mile section of the LA River, calling it the LA River Gateway.

One letter writer in the LA Times asks if drivers who object to bike lanes have a better solution, while another says traffic has always been bad in Playa del Rey, and it’s not the bike lanes’ fault.

 

State

New bicycle wayfinding signs go up in Highland.

The Southern California Association of Governments has approved nearly $10 million in funding for active transportation projects in the Coachella Valley.

Ventura County approves construction of bike lanes along Potrero Road near Lake Sherwood.

Sad news from Arroyo Grande, where a woman was killed while riding her bike on the popular Corbett Canyon Road; the driver played a variation of the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming he couldn’t see her because the sun was in his eyes. Even though admitting something like that should be a confession, not an alibi. Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling for the heads-up.

A drunk San Francisco salmon cyclist was responsible for one of the 13 crashes involving GM’s driverless cars when he crashed into the car’s bumper after its human operator had stopped the vehicle.

 

National

A Spokane WA woman is considering a civil suit after a bike rider plowed into her on a multi-use trial; the rider yelled “hot pizza” as a warning, somehow thinking that would make her get out of his way. Pedestrians are unpredictable. So slow the f*** down around them and pass carefully. It’s not that hard.

Dozens of wounded vets joined 71-year old former president George W. Bush on his annual Warrior 100K mountain bike ride.

A driver in Austin TX says he only drove drunk, ran down a cyclist and fled the scene because there was a two-hour wait for a cab.

A Montana man is working to send bikes to Central America to be converted to pedal-powered machines.

An Indiana man rode 2,800 miles from Portland, Oregon to his home state, despite suffering from epilepsy and cerebral palsy.

Facing 35 years in prison for the drunken hit-and-run death of a bicyclist, a Kentucky driver tries to withdraw his guilty plea, saying it wasn’t fair because the crash wasn’t intentional. And the drinking — and getting behind the wheel afterwards — was probably an accident, too.

Over one thousand bicyclists turned out to ride with actor Patrick Dempsey at his annual fundraiser ride in Maine.

A New York man died a week after he was attacked with a hammer by five teenagers who were trying to steal his bike. We’ve said it many times before — no bicycle is worth your life, so just let it go.

A New York woman has died a month after she was struck by a drunk, unlicensed driver who plowed into several bicyclists who were on a fundraising ride. As I recall, there were allegation that this crash may have been intentional, as well.

A homeless man in Florida has been ruled mentally incompetent to stand trial in the stabbing death of a man who was riding his bike from Connecticut to Miami to propose to his girlfriend.

 

International

A Toronto columnist asks if there’s a war on cars in the city, why are drivers the only ones racking up a body count? It’s a question we should be asking here, and every city where drivers claim ownership of the streets. Which is pretty much everywhere. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

No bias here. Britain’s Daily Mail offers a breathless headline saying two pedestrians are killed or maimed by bicyclists every week. Then in smaller type mentions that there’s no information on who was at fault, and that it still amounts to less than 1% of pedestrian injuries each year on British roads.

Caught on video: A road raging London driver loses it because a bike rider had the audacity to be in front of him.

A London priest is urging his parishioners to pray to stop a bikeway from being installed in front of the church, claiming it would do more harm that the German Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain.

Caught on video too: A British man learns why you don’t ride under crossing gates.

A man in the UK rode his bike 450 miles through France and Great Britain to deliver a petition to the prime minister’s office to cancel Brexit.

A new Scottish study shows riding a bike on bad roads for as little as 16 minutes is enough to cause nerve damage in the hands and arms. Which means that most LA bike riders could have trouble just picking up a pencil.

An Australian state supreme court justice is one of us, too.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a boat. Any band can travel by bike between gigs, but how many perform along the way?

And if you’re going to suffer a heart attack while riding, do it in front of a restaurant full of medical professionals.

 

Morning Links: A prediction LA’s Vision Zero will fail, and CicLAvia comes to Glendale and Atwater Village

A writer for City Lab cites his 50 years of experience with the LAPD’s Traffic Safety Field for his belief that Vision Zero will fail in Los Angeles.

He blames the poor driving habits and rule violations of the city’s drivers, as well as LADOTs inability to transform the streets on their limited budget.

Both of which are legitimate, if not insurmountable, obstacles.

The whole point of Vision Zero is to recognize that drivers are human, and will make mistakes. Streets need to be designed in ways that keep those mistakes from turning into catastrophes. Which LADOT certainly knows how to do, if our city leaders will actually let them.

But we agree on one thing, at least.

The $24 million currently budgeted for Vision Zero is just a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of millions that will be required make a serious dent in traffic deaths, let alone end them by 2025, as the mayor’s plan calls for.

Unless the leaders of this city gets serious about funding the program, it will fail. Spectacularly.

And the blood that results from that failure will be on their hands.

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The long, cold winter of our discontent is finally drawing to a close.

Or spring, anyway.

Because the year’s second CicLAvia — and the first in Glendale and Atwater Village — is here.

The Eastsider looks at CicLAvia from the Atwater perspective, while Parksify considers how it can change the way we think about street design.

CicLAvia offers an interactive route map, along with a list of specials along the way.

And you can’t truly get the most out of CicLAvia without committing the Militant Angeleno’s epic guide to memory. Or your smartphone, anyway.

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Local

The LA city council has approved plans to reduce vehicular traffic and congestion at LAX, including improvements to increase bicycle and pedestrian traffic.

A new hotel-centric plan for Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station reduces the planned bike center by a whopping 4,000 square feet, from 4,600 to just 600. Which is not exactly the way to encourage people to leave their cars at home.

Burbank gives approval to a massive new development after getting a number of concessions from the builder, including $50,000 for an elevated bike lane on 1st Street.

A new report calls for LA County’s southeast cities — Bell, Bell Gardens, Commerce, Cudahy, Huntington Park and Maywood — to invest Measure M return funds to make the streets safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.

A Long Beach resident writes a semi-literate letter saying the city is pampering bicyclists with all those road diets and bike lanes, and shouldn’t build anymore until bike riders obey the law. Oh, and drivers need to obey the law, too.

 

State

A mom and pop Auburn bike shop fixes a young man’s bike for free at the request of their firefighter son after it was damaged in a crash, and tosses in a free helmet and lights, when they learn it was his only form of transportation.

Emeryville police are on the lookout for a bike-riding arsonist who allegedly burned down a $35 million complex under construction in the city. And not for the first time.

Davis unveils new wayfinding signs for bicyclists and pedestrians.

 

National

Over 300 people rode their bikes in honor of the victims of last year’s Kalamazoo massacre.

More information on the Indiana bike rage case we linked to yesterday; a women says a male bicyclist broke the mirror of her car after getting angry over her driving, then physically attacked her when she stopped to examine the damage.

A writer for the Daily News says New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare system has stopped growing, and points the finger at the city’s mayor.

After a New Jersey teenager steals a bicycle to get to school on time, the local police suggest setting your alarm, and putting out your clothes and packing a lunch the night before to avoid running late. No, really.

Riders in the New Orleans edition of the World Naked Bike Ride will avoid Bourbon Street this year, after people couldn’t keep their hands and comments to themselves on last year’s ride.

The South Carolina teacher who raised enough money to buy every kid in her school a new bike has quit her job, after deciding her true calling is to raise enough money to buy one for every kid in the county school district.

Apparently, running a stop sign and killing a ten-year old girl riding her bike to school is no big deal in Florida.

 

International

So much for the Hippocratic Oath. A Good Samaritan ran inside for help following a collision directly in front of a British hospital, only to be told they couldn’t spare anyone to save the life of a dying bike rider.

Bicyclists in a British town are threatened with possible jail sentences for running red lights, after a bike rider receives a four-figure fine for knocking down a 90-year old woman when he blew through a light. Maybe they should move to Florida, where that doesn’t seem to matter.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a careless driver walks without a single day behind bars for killing a 67-year old man riding his bike.

A member of India’s parliament was arrested for circumventing police barricades by bicycle and on foot in a failed attempt to reach the site of a fatal police shooting during a protest. Yet all a government minister can do is criticize him for not wearing a helmet.

 

Finally…

Who gets the ticket if you’re brake-checked by a self-driving car? If you’re going to shoot someone with a flare gun loaded with Rice Krispies, a bicycle makes a great getaway vehicle.

And you’re not truly a hipster until you have your own wooden e-dandy horse.

 

Morning Links: Happy 200th bike birthday, US traffic fatalities jump, and DMV says no parking in bike lanes

If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t miss yesterday’s guest rant on why motorists hate bicyclists.

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Stop whatever you’re doing, and read this.

Hollywood Reporter editor Peter Flax has written a truly exceptional piece on the 200th birthday of the bicycle. Or the forerunner of the bicycle, if you prefer.

And the star-crossed German inventor who brought it into existence.

What is the soul of a bicycle? Is it a pedal-driven drivetrain? Or is it more elemental than that — a human-powered, two-wheeled machine that must be balanced and steered? These questions seem to underscore the doubts many cyclists have when they ponder Drais’ invention — or a modern e-bike. Is it actually a bike if it isn’t entirely powered by pedals?

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

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If you thought American roads were getting worse, you’re right. After a decade-long downward trend, traffic deaths in the US jumped to an estimated 40,200 last year — the highest total in more than 20 years.

The news is no better here, as California traffic fatalities rose at more than double the rate of the US as a whole.

Authorities blame increased driving, prescription drugs and distracted driving.

Then again, there could just more people of color on the streets. According to a study from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, drivers are more likely to stop for a white person in a crosswalk than they are blacks.

Or if they’re rich, they’re less likely to stop, period.

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Came across this piece from the DMV while researching parking restrictions in bike lanes.

As it says, a bike lane is a dedicated traffic lane, and must be treated like any other traffic lane. That means parking in a bike lane is clearly prohibited, just like it is in an HOV lane, turn lane, or the #1, 2 or 3 lanes.

Remember that the next time you see someone parked in one. Although you might have to explain it to the local authorities.

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More endorsements for LA City Council from Bike the Vote LA, as they call for re-electing Mitch O’Farrell in CD13 and Bob Blumenfield in CD3.

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After most Russian athletes were tainted by charges of systematic doping, they’re recruiting Australian former world track champ Shane Perkins to ride for them.

The UK’s Cyclist Magazine explains everything you need to know about Europe’s one-day classics.

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Local

After years of discussion, Metro approves a budget for a Bike Hub at Union Station.

CiclaValley goes riding in Griffith Park.

The Monterey Park Police Department is the latest to step up enforcement of violations that can lead to serious injuries to bike riders and pedestrians. Observe the usual protocol today; ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits.

A new survey says Agoura Hills residents like bike lanes, but they hate traffic.

Redondo Beach considers beautifying the bike path at the north entrance to town with drought-resistant plants, as well as widening it to accommodate more people on foot.

 

State

Even tiny Joshua Tree is about to get its first bike lane. Although putting it behind traditional angled parking is just asking for trouble; back-in angled parking would be much safer.

Santa Barbara police blame a bike rider for colliding with a car, saying he gained too much speed coming out of a driveway; fortunately, he seemed okay other than some road rash.

A Fresno rider calls for improving the relationship between motorists and cyclists.

San Jose’s traffic columnist explains what sharrows are, but misses the opportunity to explain what they mean.

More sad news from Northern California, where a 77-year old man riding a bike was murdered by a hit-and-run driver; it’s the second Sacramento bicycling death in two days. And a Napa man was found dead on the side of a highway in what appears to be a solo bike crash.

Davis police bust the bike-riding mosque bacon draper.

An Oroville man was reunited with the bike and trailer he abandoned on the side of the road when everyone downstream from the damaged dam was evacuated. Although you’d think a bike would have been the best way to get out.

Horrible news from Redding, as a bike rider was shot and killed by a motorist in a road rage dispute. But the man had a concealed carry permit, so that makes it okay, right?

 

National

US News & World Report says ditch your car if you want to save real money. Who even knew they were still around?

Ditching your car could also save your life; heart disease is expected to be a $1.1 trillion dollar problem by 2035, with 45% of Americans suffering from some form. Fortunately, the cure could be as simple as getting more people out of their cars and onto bicycles. Thanks to my brother Eric for the heads-up.

PeopleForBikes looks at my already very bike-friendly hometown, as it prepares to get even more so. Every place I’ve ever lived has made great changes to become bike-friendly only after I left. Maybe I need to leave Los Angeles so it can finally make some real improvements on the street.

Bicycling Magazine looks at the nation’s first glow-in-the-dark protected bike lane at Texas A&M.

West Virginia considers stronger penalties for hit-and-run by making it a felony with up to three years in prison; right now it’s just a misdemeanor.

Sad news from DC, as the founder of the Rails-to-Trails movement has died from acute myeloid leukemia; David Burwell was 69.

The Big Easy demos the city’s coming bikeshare system.

 

International

Life is cheap in Britain, where a star player for the Southampton soccer team faces just a driver’s education class after admitting to careless driving in a collision that left a bike rider with critical injuries; the victim got a equivalent of a $37 fine for going through a red light.

An Irish man with schizophrenia says he doesn’t remember punching a man in his 60s and knocking him off his bike, but he’s very, very sorry.

The Copenhagen-based makers of the Bullitt cargo bike hire an illustrator to turn their cargo boxes into works of art, too.

A Kiwi cyclist was knocked cold in a moped hit-and-run. A she was helmetless, after her bike and helmet were stolen last week.

Caught on video: A Jeep driver cuts off a sidewalk-riding Aussie bicyclist in the right-hand drive equivalent of a right hook. Despite what the story implies, there’s no question who is at fault. And it ain’t the guy on the bike.

 

Finally…

Forget scofflaw cyclists; Millennial drivers are the real road terrors. If you run over protesters, you’re the victim.

And don’t smash mirrors, dude.

 

Morning Links: More on Vision Zero plan, call for killer driver to turn herself in, and OC man has 9 DUIs in 6 years

As we noted last week, the City of Los Angeles has finally released its Vision Zero Action Plan, explaining in detail how it plans to reduce traffic deaths by 20% this year, and eliminate them entirely by 2025 — just eight years away.

Comments to the plan continue to roll in.

Today, Vision Zero Alliance member Bobby Peppey is sharing a letter he wrote in response to the plan.

Note: While Peppey is a member of the VZA, he want to make it clear that these are his opinions, and do not necessarily reflect those of the alliance. 

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There is a serious problem with LADOT’s Vision Zero Action Plan (VZAP) that wasn’t mentioned in LACBC’s excellent letter.

The lack of mention of lowering speed limits from the deadly 35/45mph to safer speed limits of 25/15 mph on Los Angeles HIN or other City streets in the VZAP.

Safer, slower top speed limits have been instituted by New York City, Seattle, Boston and in other North American cities.

Yes there is the California Speed Trap law and its 85 percentile rule that  supposedly forces City’s to raise limits as Joe Linton mentions in his article last spring. There are exceptions in the law to this rule that are manifest on all of the HIN streets that can easily be implemented to lower the speed limits on these streets.

On page 15 is the only mention of lowering speed limits in the plan, “A speed-limit reduction may be more appropriate on streets where children walk to school.” In my experience children walk on all sorts of streets and not only to get to school.

There is some amorphous language on page 36 as follows, “Vision Zero for Los Angeles will pursue local, state, and federal legislation that strengthens traffic safety policy…”, but the VZAP doesn’t go on to then state what policy changes will be pursued by the City.

More ominous in VZAP are the BENCHMARKS on page 37. The second row concerns finishing speed surveys conducted by LADOT but does not state what the results of these surveys will be.

In Joe Linton’s June 9th article in StreetsblogLA concerning the City Council Transportation Committee meeting of June 8th, he states that “LADOT General Manager Reynolds stressed that speed surveys and resultant speed limit increases are needed.”

Earlier at the same meeting Ms. Reynolds stated “IF WE COULD GET EVERYBODY IN THE CITY TO SLOW DOWN TO A SAFE SPEED, WE COULD SAVE HUNDREDS OF LIVES EVERY YEAR.” This quote is verbatim from the printed minutes of the meeting.

We live in a City (second largest in the US) that is now facing down the full brunt of the power of an arch-conservative unified federal government on the issue of immigrants rights, one of the most significant human rights battles of this century for our Country.

That the City of Los Angeles is not willing to deal with the same vigor towards Caltrans, and the State of California’s terribly inequitable Speed Trap Law; when our City is suffering from an epidemic of Kills and Serious Injury (KSI) of persons who walk, ride a bike or use transit on its sidewalks, crosswalks and streets is stunning.

Sincerely,

Bobby Peppey

Vision Zero Alliance member

Advisory and Policy Committee

Enforcement Committee

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Meanwhile, a governing website explains what Vision Zero is, and says the hardest part for cities is making the long-term commitment necessary to make it work.

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KCBS-2 reports that relatives of Agustin Rodriguez, the bike rider killed in a hit-and-run in Whittier Monday morning, call on the driver to turn herself in while describing her as a monster who murdered the father of three.

Considering that she dragged him the length of two football fields, they’re probably right. Anything less than a murder charge would be an abject failure of justice.

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This is why people continue to die on our streets. An Orange County man was arrested for DUI on Sunday after crashing into a utility box in Placentia and attempting to run away.

Police quickly discovered that the driver, 52-year-old Derek Stacy Haskayne, was already on probation for a previous felony DUI conviction.

In fact, he’s had eight DUI convictions since 2011.

Read that again. Eight DUI convictions — not just arrests — in the last six years. And yet he somehow still manages to remain behind the wheel, placing every other human being on the roads at risk.

We can talk all we want about Vision Zero. But as long as people like this are allowed own, buy, rent or borrow a motor vehicle of any kind, innocent people will continue to die.

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

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The route was announced for this year’s edition of the Amgen Tour of California, as well as the separate but unequal four-stage Breakaway from Heart Disease women’s race. The last three stages will be set in SoCal, including a Mt. Baldy finish in stage 5, a Big Bear time trial, and a Pasadena finish for the final stage, while the women won’t get any closer than Sacramento.

Deadspin says if motor doping exists, the 60 Minutes report didn’t prove it. Of course it exists; the only question is whether it’s actually being used in the pro peloton.

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Local

A bike rider was one of three victims stabbed in an apparent random attack on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood before police shot the attacker inside a Jack in the Box.

A bike-riding homeless man was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for the unprovoked fatal stabbing of a AAA tow truck driver in Pico Rivera last year.

Los Angeles now has the largest bicycle paramedic corps in the US, allowing rescuers to quickly navigate crowded streets and sidewalks.

The East Side Riders Bike Club and Los Ryderz BC invite you to join them for the annual Ride for Love on February 12th.

Actress Bella Thorne is one of us, going for a beachfront bike ride in Santa Monica.

The former Governator goes for a bike ride in Venice after calling out Trump for making the US look stupid.

LA Downtown News looks at former bike shop owner Josef Bray-Ali and his uphill battle to unseat anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo in LA’s 1st Council District.

 

State

Streetsblog talks with BikeSD founder Sam Olinger, who’s helping to reshape San Diego into one of California’s safest city’s for bicyclists.

Bad enough an Escondido man got carjacked at knifepoint; they also got away with his bike.

Hop on your bike later this month for a tour of the doors of Palm Springs.

Santa Cruz police bust five bike thieves using a bait bike.

It looks like Monterey’s Sea Otter Classic will be around for awhile, after inking a contract extension with the Laguna Seca racetrack for the next 15 years.

A San Jose columnist defends a local road diet, calling it a proven safety measure even if some people don’t like it. Speaking of which, Streetsblog reports on Oakland’s successful Telegraph Avenue road diet, which cut all crashes by 40%.

 

National

A new study shows that physically active children are less likely to be depressed, just like teens and adults. Which is as good a reason as any to get them started riding a bicycle as early as possible.

Bicycling offers beginners tips on how to ride every day, and why you should.

Women’s Day tells drivers to use the Dutch Reach, aka opening a car door with your right hand to avoid dooring bicyclists.

The Denver Post calls on the state to pass the proposed Idaho Stop Law, while noting it’s probably a bill before its time. Meanwhile, a Colorado woman isn’t sure about the proposed law after she was seriously injured by a red light-running bike rider. Even though running a red light would remain illegal; the law would require riders to come to a full stop, then proceed only when it was safe to do so.

Nebraska introduces a new bike-themed license plate.

Life is cheap in Iowa, where killing a bike rider taking part in the state’s annual RAGBRAI ride only merits a misdemeanor charge.

A Houston writer looks at her great uncle’s bike tour of Europe in 1939, culminating in a photo of the Fuhrer as the continent geared up for war.

 

International

Once again, the bike rider wins in a race across a city, this time in London where a cyclist beat someone traveling by the tube by 17 minutes. Apparently driving was so hopeless it wasn’t even worth trying.

Kindhearted UK cops pitch in to buy a boy a new bike after his was stolen, not once, but twice as he travelled to see his sister at a children’s hospital.

A British writer says, contrary to what the country’s transportation secretary says, cyclists are not part of the problem.

A Brit driver faces charges for driving onto a pathway to run down a bike rider after hearing rumors the man may have been the one who stole his bike.

A British government inquiry hears that London’s bicyclists are being failed by the justice system, and vows to investigate the problem. Chances of that ever happening with the US Congress are somewhere south of zero.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a hit-and-run driver is fined the equivalent of just $471, after claiming he had no idea he hit a bike rider because his music was too loud. Or maybe he just turned it up so he couldn’t hear the screams of his victims.

Riding a bike in Johannesburg can be a matter of life and death — not from distracted drivers, but because of armed bikejackers.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. You should have a flasher on your bike, not be one. Actually, the biggest mistake you’re making at SoulCycle is not getting outside on a real bicycle.

And what’s next, mandatory ladder helmet laws?

 

Morning Links: Hit-and-run runs rampant throughout CA; video shows plans for Puente Hills Landfill park

If you think the hit-and-run epidemic is getting worse, you’re right.

Stats wonk Ed Ryder does a great job of mining the CHP’s SWITRS database; in the past, he’s created detailed charts to help us understand traffic collisions on PCH, as well as in LA and Orange Counties, and around the state.

So when I met with a state legislator to discuss the problem of hit-and-runs recently, I asked Ryder if he could delve into the database once again to show just how big a problem it really is.

And big is putting it mildly.

As his report shows, it’s goes way beyond bad, and it’s only getting worse. Not just here in LA, but nearly everywhere in California.

In fact, from 2004 to now, a driver fled the scene in nearly 20% of all crashes in the state.

1-overview

After dropping to a low of 17.4% of all collisions in 2011, hit-and-run has made a big comeback, climbing to 19.5% in 2015, and 20% to date in 2016.

2-total-collisions

Note: It should be noted that the more recent figures are preliminary, since there’s a significant lag time in reporting statistics to SWITRS. And these stats only include death and serious injuries; adding property damage would boost the percentages significantly.

The sheer numbers are staggering, with nearly 300 deaths due to hit-and-run collisions in recent years, and over 20,000 injuries.

4-killed-and-injured

As the following chart shows, the costs are huge, not just in terms of human suffering, but in the economic loss to society, as well.

3-hit-and-run-costs

Not surprisingly, Los Angeles County is the state’s overwhelming leader in hit-and-run deaths, with San Diego, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties fighting it out for 2nd place.

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Injuries paint an even more dramatic picture, with LA County accounting for over half of all hit-and-runs resulting in injuries.

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However, that is partly a function of LA’s sheer size. When you look at hit-and-run collisions as a percentage of population, a much different picture appears.

While LA still leads in injury collisions, it drops to ninth in fatalities.

7-fatality-rate

8-injury-rate

It’s possible that may be due to better access to emergency care compared to less urban counties like Kern and Tulare, where it could take significantly longer to get to a trauma center following a crash. As well as slower speeds resulting from traffic congestion and lower speed limits in urban areas.

Regardless, it’s clear that hit-and-run is a problem that affects the entire state.

And it’s not going to go away until we do something about it.

You can download Ed Ryder’s full report here.

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A new video explains the plan for the Puente Hills Landfill park, which was approved by the county supervisors yesterday.

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The route has been announced for next year’s 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia, once again with a focus on climbing.

A 46-year old British amateur cyclist has received a four year ban for using EPO, just months after being banned for using another substance. But cycling doesn’t have a cheating problem anymore. Right?

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Local

Today is the last day to weigh in on the proposed Rail-to-River bikeway connecting the Crenshaw Line to the LA River through the southeast cities.

New signs are being installed on the LA River bike path telling riders to slow down in areas where more people walk. CiclaValley prefers to look on the bright side, noting that part of the bike path closure is due to improvements, even though we may not see them for the foreseeable future.

Pasadena will discuss plans for the coming Metro Bike bikeshare system at a public meeting this Thursday.

Long Beach police receive a $400,000 grant to improve traffic safety, including DUI, distracted driving, and bike and pedestrian safety enforcement.

 

State

A San Diego cyclist is asking for help remembering what the hell happened to him; he found himself standing bloodied and confused in a Target parking lot two miles away with a cracked skull and multiple facial fractures after going for a bike ride, with no idea how he got there.

San Diego offers proposals to discourage driving without increasing density, including counting on autonomous vehicles to reduce the need for parking and room for bike lanes.

While we’re on the subject of our neighbor to the South, San Diego’s CicloSDias ciclovía is looking for volunteers for this Sunday’s 4th annual open streets event.

San Francisco will get its first parking protected, elevated bike lane in the Mission District, but only for one block.

The San Francisco Chronicle looks at the “pack of vigilantes” altering the city’s streets to improve safety for bicyclists; a new video shows how it’s done.

 

National

Streetsblog looks at how American cities can protect cyclists from deadly trucks. It shouldn’t be left to individual cities or states; the federal government should mandate new trucking standards to improve safety for everyone.

Evanston IL city leaders propose removing a new bike lane from one side of the street to improve safety for motorists. Yes, you read that right; they want to sacrifice the safety of people on bicycles to protect the ones surrounded by a few tons of glass and steel. 

A Massachusetts blogger and mountain biker offers real world advice on bike commuting.

A 28-year old New York woman writes in Vogue about learning how to ride a bike as an adult to prepare for a trip to Copenhagen. Yes, Vogue. Evidently, we’ve become stylish.

Bike ridership continues to climb in New York, though lower income communities are being left behind as most protected lanes go into more affluent areas.

A 67-year old Virginia cyclist may be the oldest woman ride solo across the US.

ABC News reports on the South Carolina teacher who is raising funds to buy a bicycle for every student at her disadvantaged school.

 

International

Relatives of people killed on Toronto streets have formed their own traffic safety group to call for an end to road violence.

An Ottawa bike rider was hit by a car while riding in a new bike lane, just hours after it was officially opened. Which is a pretty good sign that a little paint may not be sufficient.

A Canadian city is being sued over an allegedly unsafe bike lane following a collision. Not by the rider who was paralyzed in the crash, but by the driver convicted of causing it by making an unsafe turn.

A UK website goes back 40 years to explain how Edinburgh became a bike-friendly city.

The creepy clown phenomenon continues to spread around the world, as a 15-year old New Zealand boy was frightened by a clown that threatened to kill him as he rode his bike. Although maybe it’s the clowns who should be scared.

Shanghai is offering ebike users a free electronic chip to track their bicycles if they’re stolen.

 

Finally…

Who needs carbon or Ti when you can have wood? It’s one thing to steal a boy’s bicycle; another to apparently steal the boy with it.

And it’s time to make bicycling great again, as a Trump supporter with a megaphone goes on an unexpected bike safety monologue.

Thanks to Cyclelicious for the link.

Morning Links: Traffic fatalities up nationwide, bike deaths reach 1990s levels; an NFL analyst says he’s sorry

It’s not your imagination.

Newly released government stats show America’s roads really are getting more dangerous.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic fatalities shot up 7.2% nationwide last year, the largest increase since Lyndon Johnson was president.

The total of 35,092 is still significantly lower than 2006, when 42,708 people died on American streets; however, this is the first year to defy the downward trend that has followed ever since.

Authorities say the increase is due at least in part to a 3.5% increase in vehicle miles traveled, which represents the largest increase in VMT in 25 years, spurred by lower gas prices and increased employment.

One in three fatalities involved drug driving or speeding, while one in ten involved distracted drivers.

Meanwhile, pedestrian deaths were up 9.5%, while bicycling fatalities increased a whopping 12.2% — both at the highest levels since the ‘90s, erasing two decades of safety gains.

That works out to an average of 96 people killed in traffic collisions every single day — more than two of whom were traveling by bicycle.

A genuine commitment to implement Vision Zero can’t come soon enough.

Or strongly enough.

………

Today’s common theme is follow-ups to a number of recent news stories.

Cycling in the South Bay writes about the NFL Network’s Heath Evans, one of several recent anti-bike tweeters, who actually had the courage to show up and apologize. And turned out to be a pretty decent guy.

Mountain bikers call BS on a Forest Service investigation that a bike pedal scraping a rock caused a forest fire near Mammoth Lakes.

A Toronto bike advocate concludes the Canadian senator who complained bike lanes were turning the city into a third world country is out of touch. To say the least.

 

Twitter users respond brilliantly to a recent misleading article suggesting London bicyclists are ignoring the city’s new bike superhighways.

………

Another day, another new leader in the Vuelta, and this time, by a wide margin.

America’s last remaining Tour de France winner claims to have developed a new process to dramatically cut the cost of carbon fiber. Let’s hope that means cheaper bike frames down the road.

………

Local

Richard Risemberg says the new Expo Line bike path isn’t just fragmented, it’s demented.

LAist hears from Angelenos who live carfree; most cite less stress as the primary benefit to traveling the city without the seemingly requisite cars; Kimpton Hotels tackles the same subject for travelers visiting California.

Bike Walk Burbank will hold their annual meeting on Sept. 7th.

 

State

The Newport Beach Police Department warns about an increase in bike thefts.

Evidently, drivers break the law, too; San Diego police list the leading offense drivers are ticketed for as speeding, followed by disobeying traffic signals and driving without a license. So evidently, bike riders aren’t the only ones who roll stops and red lights. Despite what this commenter has to say.

San Diego bicyclists take a moonlight ride in their undies.

Rancho Santa Fe announces plans to move and elevate El Camino Real, while converting it a complete street with bike lanes and sidewalks.

Moreno Valley police blame the victim after a teenage bike rider is left lying in the road by a hit-and-run driver, saying he rode through a red light.

Talk about burying the lede. A Thousand Oaks cyclist was apparently chased down and struck by a road raging driver, in a case the police are investigating as an assault with a deadly weapon, although the Ventura County Star insists on treating it as a hit-and-run.

A San Francisco man is under arrest for stabbing two strangers in the head with a screwdriver on a BART train, then making his escape by stealing a bicycling at knifepoint.

Sacramento is planning to make major changes to downtown streets to improve safety for bike riders and provide transportation alternatives in anticipation of a boost in population.

 

National

A conservation writer looks at the science behind cycling’s enormous gender discrepancy. Which you could probably have figured out on your own.

Alta Planning’s Mia Burk says the biggest change over the last 20 years is that active transportation has become mainstream.

Police in Anchorage AK are looking for a bike rider who has pepper sprayed at least four people.

Win your third consecutive gold medal, and maybe Boise ID will name a park after you, too.

More anti-bike sabotage, as someone tossed tacks on the route of an Illinois crit; eight riders luckily escaped serious injury in a pileup caused by flats.

A Minnesota letter writer says that despite complaints from some people, a busy street that recently underwent a road diet has never been safer, and the bike lanes are used year round.

In a strange case from Minnesota, a man on an motorized-assist bicycle was the victim of a fatal hit-and-run; a similar bike was found at the same location the next morning, but police suggest it’s just a coincidence. Evidently, people in Minnesota just happen to leave bicycles like that lying around for no apparent reason all the time.

Cincinnati’s Red Bike may be the country’s most profitable bikeshare system.

Players from ten states converge on Memphis for a laid-back bike polo tournament.

 

International

Officials in Matamoros, Mexico, and Brownsville, Texas are planning to link the cities with a cross-border bike path. Maybe they can build a tunnel through Trump’s wall if he gets elected.

A new Canadian study shows having bikeshare stations nearby boosts property values up to 3%.

An English city belatedly realizes that they didn’t actually ban bikes from eleven streets, but only restricted the hours bicyclists could ride in pedestrianized areas. And can’t decide on who’s supposed to enforce it.

Paris ups the ante on open streets, banning cars from the entire city for one glorious day next month.

A New Zealand website says e-bikes aren’t cheating.

Caught on video: After an Aussie cyclist flipped off the truck driver who nearly ran him off the road, the driver got out of his cab to repeatedly threaten the rider.

Now that’s more like it. Japan is considering requiring car makers to include safety features to protect bike riders in crashes, including possible changes to the upper parts of vehicles. That’s because bike riders sit higher than pedestrians, and tend to strike the hood and windshield of cars in a crash. Although the better solution is not to hit them in the first place.

A Malaysian cyclist offers the fine points of using a bicycle to solve the first mile/last mile transit connections. Most of which would apply here, as well.

 

Finally…

Regardless of how annoying it is when drivers honk at you, please try to keep your pants on. Now that’s what I call a fat bike.

And your helmet may not protect you from a speeding car, but it could save you from a leaping stag.

 

Weekend Links: Traffic and bicycling fatalities jump, help fix Forest Lawn Drive, and ride-off with Metro Bike

Just a few quick notes before we break for the holiday weekend.

……..

So much for peak driving, as driving hit record levels, with Americans putting in more miles on the road 2015 than ever before.

Along with it comes a 7.7% jump in traffic fatalities, with bicycling fatalities up 13%, and pedestrian deaths climbing 10%.

But the increase wasn’t just because of the record driving levels. The rate of traffic fatalities also increased to 1.12 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, up from 1.08 the year before.

A genuine nationwide commitment to Vision Zero can’t come soon enough.

……..

If you’ve ever ridden LA’s Forest Lawn Drive, you know what a challenge it can be to navigate the crumbling road surface.

Cyclist Craig White has started a petition calling on Councilmember David Ryu to fix the roadway to make it safe for people on bicycles.

It’s well worth taking a few moments to sign.

……..

Metro is looking for people to ride in Thursday’s kickoff event for the Grand Opening of the Metro Bike Share at Grand Park in DTLA on Thursday.

Metro Bike Share is launching with up to 65 stations and 1000 bicycles in Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) on July 7, 2016!

Join Metro, the City of Los Angeles and the Downtown community in a celebration at Grand Park with music, snacks, and a chance to be the first to test ride the new bikes for free!

The Metro Bike Share Launch and Ride-Off Event will culminate with a bike ride to experience a new way to see DTLA.

To sign up for the ride-off, select your preferred station destination from the ticket options provided. You’ll be assigned a bike and asked to sign a waiver as a part of the registration process. Please note: Sign ups are first come first served, so don’t miss out. Don’t forget to bring your helmet!

If you are interested in leading a ride group, please email us at [email protected]. Ride leaders get a special Metro Bike Share gift for helping out!

Remember this is a ride-off, so make sure to pick a station close to where you want to end up! We recommend arriving to the event by Metro Rail, bus, or by walking. Plan your trip at Metro.net or use the transit setting on your preferred map application.

Launch Party schedule:

  • 11-11:30am – Check-in
  • 11:30am – Celebration
  • 12pm – Press Conference
  • 12:30pm – Ride-off

Click here to RSVP asap!

……..

Nice piece from Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman, as she stops to help a young man patch his tube, only to discover it wasn’t fixable.

Fortunately, though, he was, as he tells her about the metal rod in his back after recovering from being hit by a car six months earlier.

……..

Sad news from Chicago, as a woman was killed riding one of the city’s Divvy bikeshare bikes, in what is believed to be the first bikeshare fatality in the US.

Thanks to Steve Herbert for the heads-up.

……..

Long-time reader Fred Davis forwards an excerpt from former New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan’s book Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution discussing the fight for bike lanes, and the inevitable bikelash that followed.

……..

The Guardian traces a cycling path through literature.

……..

A suspected bike thief was caught on video in Long Beach’s Belmont Shore.

……..

My formerly sled dog-racing brother, now living in Colorado, forwards news of an Aspen area bike trail being closed due to too much adorableness.

A rider took a photo of three mountain lion kittens on the side of the trail. Which means that mama was undoubtedly nearby somewhere. And not likely to look kindly on anyone getting too close to her brood.

……..

Have a great 4th of July weekend.

But don’t forget that holiday weekends mean more drunk and stoned drivers on the road. And more people more focused on finding a parking space than looking for bicycles in front of them.

So ride safely and defensively this weekend. I want to see you all back here on Tuesday.

 

Morning Links: US traffic deaths are down, while bike fatalities go up; more groups spread holiday bike cheer

According to the latest stats from the NHTSA, overall traffic deaths in the US are down slightly, while bicycling fatalities are the only category that went up in 2013.

That increase, to 743 cycling fatalities — up from 726 the year before — is most likely due to increased ridership.

Which doesn’t make it acceptable.

……..

‘Tis the season.

Redlands police donate 23 bikes to help veterans in the Inland Empire. The Santa Barbara Bike Coalition gives shiny new bikes to 24 kids; thanks to Megan Lynch for the link. A Sonoma County businessman donates 150 bikes to kids in need. A San Jose bike charity donates 2,700 bicycles to local kids. Oregon elementary school kids get 25 new bikes.

Why do these stories matter?

Because this is the next generation of bike riders. And every kid — or vet, for that matter — deserves the chance to ride a bike, regardless of whether they can afford one.

……..

Local

Streeetsblog wants your vote for the annual Streetsie Awards for Elected Official and Civil Servant of the year; I’m proud to have a couple of those on my mantle. Not that I actually have a mantle, but still.

A bike riding 24-year old mother fights for safer spaces for her daughter.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a free bike valet at the city’s big party at Downtown’s Grand Park. About time LA did the New Year right.

 

State

A Newport Beach bike rider suffers minor injuries in a right hook.

The wrong-way and allegedly intoxicated San Diego driver who hit a group of cyclists on Fiesta Island, leaving one paralyzed from the waist down, is found competent to stand trial. Although her lawyer successfully argues for a second opinion.

San Diego is sued over a recently installed road diet and bike lane, claiming the city did an inadequate CEQA review; however, California law was recently changed to exempt bike lanes from environmental review.

A bike rider suffers moderate injuries in a Desert Hot Springs collision after he allegedly runs a red light.

A Bakersfield family asks for help after a 46-year old grandfather is killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike.

The new three-foot passing law gets a thumbs-up from San Jose cyclists; not so much from a local pedestrian.

Evidently, a NorCal driver failed to note the three-foot law, as he whacks a Siskiyou County physician with his right mirror; the victim suffered a broken collarbone.

 

National

Bicycling’s Elly Blue offers an interview with the founder of Black Girls Do Bike.

The editor of an Arizona newspaper reminisces about the places a bike can take you.

The Denver Post questions the $16.5 million cost of the new 18 mile bikeway paralleling a newly rebuilt highway. Funny, but they don’t seem to question what it cost to build the part cars will travel on.

The penultimate stage of next year’s USA Pro Challenge will end in my hometown.

Sadly, a research scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory lost his life in a mountain biking fall.

 

International

Now that’s more like it. A diabetic motorist in the UK is sentenced to fifteen months in jail and banned from driving for 20 years — yes, years — for killing a cyclist after he failed to monitor his blood sugar levels.

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider confronts a motorist who nearly hit him after not clearing the ice from his windshield; the driver claimed he could see clearly, but somehow couldn’t see the cyclist.

A British bike rider feels like a pariah when his bike is attacked for taking up space on a train.

Russell Crowe takes the cast of his new movie on 30-mile bike rides to bring more energy to the set.

A Philippine priest rides over 1,100 miles to raise awareness of climate change.

Over 600 bike riders have been busted for drunk bicycling under Taiwan’s new BUI law. And fined the equivalent of a whopping $9 to $18 dollars.

 

Finally…

A bunny gets trapped in the wheel of a mountain bike, and somehow hops away relatively unscathed; and yes, you really do need to see the photo. Former Talking Head David Byrne discusses the joys of bike riding.

And unbelievably, three Dallas cyclists are harassed by a driver who deliberately knocked one off his bike, then got out of his car and started hitting him — and not only do police issue the attacker just a minor ticket for assault, they ticket the victim for taking a beating. Thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the heads-up.

……..

Please accept my best wishes for a very merry Christmas. And may this season bring peace and joy and bikes and love to you and all your loved ones.

 Silent-Night

Traffic deaths up nationwide in 2012, while US bike deaths increase 6.5%; plus lots of fresh bike links

The news is out, and it’s not good.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic fatalities are up for the first time in the last seven years, with 33,561 deaths in 2012, compared to 32,479 the year before.

That total includes 726 bike riders who lost their lives in 2012 — a 6.5% increase — and 49,000 injured. Pedestrians and cyclists represented 17% of traffic deaths, compared to just 13% in 2003.

Of course, it’s possible, even likely, that the increase in cycling deaths and injuries is a result of an increase in ridership, though we have no idea whether the increase is proportionate to the rise in cycling rates.

However, the increase may call into question the much-cited safety in numbers effect.

………

Just Ride LA has scheduled a bike race to benefit the Philippines on the 21st. Time is running out to save the Riverside-Figueroa bridge. Gary Kavanagh discusses mainstreaming bicycle lessons learned from bike-friendly Davis CA. Manhattan Beach approves sharrows, but not on Pacific. Women on Bikes’ Pedal Love project is raising funds to inspire women and girls to ride as part of their daily lives. Calabasas gets a new bike and pedestrian plan. While bike haters claim we don’t pay our fair share for the roads, Rick Risemberg points out it’s drivers who need to dig a little deeper.

The case of fallen Newport Beach cyclist Debra Deem has been referred to the Orange County DA’s office. A Corona del Mar cyclist is slightly injured in a collision on the Coast Highway, while another rider is injured in San Clemente. A San Diego driver parks his car in a bike lane, and the press blames a cyclist for running into it. Santa Barbara bike rider is injured in a train collision when he doesn’t bother to look before crossing the tracks; thanks to Danny Gamboa for the link. A road raging San Francisco driver is under arrest for intentionally running down a bike rider. San Francisco 49er players build bikes to give to kids. Chico paper says two recent fallen cyclists did everything right — then tells cyclists to obey the letter of the law to improve safety.

In a shocking display of bipartisanship, Congress members from both parties introduce the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act to set separate safety targets for motorized and non-motorized transportation. Stoplights made for cars leave cyclists stuck on red. Portland infographic clearly shows bikes aren’t getting a free ride. A Utah cyclist is injured because a teenage driver couldn’t take her eyes off the pretty foliage. Driver ticketed for a fatal left cross in my hometown. The Boulder CO driver whose carelessness left ‘70s cycling legend Dale Stetina with life-threatening injuries faces charges, as well; Stetina could be out of the hospital next month. Eighty-five year old Iowa doctor still rides 100 miles a week, on skinny tires, no less. Getting it wrong: Time Magazine says Boston has finally solved bike sharing’s bike safety problem, which oddly hasn’t been a problem anywhere else. Glenn Beck, among others, urges New York’s new mayor to lose the bike lanes; better yet, let’s lose Glenn Beck and make the world a better place. Going to war over bike lanes and parking spaces in Alexandria VA.

A rash of fatalities strikes British cycling, with six dead in the last nine days — five in London alone. London’s mayor Boris is urged to take action, but shamefully chooses to blame the victims instead. How to stay safe on UK streets. Londonist considers how it would sound if we talked about all road users the way some people talk about cyclists, while a rider says, despite comments to the contrary, respect does not have to be earned. The Evening Standard says London can be a cycling city to rival any in Europe with a different approach. Authorities conclude that a bike-riding British spy died after somehow locking himself into a sports bag; yeah, that’s credible. Bike riding is up in Edinburgh as driving rates drop. Copenhagen design firm creates Lego-like snap-together tiles that can be assembled to create temporary cycle tracks; I like it. A UAE editorial calls for better protection for Emirates riders. Egyptian women are riding bikes in a fight for equality. Cyclists are dying at a faster rate on Australian roads. Thankfully, an Aussie cyclist suffers a massive heart attack while riding, but lives to ride another day. The husband of a fallen New Zealand cyclist calls for an attitude change on the country’s streets. Road raging Kiwi driver faces charges for pushing a rider off his bike, resulting in serious injuries.

Finally, Ireland gets tough on hit-and-run as a proposed law would increase penalties to up to 10 years, which sounds about right to me. And Bikeyface says your lights don’t work if no one can see them.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for bike friendly CA Assemblymember Mike Gatto, whose father was murdered in a home invasion robbery Thursday morning.

Traffic deaths are down, unless you’re on two wheels. Or two feet. Or driving a big ass truck.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released their latest figures for traffic fatalities in 2011.

And the news is not good for bicyclists.

While the overall traffic fatalities showed a nearly 2% decline, bicycle deaths shot up 8.7%, to 677 throughout the U.S. So much for the safety in numbers theory, as the increase is attributed to the higher number of riders on the road.

The news isn’t much better for pedestrians, as bipedalist deaths rose 3% to over 4,400. Then again, either one is better than drivers of large trucks, who saw an amazing 20% increase in fatalities in a single year.

Yet even with increases in virtually every category other than car and light truck drivers and passengers, the total number of traffic fatalities dipped to just over 32,000, the lowest level since 1949.

The Times quotes me as saying in response that bicycle fatalities are a largely urban phenomenon. What I meant by that is that there are more cyclists, and more traffic collisions, in cities, which explains the relatively high number of deaths here in Southern California, while more rural areas may only suffer a handful of deaths each year.

Which is not to say their experience is any less tragic or heartbreaking.

Or unnecessary.

It’s also unclear if the NHTSA figures includes bicycling deaths from various causes, or is limited to fatalities due to collisions.

My counts of 70 SoCal cycling fatalities last year, and 71 so far this year, include deaths due to all causes except for shootings — including solo falls, collisions with trains, and deaths due to natural causes while riding, which may not be included in the NHTSA figures.

We’ll have to wait until statistics for individual states are released to see if their totals are anywhere close to the numbers I’ve counted, which showed a significant increase over the NHTSA’s figures for 2010.

Or if it will be closer to the 49 deaths registered in 2010, before I started tracking them on my own.

Meanwhile, a Sacramento writer says to take those numbers with a grain of salt.

………

Los Angeles’ newfound commitment to bicycling helps make us smarter than our neighbor to the south; sorry San Diego. Women on Bikes SoCal interviews new Bike Nation bike share head April Economides. Long Beach releases ten years of data on the causes of local bike crashes; cyclists are to blame for the top three, which makes me wonder who compiled the figures and how. More on the Long Beach cyclist being named the city’s person of the year. An Orange County man is under arrest for stealing a five year old’s bike; the victim drew his own wanted poster. Fontana cyclist fights off would-be robbers on his way to work. A Marin writer says when police crack down on cyclists, it makes the road a more dangerous place. Sonoma County votes to screw cyclists and pedestrians. A Vacaville woman is looking for the good Samaritan cyclist who helped save the life of her bike riding husband.

Even Goldfish crackers are riding bikes these days — with a helmet, no less. Sometimes, the real victory is just not quitting; I’ve learned many times over that it’s always too soon to quit, whether on a bike or in life. Portland reaches double digits when it comes to kids bicycling to school; kind of sad that such a low number is such a big achievement. My Colorado hometown celebrates a winter Bike to Work Day; if they can do that on a chilly December day, why can’t we do it here in sunny SoCal? A Rochester NY cyclist is hit by a police cruiser; needless to say, it took little time to find the rider at fault. Pedestrians call for bike-only traffic signals in New York’s Central Park to address red light-running bike riders. Making the public health case for bicycling.

A Toronto writer explains why we mourn fallen cyclists. Alex Moulton, developer of the iconic small-wheeled Moulton bicycle, passed away at 92. A British driver who fatally doored a cyclist may not have seen his victim, after recently having his windows tinted to allow only 17% transparency. If there’s a war on Britain’s roads, only a small minority of drivers and cyclists are taking part; personally, I’d call that one a must read. An Aussie writer says it’s time to declare war on cyclists, because we’re so much more dangerous than motor vehicles; nice to know irresponsible journalism isn’t just an American phenomenon. Meanwhile, a local bike organization offers a more rational response. And an Aussie planning institute says give up on bikeways and turn them into Segway and scooter lanes, because their lazy ass countrymen won’t ride them anyway.

Finally, the Alliance for Biking and Walking is looking for nominations for their 2013 bike and pedestrian advocacy awards, both individual advocates and organizations are eligible. When you fill out your nomination, it’s spelled B-i-k-i-n-g-i-n-L-A.

Okay, okay, I’m kidding.

Sort of.

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