Tag Archive for traffic violence

Morning Links: Santa Monica Blvd green lane, bicyclist survives fatal PCH crash, and keep your hands to yourself

Green bike lanes are finally making an appearance on the south side of Santa Monica Blvd in the former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills.

Which is trying to reform while turning itself into the Scooter Black Hole.

Given how unlikely it was just a few years ago, this is a huge step forward, even if the lane does seem very cramped, offering just enough space for a single rider, with no room to pass without swerving out into traffic.

And the narrow bike lane means unless you hug the gutter, all those buses on Santa Monica Blvd will buzz by your elbow at far less than the required three foot passing distance.

I’m not sure this will bring many more riders out, but the green paint may make those who already ride Santa Monica Blvd feel more comfortable.

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A bike rider was collateral damage in yet another fatal crash on SoCal’s killer highway in Malibu on Friday.

The driver of a minivan jumped the center divider on PCH near Trancas Canyon Road and struck a pickup head-on, demolishing both vehicles.

Sadly, both drivers were killed; a passenger in one of the vehicles was slightly injured.

The bicyclist, who was not seriously injured, was struck by a wheel that flew off in the violent crash as he rode in the painted bike lane.

Needless to say, authorities suspect speed and alcohol were factors in the crash.

Another reminder that the deadly road most be tamed. And we’re all at risk until it us.

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Former pro and current author, fondo meister and YouTube star Phil Gaimon kicked over a hornet’s nest with this tweet over the weekend.

While most women agreed with him, some argued that they appreciate the help, especially from someone they know. And many men argued that they were just trying to help. Or something.

So instead of mansplaining, we get manpushing.

But there’s an easy solution to the problem. Just ask first. If a woman — or a man, for that matter — wants your help they’ll tell you.

And if they don’t, just nod politely and go on your way.

The same thing goes for offering advice.

Always ask for permission before you start spouting cycling tips; the other person may not want them, or may be following another program.

Although personally, I prefer to be a well, not a fountain. Most people will usually ask advice if they really want it.

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A New York bike rider shows what it’s like to ride in Gotham bike lanes. Which many LA bicyclists can relate to, as well.

Thanks to Patrick Murray for the link.

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Heartwarming story from Dayton OH, where someone left a pair of Target gift cards attached to a new bike helmet and riding gloves in a Target store, along with this message —

The note read, “Hi! Please enjoy this small, random act of kindness in honor of my father-in-law, Jeff-an avid cyclist, a lover of the outdoors, and an all-around awesome dude. The only thing that I ask is that you always wear a helmet when riding your bike, and that you send any spare good vibes and healing thoughts out his way to the Pacific Northwest.”

The woman who found it said she felt like it was meant for her, since she’d just started bicycling again after several years.

Let’s hope this sort of thing catches on.

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Local

LADOT has released a summary of the recent open house to discuss closing the ridiculous Northvale Gap in the Expo Line Bike Path, which resulted when local Cheviot Hills residents successfully fought the bike path when the Expo Line was built.

We haven’t checked in with Cycling in the South Bay for awhile, as Seth Davidson says thanks to a long list of people for their help with the first annual sixth All Clubs BBQ and South Bay Cycling Awards taking place this Sunday.

 

State

Southern California athletes are gearing up for the 10th Annual Gay Games, which started in Paris on Saturday, with events ranging from cycling and track and field, to dance sports and table tennis.

Bakersfield applies for funding for three safety projects, including a proposed six-mile, $8.2 million bike path along the Friant-Kern Canal.

A San Jose columnist says the road up the East Bay’s Mt. Diablo is too narrow and winding for full-size buses, after video shows a bike rider nearly hit head-on as a bus rounds a blind curve on the wrong side of the road.

Plans to expand San Francisco’s Ford GoBike docked bikeshare across the city are on hold, as city supervisors complain about process, and residents say they’d rather have the parking spaces.

Oakland is planning major safety improvements to five intersections around the Lake Merit BART station, including protected intersections.

Sad news from Pleasant Hill, where a man was killed in a collision with a big rig truck while taking a bike ride on his lunch break; local residents insist something like this was bound to happen.

 

National

Bike Snob says he’s been ensnared in Strava’s seductive web. And he likes it.

An Aspen, Colorado woman says if dirt bikes aren’t allowed to use the roads, bicycles shouldn’t either. So there. Note to world: Bike riders are expected to obey traffic signals and crosswalks, even if some don’t.

A Boulder CO newspaper profiles Spencer Powlison, the 34-year old mountain biker who plans to compete in the Leadville 100 on 1983 Stumpjumper that’s older than he is.

One more to add to your bike bucket list. A Wyoming writer sings the praises of the packed gravel Medicine Bow Trail west of Laramie, where you’re likely to see moose, elk and mule deer, and possibly a bear or two. Or maybe you’d prefer a tour of Spain’s Basque Country.

Kansas City gets its first parking protected bike lane.

A colorful Des Moines IA lane reduction and parking protected bike lanes have reduced collisions by 2%, while dropping injury collisions a whopping 58%. And contradicting claims by anti-road diet forces everywhere, it has shaved 30 seconds off response times by the fire department.

Oklahoma City’s weekly Donut Ride has been going strong since the mid-1970s, still led by the same, now 90-year old ‘bent rider.

Plans to build five miles of mountain bike trails in a Minnesota park could be on hold after the discovery of an endangered bumblebee.

Instead of just talking about homeless people, Detroit bicyclists are holding a ride to call attention to the problem and raise funds for a homeless recovery service.

This is why you don’t confront bike thieves yourself. A Cleveland man is in critical condition, and a woman injured, after they were both shot when they confronted two teens they accused of stealing their children’s bicycles. If you think you’ve found your stolen bike, call the police and let them deal with it; no bike is worth your life.

In a perfect example of automotive entitlement, a DC driver says she blocked a bike lane — and so what?

 

International

No bias here. The notoriously anti-bike owner of a Vancouver driving school says bike commuters are law-abiding, while daytime riders are a bunch of irresponsible scofflaws.

No bias here, either. A Vancouver mayoral candidate promises to rip out the city’s hugely successful bike lanes if she gets elected, and sic half the city’s parking enforcement officers on lawless bike riders and pedestrians.

No bias here, either. An Ottawa, Canada columnist says that instead of building bikeways, the city should crack down on bike riders and require riders be licensed, carry insurance and have license plates, to name a few on his long list of demands that he says would make bicyclists disappear. Which he thinks would be a good thing.

There’s a first. After an English driver buzzed a bicyclist, he stopped a little further down the road, got out and apologized. And the rider got the whole thing on video.

A Belgian bicyclist rode 7,500 miles from Lyon, France to Guangzhou, China on a solar powered ebike to win the first edition of a race intended to promote renewable energy.

A French mayor is warning about the dangers of illegally modified ebikes that can travel up to 30 mph, twice the country’s legal speed limit for ebikes.

Now that’s a bike ride. An annual night bicycle parade in Moscow drew an estimated 20,000 riders to call for better bike infrastructure, twice as many as last year.

Australia’s version of AAA says the country’s road safety strategy is failing and bicyclists are most at risk, as bicycling fatalities rise a frightening 80% in the past year.

He gets it. An Australian professor — and former UCSD prof — says it’s time to consider the needs of people above cars.

 

Competitive Cycling

A writer for VeloNews says Mexican cycling is failing at developing homegrown talent.

An elite Texas cyclist was airlifted to a Colton medical center after he was seriously injured after hitting a rock in the Tour de Big Bear; fortunately, he’ll be okay, though he’ll have to tend to an arm injury and some broken ribs.

Popular young Team Sky cyclist Egan Bernal suffered serious facial injuries in a crash with several other riders in Spain’s Clasica San Sebastian; he was later diagnosed with a nasal fracture and maxillary injury. Movistar’s Mikel Landa went to the hospital with a back injury as a result of the same crash.

The new six-part Amazon TV series Eat. Race. Win. follows Australia’s Orica-Scot team and the chefs who feed them as they compete in the Tour de France. The cyclists, that is, not the chefs.

Evidently, winning the Tour isn’t enough for newly famous Geraint Thomas, who wants to take on Eminem in an epic rap battle.

 

Finally…

If you want to see the pope, leave your car at home — but take your bike. We have to worry about crashing into cars parked in bike lanes; Colorado bike riders try to avoid crashing into mountain goats.

And you shoulda been in Bangalore in the ’70s and ’80, when bicycling was bliss.

Morning Links: Storm City Hall for safer streets on May 18th, and killer Kalamazoo driver convicted of murder

As the great prophet Howard Beale once said, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

And I’m willing to march on City Hall by myself if that’s what it takes.

I’ve spent the last several weeks trying, and failing, to get support from LA advocacy groups for a plan for bike riders and pedestrians to storm city hall on Bike to Work Day this month to demand safer streets.

While I understand their need for campaigns and strategic planning, too many people are dying right now. And too many city councilmembers are backing away from the promises we were made.

So if this isn’t the right time for action, when is?

As I struggled with my own anger over the recent rash of bicycling fatalities and fatal hit-and-runs, I kept coming back to the questions of if not me, then who? And if not now, when?

Do we wait until someone else dies? Or twenty more people?

Do we wait until the next road diet is cancelled by councilmembers caving to angry drivers and traffic safety deniers?

And when is the right time to demand demand safer streets? As the Chinese proverb famously says, the best time would have been 20 years ago.

The second best time is now.

It’s my intention to give the mayor and every member of the council a copy of Profiles in Courage and Do The Right Thing, and see if they get the message. If we can raise just $400 in the next week to cover the costs, I’ll do it.

Besides, we only need another $375, thanks to a donation from Douglas M to get things started.

But either way, I’m going to be there on May 18th, even if that means standing alone before the city council.

Because something needs to be done now.

I hope you’ll join me. And help spread the word, so we can get as many people as possible to show up that day.

And I hope you’ll consider making a contribution to help send a message to the council that it’s time to show a little courage and do the right thing.

Update: I’ve been reminded that the LA City Council doesn’t meet on Thursdays, so doing this on Bike to Work Day won’t work. 

The question is whether it’s better do storm city hall on Tuesday, May 15th after the Blessing of the Bicycles, Wednesday the 16th before the Ride of Silence, or Friday the 18th before Bike Night at Union Station.

So what works better for you? Let me know in the comments below.

Update 2: It looks like Friday, May 18th works for more people. So that’s the day we’re storming City Hall.

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Guilty.

In a verdict that shouldn’t surprise anyone, the driver responsible for the Kalamazoo massacre has been convicted on five counts of second degree murder for killing five bike riders in a drug-driven 2016 crash, and injuring another four.

Charles Pickett Jr. was also convicted of five counts of causing death while driving under the influence, after allegedly popping a handful of pain pills before getting behind the wheel. In addition, he had meth in his system as well as alcohol at the time of the crash.

Pickett now faces a possible life sentence when he’s sentenced next month.

A well-deserved one.

Thanks to Adam Ginsberg for the heads-up.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

In a heartbreaking story, a writer looks at the devastating effects of a Texas hit-and-run.

Boston magazine offers an in-depth examination of the events leading up to the death of a brilliant surgeon when she was right hooked by a truck driver while riding to work. And the police investigation that went out of its way to blame the victim.

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Local

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joined with other mayors around the world to issue a Commitment to Green and Healthy Streets, envisioning “a future where walking, cycling, and shared transport are how the majority of citizens move around our cities.” However, as Streetsblog points out, it takes more than lip service to be a climate mayor. It will be very hard for LA to live up to that commitment as long as city councilmembers are free to cancel safety and Complete Streets projects to appease angry drivers.

Streetsblog examines the dangers faced by many bike riders on the streets that go well beyond traffic safety. Like the 14-year old bike rider gunned down in a quiet Azusa neighborhood yesterday.

 

State

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) will relaunch their Go Human campaign throughout their six-county region for Bike Month.

Celebrate Bike Month with ten bike trails within ten miles of Morro Bay.

 

National

NACTO presents a nationwide study of bikeshare in the US; while docked bikes outnumber dockless bikes 56% to 44%, only 4% of the actual trips are taken by dockless bikeshare. Something that’s likely to change as dockless bikeshare matures in this country.

In an absolutely brilliant move — sarcasm intendedVista Outdoor responds to the recent boycott by bike retailers over the AR-15 rifles made by one of their subsidiaries by deciding to stop selling guns. And get those darn bike people off their backs by getting rid of their bicycling equipment divisions, as well.

You can now control your LED-lighted Lumos bike helmet with your Apple watch, assuming you have either one. Or buy them both at your friendly neighborhood Apple Store if you don’t.

NPR looks at the LaneSpotter app, which allows users to flag problems with bikeways in real time, like a WAZE for bike riders.

Building bamboo bikes in Oahu.

A Portland nonprofit intends to collect 1,000 bicycles in a single day to refurbish and donate to kids in need.

A Washington sheriff’s deputy says police have to actually observe a traffic violation, such as a violation of the three-foot passing law, in order to write a ticket. Unfortunately, the law is no different here in California.

A Seattle website says the ebike craze has become a verifiable movement in the city.

A Spokane WA bike commuter compares bicyclists to the NRA, and says some bike riders in the city are just jerks. Bicyclists are human, some humans are jerks. Therefore, some bicyclists will inevitably be jerks. Just like some drivers and pedestrians. 

Forget protein bars. Austin TX bike riders get free tacos for breakfast on Bike to Work Day.

Houston residents are calling for changes after two people are killed in the same spot while riding bikes in the last two years; a crowdfunding campaign raised $15,000 to send the latest victim’s body back to India.

Evanston IL city aldermen reject a call to remove a parking-protected bike lane, after a female alderman — alderperson? — calls them “an absolute disaster at rush hour.”

Speaking of Evanston, a local man discovers how it feels when his bike has a starring role in a police chase.

New York council members call on the mayor to stop the city’s ridiculous ebike ban, and talk with the food delivery riders who use them to develop new rules.

 

International

Cycling Industry News considers why the bike industry has such a hard time catching counterfeiters. Which is why you should always buy from a reputable source; any deal that seems too good to be true probably is.

An Ottawa TV station says people are taking to bicycles and ebikes to fight rising gas prices.

Cambridge, England council candidates consider calls to ban parents from driving their kids to school. Unlike the US, where schools attempt to ban kids from biking or walking to class.

One more to add to your bike bucket list — Spain’s sun-soaked Mallorca island.

Tel Aviv, Israel opens the first velodrome in the Middle East.

Around 50 Brisbane, Australia bicyclists stage a die-in to call for better bike safety, tying up traffic during the morning rush hour. While the technique can be effective, we don’t win any friends by inconveniencing people just trying to get to work.

 

Finally…

Ten ways to tell others on the road that an angel just got its wings. Call it a secure dockless bikeshare parking spot.

And the Foos are some of us, too.

Most of them, anyway.

 

Morning Links: Gardena motorcyclist murdered by road raging driver, Brompton recall, and bike giveaways

It’s penultimate day of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Just two days left in this fundraising campaign, the only time all year we beg shamelessly for your financial support.

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

Thanks to Jennifer S, Katherine D and Richard S for their generous contributions to help keep this site coming your way every day. And to everyone else who has opened their hearts and wallets over the past month.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

A 21-year old motorcyclist was killed by a road raging driver in Gardena yesterday, and the driver arrested on a murder charge.

One life has ended far too soon, leaving a hole that can never be filled in the lives of his loved ones. And another life has been thrown away, facing years behind bars.

What a senseless waste.

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If you bought a Brompton in the last three years, your bike could be subject to a recall.

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‘Tis the season.

Forty-one Dana Point children got new bicycles, locks and helmets through an earn-a-bike program run by the YMCA.

The family of a fallen bicyclist donated 13 bicycles to troubled Kentucky kids in memory of the man, who was killed by a drunken hit-and-run driver; his killer is serving a 35-year sentence for the crime.

An Ohio counseling center gave 50 bicycles to children with a history of abuse, neglect, and abandonment.

A Georgia Baptist church gives 160 new bikes to local kids as part of their annual bike giveaway.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton samples LA’s three dockless bikeshare systems, with LimeBike coming out the clear winner.

Despite the anti-road diet hysteria on LA’s Westside, the Eastside’s Alhambra Ave will be getting a road diet and new bike lanes in the El Sereno neighborhood; work is scheduled to begin next month.

A Burbank bike rider finally achieves his goal of getting a contestable ticket for riding a bike on the Mariposa Bridge leading to Griffith Park, where equestrians have succeeded in getting bicycles banned.

Long Beach will offer a free bike valet at their monthly 4th Fridays on 4th Street tonight.

Another great piece from Peter Flax, who created his perfect year on the bicycle by cutting the tech cord and embracing his life as a bike commuter and advocate.

 

State

A San Diego weekly issues a call to arms to fight a proposal to allow bicycles in wilderness areas, accusing a mountain biking group of working with Republicans to roll back protections of public lands. Although they seem somewhat confused about what a wilderness area is, since neither of the places they mention would be affected by the bill.

The CHP has found the damaged Prius that was involved in the hit-and-run that left a Fallbrook bike rider seriously injured last week, but haven’t been able to locate the driver.

A Visalia restaurant owner thanks the strangers who came to her aid when she was hit by someone riding a bike on the sidewalk; she is recovering despite being knocked unconscious in the crash.

Sad news from San Jose, where a bike rider was killed in an early morning hit-and-run as he rode in a bike lane.

A Berkeley cycle track made People for Bikes list of the country’s best new protected bike lanes.

Sad news from Santa Rosa, too, where a 67-year old man died nearly three days after his bicycle was rear-ended by a driver.

Oher cycling groups jump in to help after the Santa Rosa Cycling Club lost $150,000 worth of bikes and equipment when a wildfire destroyed the home they were renting for their headquarters.

Bighearted Chico fifth graders spent a month refurbishing old bicycles to give to kids through the Boys & Girls Club.

 

National

After Seattle bicycling rates drop .3% to a 2.6% mode share — still a number most cities, including Los Angeles, would envy — a radio host says bicycling will never catch on in the hilly city, despite “placating militant bicyclist activists.” Or maybe they’re just average people who want a safe place to ride their bikes.

A Phoenix homeowner was pepper sprayed by a bike riding “porch pirate.”

A Chicago bicyclist says the way the city designs protected bike lanes makes them death traps for bike riders.

Treehugger says bike riders in New York and Toronto are dead because trucks aren’t required to have side guards.

Business owners in Queens, New York blame a new bike lane for a drop in sales.

Pitch Perfect star Elizabeth Banks is one of us, shown riding an NBC Universal bike in a New York Times profile.

 

International

Life is cheap in Canada, where the death of a 17-year old girl riding her bike is officially considered just a tragic accident.

Calgary bicyclists say riding in foot-deep snow is no big deal. Meanwhile, Los Angeles drivers insist that no one will ride a bike in a sunny SoCal winter.

A letter writer says he can spot bike thieves from his seat at a popular Canadian diner in the middle of the night; he knows they must be bike thieves because they ride a different bike every night, and don’t use lights or reflectors.

After Canadian police recover a bicycle stolen from a British bike tourist in Niagara Falls, he donates it to a woman whose family helped him when he was stranded in the town.

Life is cheap in the UK, too, where a killer driver walks with just probation in the death of a bike rider, despite being convicted of careless driving.

The head of a British bike advocacy group was infuriated to have his own folding bike stolen from a train while he was talking bike safety with a stranger.

Caught on video: An Irish bicyclist is clipped by a driver after failing to signal or look before swerving into traffic.

Solar-powered ebikes outfitted with trailer chairs are serving as ambulances in Namibian villages.

In what has become an all-too common crime in South Africa, a cyclist was pushed off his bicycle and beaten with a pipe by robbers who took his bike and cellphone.

An Aussie rider received a six-figure court judgement three years after he was forced off the road by a truck driver, who was never identified; now fully recovered, he’s planning to ride as part of a two-person team in next year’s Race Across America, aka RAAM.

An Australian website explores what bikeshare programs need to succeed.

 

Competitive Cycling

A transgender Canadian cyclist is suing cycling’s governing body after she was forced to undergo humiliating gender verification exams, contending that rules allowing unqualified people to conducts the tests amount to a violation of human rights.

VeloNews names Dutch pro Anna van der Breggen their female cyclist of the year.

Chris Froome’s reputation is tarnished forever according to Lance Armstrong, who should know.

Suspended New Zealand cyclist Karl Murray will have to restart his nearly completed two-year doping ban after he illegally coached two young riders.

 

Finally…

Do you really need a concierge to tell you to ride a bike on Christmas Day? If your significant other won’t ride with you, don’t take it out on the koi.

And yes, car makers really are trying to kill us.

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Please accept my best wishes for a very happy holiday.

And stay safe out there this weekend. Remember that many drivers will be drinking, and those who aren’t are likely to be more focused on finishing their shopping than on looking for you.

I’ll be taking Monday and Tuesday off, but will probably be back with a post or two next week.

Merry Christmas!

Morning Links: Ryu keeps 6th Street auto-centric & dangerous, bike-riding heroes, and the war on bikes goes on

Just a quick reminder that tonight is the LACBC’s annual open house at their headquarters in DTLA. It’s free for members, and always a good time for a good cause. And a chance to meet some of the people helping lead the fight for a safer, more bikeable Los Angeles.

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In news that shouldn’t surprise anyone, Councilmember David Ryu has blocked plans for a road diet on 6th Street, bowing to the desires of pass-through drivers over the safety requests from the local neighborhood council.

Even though Ryu has always claimed he’d let local residents guide his decisions.

However, reports from people involved in the long and unsuccessful fight for a safer 6th suggested that he had long ago decided against the road diet, and that the recent public hearing and online poll were just a political fig leaf to give Ryu cover to go against the wishes of local residents.

Just as Gil Cedillo had conducted a number of sham public meetings before announcing his foregone decision to halt the shovel-ready road diet on North Figueroa that had been approved by his predecessor.

Consider this from Streetsblog’s story following Ryu’s public announcement yesterday morning.

Ryu hosted a meeting in October which featured inaccurate presentation boards. Meeting attendees were requested to fill out a survey that did not include the two options presented, nor the road diet plan as designed by LADOT and disseminated by MCWCC. Though the survey did not mention the road diet, according to Ryu, the survey results showed that only “Roughly 37 percent expressed support for a proposed road diet.”

Misleadingly, Ryu’s statement, and his website’s summary of survey results, relate that the survey found “Nearly 85 percent of respondents stated that a car is their primary mode of transportation,” though that question was not asked. Ryu’s survey asked respondents to “check all that apply” on a list of transportation modes that they use on 6th Street, so it is not mathematically possible to derive a valid percentage for car usage, much less whether a car is a respondent’s primary mode of transportation.

Instead, Ryu is going forward with his own dangerously auto-centric plan that residents fear will actually increase speeds on the street, while he downplays the dangers of speeding drivers — let alone the risk posed by drivers adhering to the already too-high speed limit.

Never mind that speed is a factor in virtually all traffic fatalities, since crashes at slower speeds are far more survivable than higher speeds.

You can read the full text of Ryu’s announcement here, along with Mid City West Community Council Chair Scott Epstein’s response.

I’ll leave you with this comment I received from one local resident.

I live on Hauser and 6th and can’t say how disappointed I am in the councilman. His half measure doesn’t even address the goal he says is the most important. His goal of adding turn lanes doesn’t extend past Burnside, leaving the site of a fatal crash on Cochran unaddressed.

I’ve been vocal about my support of the road diet and have felt dismissed and disregarded throughout. I’m incredibly disappointed in his lack of foresight, especially as he toots his own horn for adding dockless bike share with nowhere safe to ride them. It’s disgraceful the utter lack of infrastructure in our district, and ignorant of the issues facing our densifying city.

Thanks to Danila and Tyler for the heads-up.

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Once again, bike riders are heroes. Or make that twice.

A Greenfield CA cyclist trained in CPR saves the life of a man who collapsed on the side of the road.

A bike rider not only fishes a puppy out of a Vietnamese river, he uses his water bottle as a makeshift ventilator to get the dog breathing again.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A British bike rider was injured when two men on a passing scooter pushed him off his bicycle and into traffic.

A legendary Scottish rugby player was pelted with eggs from a passing car as he rode his bike in Glasgow.

………

This is the cost of traffic violence.

A world famous biologist and conservation scientist was killed in a collision while riding his bicycle in Cambridge, England.

A respected former Brown University engineering professor and real estate developer was killed in a Manhattan crash when he allegedly rode through a red light.

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‘Tis the season.

Members of the San Diego Los Angeles Chargers surprised students and staff at a Carson elementary school by giving new bicycles to nearly 150 kids, after originally showing up to give bikes to just five essay contest winners.

An Arizona program plans to give 116 kids  “better than new” refurbished bicycles this Christmas.

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It’s Day 14 of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

Thanks to Bryan Z, Jonathan P, and Dennis E for their generous donations to help support this site. It means a lot to me, especially on a day when we went dark.

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Local

As long as we’re discussing wrong-headed decisions by LA councilmembers, this one by Paul Koretz asking to have dangerous sidewalks removed from the prioritization for Vision Zero sets a new standard for dangerously low safety standards.

Downtown News says construction for the My Figueroa project is blocking parking spaces on 11th Street, and killing local businesses.

Walk Eagle Rock reports that three different dockless bikeshare providers — LimeBike, Ofo and Spin — can now be found on decidedly bike-unfriendly North Figueroa in Highland Park. Meanwhile, dockless bikeshare is driving bike ridership trends up in some cities across the US. Let’s hope that happens here and forces the city council to take notice.

 

State

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition will host an ‘80s themed Joy Ride to celebrate the organization’s 30th anniversary.

No bias here. San Luis Obispo’s anti-bike columnist creates the new religion of “Bikeology,” which he says rhymes with “Scientology,” as he insists the city council’s 11th Commandment is “Thou shalt bike!” Works for me.

A Los Altos columnist addresses the objections to a proposed Idaho Stop law in California.

Bike theft is nothing new. Stealing a San Francisco bike repair van may be.

A compromise with the San Francisco Fire Department means the parking spaces for a parking-protected bike lane planned for Market Street will be converted to a white loading zones instead.

When you see a homeless person on a $3,000 bike, there’s a good possibility it’s not his.

 

National

The National Complete Streets Coalition says no street is complete unless equity is taken into account.

Who needs a tent when you can travel with your very own bicycle camper?

The Seattle Times profiles the city’s chief traffic engineer and his efforts to reduce congestion and improve safety in the city.

A Colorado bike rider is dead because a driver couldn’t manage to keep her eyes on the road while turning off her car’s sound system. If you can’t perform a function while keeping your eyes on the road and at least one hand on the wheel, don’t do it. Period.

A 7-year old boy in Vicksburg MS gets a new bike as a reward, after the mayor sees him stop and put his hand over his heart when a funeral procession passed.

Caught on video: Florida police are looking for a man on a bicycle who shot at an officer who tried to pull him over for not having a taillight.

A Florida man has been arrested for the hit-and-run that killed a woman, who had been rescued from Hurricane Irma weeks earlier, while she was riding her bike last week.

 

International

Dockless bikeshare provider Obike is the latest company to suffer a data breach, exposing user information online for at least two weeks.

Seriously? A British Columbia man faces just a slap on the wrist for killing a bike rider when he crossed onto the wrong side of the road and slammed his car into five cyclists riding single file in the opposite direction.

A Toronto bike lane is a bike lane except when it’s hearse parking. Meanwhile, a Toronto man got his stolen $3,000 mountain bike back after he discovered it on Facebook 8,500 miles away in the Philippines Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the links.

Also from Toronto — and also courtesy of Bradwell — comes news that bicycling rates are surging in some neighborhoods, with up to 34% of people living in the downtown area reporting they commute by bike.

A new study from the UK suggests that the health risks from pollution outweighs the benefits of exercise along smoggy streets for people over 60. Meanwhile, another report says watching bicycling on virtual reality headsets could make people 40% more likely to take up bicycling.

It takes a real schmuck to steal the bicycle an English firefighter used to respond to emergency calls.

A Dublin, Ireland bike rider died following a collision with a pedestrian on a bike path. A tragic reminder that collisions between pedestrians and bike riders can be just as dangerous for the people on two wheels as the ones on two feet.

Two Northern Irish brothers got busted for selling $146,000 worth of bicycles on eBay that were stolen from a local bike store warehouse.

A British writer living in Denmark says there’s no need to rush to the gym when you can just run your kids to daycare in a cargo bike.

The Guardian asks if the famed Paris Vélib’ bikeshare system is already out of date.

An LA native discovers a deep connection with Israel from the seat of her bike.

Five battalions of Borneo soldiers are riding 614 miles on a good will tour to introduce the newly formed Border Guards.

 

Competitive Cycling

Irish cyclist Sam Bennett is rapidly becoming one of the fasted sprinters in the peloton, after choosing cycling over soccer at an early age.

UCI says after further review, Peter Sagan didn’t intentionally elbow Mark Cavendish after all, which led to his disqualification from the Tour de France; Peter Flax offers his own dramatization of those crucial 15 seconds.

VeloNews looks at next year’s pro team kits.

Phil Gaimon isn’t the only ex-pro chasing KOMs, as former Bora-Argon 18 rider Bartosz Huzarski is the new king of a Himalayan mountain.

After retiring as a cyclist, Britain’s five-time Olympic champ Bradley Wiggins is taking a crack at the country’s Olympic rowing team.

Join the Air Force, ride a bike.

 

Finally…

What every BMX rider dreams of — a $3,200 haute couture bike. Your next cycling jersey could be seven recycled plastic bottles.

And we may have to deal with impatient drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting trampled by wild elephants.

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On a personal note, thank you to everyone who reached out to me yesterday for their kind words and support. You really lifted my spirits on a day when I felt like I’d let you down for not writing anything.

 

Morning Links: Indignorant anti-road diet columnist, bike riders on the wrong end of guns, and more traffic mayhem

So wrong, in so many ways.

A columnist for the LA Daily News goes out of her way to demonstrate her near total ignorance of traffic safety, Vision Zero and “dangerous” road diets in a column saying the latter belongs in a Museum of Stupid Ideas.

Never mind that road diets have been shown to increase safety up to 47%. But why let a little detail like that get in the way of a good rant?

Then there’s her screed about Vision Zero coming from — gasp! — Sweden.

Common sense would tell you that traffic solutions should be developed locally without guidance from irrelevant foreign capitals, and that’s why common sense is not in the museum.

During 2016, the first full year of Vision Zero’s implementation in Los Angeles, fatalities in traffic collisions were up a horrifying 43 percent over the previous year.

Although she might have mentioned that all LA did in 2016 was develop a plan for Vision Zero. And to the best of my knowledge, talking about reducing traffic deaths has never caused a single collision.

Or that the purpose of Vision Zero is not to prevent traffic collisions, but to keep people from dying in them, by recognizing that people will always make mistakes, but better roadway designs can keep those mistakes from killing someone.

And never mind that virtually every traffic solution currently in use in LA came from somewhere else. From traffic lights and stop signs, to the billion dollar HOV lanes on the 405.

About the only innovation we can claim is the right turn on red light. Which isn’t exactly a template for safety.

But the topper is this one, where she goes out of her way to have it both ways.

Although city officials consulted extensively with community groups before turning eight-tenths of a mile of Venice Boulevard into one of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Great Streets,” the part of the plan that involved taking away a traffic lane in each direction wasn’t exactly displayed on street banners.

So she acknowledges that the city conducted extensive outreach. Then turns around and says it didn’t do enough outreach.

Maybe next time she should do a little basic research so she knows what the hell she’s talking about before flying off the handle.

Or wasting newsprint with uninformed drivel like this.

………

Today’s common theme is bikes and guns.

There are still no suspects in the fatal shooting of a popular Colorado mountain biker as he was riding last week; his body was discovered days later next to a trail.

A Florida bike rider was shot by a driver in an apparent road rage incident; no word on the condition of the victim.

And compared to the previous two cases, a Pennsylvania bicyclist got off easy when an angry driver merely pointed his gun at him following an argument.

Of course, if the drivers had just used their cars instead, it would have been written off as just an accident.

And the bike riders would have been blamed for it.

………

Today’s other common theme is the more traditional form of traffic violence.

A pair of Oklahoma men tried to cover-up a fatal hit-and-run collision by intentionally driving into a highway guard rail to hide the damage from hitting a bike rider.

A Missouri man was doing 93 in a 35 mph zone — and driving on a suspended license — when he slammed into a bicyclist last year; he now faces a charge of first-degree involuntary manslaughter.

A Wisconsin man was turned in by his own wife following a drunken hit-and-run that took the life of man riding a bicycle.

An 83-year old Michigan man faces a misdemeanor charge after killing one bicyclist and injuring another in a rear-end collision last year. Older people may depend on their cars for mobility, but we’ve got to find a way to get them off the roads before it’s too late.

………

Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten bounced back from her horrific crash in the Rio Olympics road cycling race to win world championship in the time trial yesterday.

If you’ve ever questioned how tough women cyclists really are, consider this video of British cyclist Lauren Dolan celebrating her 18th birthday by finishing the time trial despite a horrific leg injury suffered when she hit a manhole cover. Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

https://twitter.com/JamieHaughey/status/909870748549943296/video/1

……….

Local

Letter writers in the Times say dark tinted windows on cars make it more dangerous for bike riders and pedestrians.

Los Angeles is planning for temporary walkways and bike paths in the recently purchased Taylor Yards railroad site, while plans are developed for a permanent park.

Curbed examines the future of bikeshare in the City of Angels.

Doris Day used to be one of us, riding her bicycle through Beverly Hills to rescue stray animals.

The Beach Reporter looks at Manhattan Beach resident Evens Stievenart’s new world record in the Le Mans Pearl Izumi 24 Hours Cycling race

 

State

Nice story from San Diego, where a nearly blind 94-year old woman took her first bike ride in 15 years on the back of a tandem as part of a Dreams Do Come True program at an Escondido retirement community.

The new dockless bikeshare bikes in San Diego’s Imperial Beach are already getting trashed by users and vandals, less than two weeks after their introduction.

A three mile Wildomar bike lane project has been put on hold after all the bids came in over budget.

A Riverside columnist explain what those green patches in the bike lanes are all about.

Speaking in Oakland, a traffic engineer says protected bike lanes must be the new normal, and urban planners are still trying to undo the damage caused by vehicular cyclists in the 1970s and 80s.

Jens Voigt returns to Marin County to headline the third annual Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin,

 

National

A new study shows teens are increasingly putting off drinking, driving and sex. Which makes sense, since the last one seldom happened without the first two, anyway.

No overreaction here, as TV’s Inside Edition says groups of crazed cyclists are causing “absolute mayhem in the streets.” Meanwhile, a group of young bike riders tried to prove them right by ignoring a ban on bikes to take over New York’s Cross Bronx Expressway.

Houston residents are donating bicycles to help people who lost their cars in Hurricane Harvey.

Kellen Winslow II is one of us, as he tries to sell the home he bought in the Texas hills in hopes of becoming the first pro football player to turn pro cyclist.

A New York woman confirms that riding across the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the city’s most difficult commutes, even if it was better than she expected.

Curbed talks with Philadelphia’s biggest bike advocate.

 

International

Edinburg, Scotland is waiting to give hometown hero Mark Beaumont the welcome he’s earned after a record-breaking 79-day bike ride around the world.

A British personal injury lawyer says the laws must be changed to clarify the rights and obligations of bicyclists, and protect riders who hit someone while riding in a bike lane.

A New Zealand cyclist calls for ripping out a new separated bike lane, after first assuring us he’s one of the good ones — not, he insists, a spandex clad rider on a $5,000 carbon fiber bike, or someone who insists on slowly taking the lane at rush hour.

 

Finally…

Apparently, you’re more dangerous than a truck. And everything you always wanted to know about bicycling in Bogotá but were afraid to ask.

Thanks to Dennis Eckhart for his generous donation to help support this site. Or maybe just help pay for that new hard drive.

 

Morning Links: Bicycling examines our deadly streets, Bike Month heats up, and Bray-Ali story travels the globe

Bicycling Magazine gets it.

No, really.

The magazine that’s long been criticized for its focus on spandex-clad road cycling has dug deep into the safety crisis on our streets, for a June issue focused on the dangers riders face and the failure of the legal system to protect us.

They even got the headline right — This Has Got to Stop!

Their examination is highlighted by a survey of bike riders conducted on the magazine’s website, which includes the following key points:

  • 32% have been hit by a motor vehicle (me too)
  • 61% of urban riders have been doored (yep)
  • 89% of respondents have been harassed by an aggressive driver (uh huh)
  • 20% experienced being followed by an aggressive driver (ditto)
  • 31% have had an object thrown at them on a ride (more than once)
  • 29% report being coal rolled (cough)
  • 52% of female cyclists have experienced aggressive driver behavior on at least some of their rides compared to 33% of men

In addition, you’ll find a number of articles that together sum up the current sorry state of bike safety in the US.

It’s not all bad news, though. The magazine also looks at some of the more positive aspects.

As you read these stories — and read them, you should — you may recognize several of the cases as stories we’ve reported on here. And if you read carefully, you may find my name, as well as the name of this site, sprinkled in here and there.

It’s a demanding, heartrending and intense series of stories. And may very well be the best work the magazine has ever done.

………

Bike Month is starting to heat up.

Metro is celebrating with a free month of Metro Bike bikeshare if you sign up for a monthly membership.

The LACBC is celebrating by profiling bike riders throughout the month, while Bike SGV profiles bike riders in the San Gabriel Valley.

And thanks to Portland bike advocate and mom Kath Youell, you can now track your Bike Month Challenge miles online, even if you don’t have a workplace team to join.

………

The Joe Bray-Ali story has now made it around the world, as an Indian website picks up the story, apparently drawn by Bray-Ali’s Indian-Hungarian-Irish Jewish and Muslim heritage.

………

In addition to the risk of traffic violence, some bike riders face actual violence.

A 12-year old Cleveland girl was collateral damage in a car-to-car shooting, shot in the foot as she rode her bicycle.

A Florida man was shot in the ankle by another bike rider who attempted to rob him.

Caught on video: A man calls for help as he’s mugged by a gang of hooded youths who steal his bicycle in a London Park.

………

The legendary Marco Pantani still holds the hearts of Italian cycling fans, 13 years after his cocaine-fueled death.

African cycling suffered a big setback as Namibian cycling star Costa Seibeb was killed in a car crash Tuesday morning.

Caught on video, maybe: A stalled motorcycle caused a massive pileup near the starting line of New York’s annual Red Hook Crit. The video may or may not play; I’ve been looking for a working version of this for two days, after it was apparently removed from YouTube.

………

Local

Streetsblog highlights the debate over Vision Zero funding in the Los Angeles transportation budget, which is quickly reaching a crisis point as traffic deaths continue to climb.

While approving a handful of bikeways, West Hollywood says forget about a road diet on Fountain, and chooses parking over safety on Santa Monica Blvd. Note to WeHo: You can’t connect to the bike lanes on Willoughby in Los Angeles, because there aren’t any.

Yo! Venice examines bike theft in Venice Beach, which is down after police cleared out a number of homeless encampments in the Ballona Wetlands; the LAPD still has a number of unclaimed bicycles they recovered from the homeless camps.

Ground was broken on a Newhall Ranch bridge project, including walkways on the bridge and a bikeway underneath.

 

State

No bias here. After a Santa Rosa cyclist was hit by a car as he attempted to cross the street, police note that he was not in a crosswalk. Even though bike riders are usually discouraged, though not forbidden, from using one.

Sad news from Northern California, where a bike rider was killed in a Half Moon Bay hit-and-run, and a Petaluma man died when he reportedly went over the handlebars after losing control of his bike.

An anti-bike Marin County columnist says bike riding is not a viable option for anyone except fit, young people, and the county isn’t going to become a bike-crazed Holland anytime soon. Which is exactly what they said in Holland before it became one. And countless older, out-of-shape adults ride bicycles every day.

Disabled veterans ride with the pros at an invitation-only mountain bike race in Grass Valley.

Chico gets promoted to gold-level bike-friendly status.

 

National

The Hawaii city council votes on whether to fork over $50,000 to pay the legal fees of a police officer who was apparently fired after killing a bike rider in a crash while on duty.

A Seattle man who lost both legs when he was hit by a Prague subway train hopes to be the first handcyclist to complete the Race Across America, which starts next month

Now that’s more like it. A stoned Washington driver gets seven and a half years for the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle just minutes from his home.

A model arrives at New York’s Met Gala dressed for the red carpet after beating traffic with a pedicab ride through Central Park.

Caught on video too: An Alabama cyclist is the victim of a screaming tirade from two men in a truck, one of whom hangs out of the open passenger door to berate him.

Once again, a bike rider has been killed in a collision with a police officer, this time in Jacksonville FL. As usual, police say it was the bicyclist’s fault, even though the officer was responding to a call without lights or siren, saying the rider was reportedly swerving for no apparent reason and didn’t have any lights. Even though the crash occurred before sunset.

 

International

Ottawa bicycle advocates throw mud in the great debate over bike fenders.

A new report from members of the British Parliament calls for changing the driving code to require drivers to yield to people on bicycles.

Over 200 cyclists turn out to honor fallen endurance cyclist Mike Hall at a memorial service in his English hometown, a little over a month after he was killed in a collision while competing in an Australian race.

One in five Welsh adults have not ridden a bicycle in ten years. Which means 80% of Welsh adults have.

Caught on video three, or maybe four: A Scottish man is nearly crushed in the equivalent of a right hook, after taking up bicycling again for the first time in 20 years. While the driver clearly cut him off, he should have stopped when the truck first cut into him, rather than pulling alongside before the driver cut him off again.

Helsinki, Finland will get an expanded bikeshare system this summer, with 1,400 bikes at 140 stations, as well as another 100 bikes in a neighboring city.

 

Finally…

Touring the world on a smuggled bikeshare bike. Your next ebike could be a hippo. Or maybe a panda.

And nothing like teaching your son the family business.

The bike theft business, that is.

………

Thanks to Eric from Boulder for his generous donation to support this site.

Which leads to our periodic reminder that if everyone who visits this site today contributed just $10, it would fund BikinginLA for a full year.

Then again, if just one person contributed a shitload of money, it would probably have the same effect.

Morning Links: Traffic violence on our streets, Metro Bike runs red light, and Westwood ignores needs of students

Welcome to Day 7 of the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today, and help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Keep SoCal’s leading source for all the freshest bike news coming to you every morning. Give to the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today!

Today’s common theme is traffic violence, both literal and figurative.

USC fans were heartbroken to learn that former running back Joe McKnight was the victim of an apparent road age shooting on the streets of New Orleans; a tragedy made possible, if not inevitable, by a proliferation of short-fused drivers with easy access to guns.

Meanwhile, in an equally, if not more, heartbreaking case, a suspected drunk driver once again proved that no one is safe from the carnage on our streets, as a five-year old South Central boy was killed inside his own apartment. The driver plowed into the building after allegedly being cut off by another driver; inside, investigators found the boy’s letter to Santa asking for a new bicycle.

Which leads us to CiclaValley, who offers a bike cam compendium of drivers behaving badly. And yes, someone could easily compile similar video clips of scofflaw cyclists or pedestrians. But it’s the people in the multi-ton machines who pose the greatest risk to others by their bad behavior.

When cyclists break the law, they generally put themselves at risk. But when drivers break the law, it poses a danger to everyone on the street.

Or sleeping in their own homes.

………

Frequent contributor Erik Griswold notes that at the 30 second mark of its Metro Bike Instructional Video, Metro appears to tacitly encourage users to ride through flashing red lights.

………

A writer for UCLA’s Daily Bruin justifiably takes the Westwood Neighborhood Council to task for favoring policies that ignore the needs of the students who live and study in the area, including last year’s denial of desperately needed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd.

The heavy-handed demands of the area’s wealthy homeowners have killed any semblance of vibrancy in Westwood Village, leading to streets filled with empty storefronts, and driving students — and their money — to other parts of the city. Like a scene out of Footloose, the city even prohibits dancing at restaurants and bars within the Village.

No, really.

………

Local

The LACBC is hiring an Organizing Director.

Former pro Phil Gaimon is on a one-man mission to erase convicted doper and dope dealer Nick Brandt-Sorenson’s name from the top of LA area Strava KOMs.

A 6th grade student is on a one-girl mission to provide safer access for bicyclists to the Ballona Creek bike path in Del Rey and Playa Vista.

 

State

About one hundred Laguna Beech mountain bikers rode through the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park as part of the second annual Dirt Fondo Challenge, benefitting the Laguna Beach Interscholastic Mountain Bike Team.

For the second time in two days, a San Diego area bike rider has suffered a serious head injury, apparently without a car involved. This time a helmeted rider fell in San Marcos and struck his head on the pavement; fortunately, his injuries are not life-threatening.

Members of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition offer strategies on how to improve safety in the South of Market district.

San Francisco State University is California’s latest Bicycle Friendly University.

Soon you may be able to make plans for a wine and cannabis bike tour of Sonoma County.

A bike-riding Scrooge stole four citrus trees planted by an Eagle Scout at an Orangevale church to help feed the hungry.

 

National

In typically obtuse government-ese, the US DOT announces it’s forming a 15-member committee to advise the Secretary of Transportation on matters related to transportation equity. Which sounds great until you consider that the incoming administration could dissolve it next month.

A writer for Momentum Magazine considers the value of clipless bike shoes, and concludes they’re worth it.

The Seattle Times recommends taking your own folding bike when you travel.

Grind TV asks if Sedona’s White Line Trail is the world’s most dangerous mountain bike trail. Judging by the videos, it’s definitely not one for anyone with a fear of heights.

Bicycling Magazine profiles an ex-vegetarian New Mexico man who hunts elk by bike, with his miniature poodle at his side.

Des Moines, Iowa makes plans to hire a full-time bicycle coordinator, if it survives the budget process.

A small free library is unveiled as a memorial to a Wisconsin woman who was killed by a sidewalk-riding bicyclist. We can all agree this is a needless tragedy. But instead of fighting for higher fines to stop people from riding on the sidewalk, why not fight for safer streets so no one will feel the need to?

Caught on video: Philadelphia police are looking for a teenager who rode his BMX up to a garage before setting it on fire.

This is why you always carry ID when you ride. A New York bike rider died after an apparent fall; however, police have been unable to identify him or notify his next of kin because he wasn’t carrying any identification.

A group of BMX riders recorded the action after sneaking into a Long Island water park; police are looking at the video as evidence of a trespassing violation.

Now that’s what I call a bike locker.

 

International

Cycling Tips considers why two bike brands haven’t moved their production to China.

Police in British Columbia recovered “dozens and dozens” of stolen bicycles and e-scooters when they took down a bike chop shop.

Torontoist makes the case for why delivering food by bicycle is good for neighborhoods.

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider barely escapes a pass from a truck and trailer that looks like it would violate a one-foot passing law.

Two percent of Irish commuters go by bike, a figure that hasn’t changed in the last year.

The Guardian looks at the recent report that bicyclists now outnumber cars in Copenhagen, where a $145 million investment in bikeways has resulted in a 68% increase in ridership. Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

Malta warns visiting EU officials not to cause a diplomatic incident by running red lights or carrying a passenger on their bicycles.

A man in the Southern Africa country of Malawi killed his own half-brother in a dispute over a bicycle.

Cyclists in the Australian state of New South Wales won’t have to carry ID when they ride after all, as the government belatedly realizes that most riders already do anyway.

 

Finally…

Maybe bicycling really is the new golf, especially if your bike is made entirely of golf clubs. It’s not just an ebike, it’s a two-wheeled boom box.

And it takes a hero cyclist to save a drowning panda.

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A special thanks to Michele Chavez for her generous contribution to support this site during the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

 

Morning Links: Driver’s license revoked in Moorpark deaths, the cost of traffic violence, and bike infrastructure news

The good news is, we’ve figured out what caused the problem with email notifications for new posts. Now that the tech supports are back from their annual conference, maybe we can get it working again.

………

One detail was left out in previous stories about the limp slap on the wrist given Rachel Hill in the Moorpark distracted driving deaths of cyclist Maciek Malish and motorcyclist Jesse Cushman last year.

In addition to 300 days in county jail and three years probation, Hill had her driver’s license permanently revoked, according to the Moorpark Acorn.

Not suspended. Revoked.

The paper says she can apply for a new license at some point down the road. Which suggests that permanently doesn’t really mean permanently.

Still, that’s a stiffer penalty than most killer drivers receive.

And something that should be required following any traffic fatality where the driver is found at fault. Particularly if he or she flees the scene.

………

This is the cost of traffic violence.

Cycling in the South Bay relates the horrifying tale of the aftermath of a drunk driving collision, and a cyclist’s shattered ankle that refuses to heal.

And the Daily Bruin offers an update on UCLA triathlete Nako Nakatsuka, two and a half years after she was seriously injured in a collision, then seriously screwed by the legal system when she was forced to pay for damages to the car that hit her, as well as her own medical expenses.

You should always get a good lawyer to review your case if you’re injured in a wreck; there shouldn’t be any cost to you unless you receive a settlement.

………

Today’s common theme is bike infrastructure.

Tempe AZ cyclists get their first bike box.

Philadelphia opens a mile long, two-way protected bike lane; it had been the largest city in the US without one.

Kansas City installs a new bike signal to give bicyclists a head start.

The news is not all positive, however; a bike rider complains that Berkeley’s protected bike lanes only result in greater confusion, and fail to employ best practices from around the world.

………

It was a bad weekend for bike racing, as a Serbian cyclist died following a collision in a Chinese race, and a 60-year old English amateur cyclist died when he hit a support vehicle in a French race.

Controversy continues over therapeutic exemptions given to Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins over the use of banned asthma medication, after his medical records were released by Russian hackers.

……….

Local

CiclaValley offers an up-close look at the Encino Velodrome’s Ride the Black Line.

Friends of fallen cyclist Alan Deane met at his Pasadena ghost bike on the fifth anniversary of his death to call for safer streets and tougher sentences for killer drivers. Thanks to Complete Streets Pas for the heads-up.

Megan Lynch forwards word of the latest crackdown on bicycle and pedestrian safety violations, this time in El Monte on Tuesday.

Santa Monica Spoke will host a Handlebar Happy Hour at the Border Grill this Wednesday.

 

State

Cyclists can expect to see safety improvements along PCH in the Capistrano Beach area, as plans call for a two-way protected bike lane along the highway.

A Ventura bike rider tried to defend himself with a stun gun when he was punched by three people as he rode on a beachfront bike path, who then pepper-sprayed him and stole his bike and cellphone.

The Sacramento Kings’ new arena features 100 bike racks, as well as a free bike valet, but no safe way to get there. And you’ll have to do something with your bike helmet, since they aren’t allowed in the arena.

 

National

A new bike helmet comes complete with built-in Wi-Fi, action cam, speakers and microphone. But no word on whether it will save your skull if you fall off your bike.

Forget air cartridges and bicycle pumps; fill your next flat simply by pedaling, as long as you don’t mind a lot of extra hardware.

Someone is using upholstery tacks to sabotage a new Seattle cycle track; local bike shops report over 30 people have come in to have flats caused by tacks repaired. And that doesn’t count all the people who may have fixed their flats themselves.

Bike advocates around my hometown remind drivers and bicyclists to watch out for each other.

An Iowa economics professor says it’s just not fair that bike riders don’t have to pay to use the roads, especially since some bikes cost “well into four figures.” Although you’d think an econ professor would understand the economics of bicycling a little better.

Iowa cops recover a boy’s stole bicycle after it had been dismantled. So they made the thief put it back together before they returned it.

Over one thousand Milwaukee bike riders turn out for a slow roll ride honor a local bike shop owner and cycling legend after he was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of liver cancer.

The New York Times questions why phone manufacturers don’t cut off texting drivers, when they have the technology to do it. Damn good question. And let’s include car makers in that, too.

Washington’s two senators both oppose legislation that would allow mountain bikers into federal wilderness areas, as do two of the state’s leading bike advocacy groups.

South Carolina authorities rule the death of a pregnant woman in a collision with a bicyclist was an accident, even though the cyclist was riding without lights after dark; he faces a fine of just $232.50.

A New Orleans writer says cycling in the Crescent City is still dangerous, but getting better.

 

International

Four Americans stop in British Columbia on an 8,000 mile ride to call attention to the dangers of distracted driving.

A new documentary tells the story of an aboriginal youth who helped build world-famous mountain biking trails in the Yukon.

A Winnipeg professor calls for making cycling in the city safe for everyone.

A 19-year old British man competed in triathlon two years after he was paralyzed for three months in a fall off the top of a concrete velodrome.

Police are looking for a road raging driver who repeatedly bumped a Brit bike rider as he waited for at a series of red lights, then ran over his rear wheel when he finally got off to protest.

A former British cabinet member denies sabotaging a Welsh mountain bike trail, insisting he was trying to clear it instead. Sure, let’s go with that.

Volvo introduces a new bicycle and pedestrian detection system for buses, starting next year on European bus systems.

A cyclist from the United Arab Emirates embarks on a three-day, 310-mile journey through Belgium and France to dispel myths about Islam following the recent terrorist attacks.

A Pakistani extreme cyclist says she rides to break stereotypes that limit the sports and professions women can participate in.

 

Finally…

If you want to ship your bike without getting damaged, put a TV on the carton. Seriously, if you’re going to ride 250 miles from Germany to Poland to visit your grandmother, tell your parents first.

And forget doping; how about a little scrotal Botox instead?

 

Morning Links: SD Nobel Prize winner dies on Oregon bike path, homeless bicyclist shot by Santa Ana police dies

Word broke today that Nobel Prize-winning UC San Diego researcher Roger Tsien died last week while on a bike trail in Eugene OR.

He won the prize in 2008 for his work in identifying a green fluorescent protein found in jellyfish that could be used as a biological marker to help illuminate diseases such as cancer and HIV.

No word on how he died, or if he was biking at the time.

………

A 31-year old homeless man has died a month after he was shot by Santa Ana police.

Richard Gene Swihart was riding his bicycle near the Santa Ana Civic Center on August 1st when police tried to stop him and he began struggling with the officers. Swihart was shot after allegedly attempting to grab an officer’s gun.

………

This is why people continue to die on our streets.

A Cincinnati woman gets 13 years for the hit-and-run death of a popular cyclist; at the time of her arrest, she had ten drugs in her system, a bra full of prescription pills, and a purse filled with syringes and a tourniquet. And was driving on a suspended license, with two previous convictions for driving while suspended. Ohio Bike Lawyer Steve Magas, a friend of this site, questions whether justice was done by the harsh sentence, even though he represented the victim’s family in the case.

And the family of a Detroit traffic victim wants to know why a 12-time drunk driver was still on the streets.

Which is a damn good question.

Both of these drivers had already shown themselves unable, or unwilling, to get sober and obey the law, and therefore unfit to drive. Yet they were on the roads anyway.

It’s clear that innocent victims will keep dying until authorities finally start to give a damn. And find a way to keep people like this from ever getting behind the wheel.

………

Today’s debate is over whether power meters should be banned from professional cycling; VeloNews looks five other things that could have ruined cycling, but didn’t.

Chris Froome finally made his move in the Vuelta on Wednesday.

The first all-African women’s team will begin competition next year.

Sad news from Columbia, as a 22-year old cyclist was killed after loosing control on a descent during the country’s under-23 tour.

And if a cyclist continues to race despite being banned, the obvious solution is to extend his suspension so he can keep doing it.

………

Local

Metro is exploring various rail-to-trail options to connect a coming bike path through the Southeast Cities with the LA River.

West Hollywood’s WeHo Pedals bikeshare is now officially a go, though virtually all of the docking stations are centered on the Santa Monica Blvd corridor, ignoring the popular Sunset Strip and other parts of the city.

Today is the official grand opening of the new and improved California Incline leading from PCH up the bluff to Santa Monica — now with walkways and protected bike lanes.

Finish the Ride and Velo Studios are hosting the free community ride Tour de Griffith Park: An Introduction to Safe and Fun Riding this Sunday.

 

State

Newport Beach police are gearing up to increase enforcement and improve safety measures around schools following the death of eight-year old Brock McCann as he rode home from school last May.

A self-described longtime San Diego cyclist says he hasn’t seen any increase in bicycling, and the city should stop stealing traffic lanes and parking spaces from those poor, oppressed drivers. He also complains about how awful downtown is to drive in, and how expensive it is to park, never seeming to grasp the obvious solution to both of those problems.

Los Altos prepares for their annual bicycling Tour de (chicken) Coop.

Sad news from San Mateo County, as a mountain biker was killed riding on an offroad trail.

The local paper warns drivers that some Sonoma County cyclists are armed with bike cams to record their actions. Meanwhile, the BBC asks if bike cams actually make the roads any safer. Which kind of misses the point.

More bad news from Sacramento, as a bike rider was struck and killed by the driver of a garbage truck Wednesday morning.

 

National

GQ concludes that yes, bicycling can be sexy, sort of.

The AP says police are losing the battle to get drivers to put down their phones.

Paris Hilton is one of us, as she rides a colorfully lighted bike at Burning Man.

The Denver bike cop who was nearly killed when he was struck by an out-of-control driver finally return to work after nearly 21 months; the driver who hit him was convicted of lying about suffering from seizures on his driver’s license application.

Albuquerque installs, then removes, a bizarre bike lane running across the middle of a street and into a guard rail.

The driver responsible for the drug-fueled Kalamazoo massacre has been found competent to stand trial; he faces up to life in prison if convicted on the most serious charges.

When is a bike lane not a bike lane? When it’s been blocked by an unused NYPD light tower for three days.

The Wall Street Journal offers advice for the descent challenged.

A DC designer is creating bike frame bags intended to look as good on your back as they do on your bike.

It’s true, bike riders really do run red lights. DC’s red light camera’s caught 1,557 cyclists running reds over a 16 month period — compared to over 60,000 drivers. So who are the real scofflaws?

A North Carolina driver films a bike rider skitching — grabbing ahold of a car and holding on to hitch a tow — on wet streets for five nearly minutes.

 

International

Vancouver will remove a median to install protected bike lanes, even though that means removing a popular hedge creature.

Great Britain’s successful Olympic cycling team says the best way to honor them is for the government to invest heavily in creating a legacy of everyday bike riding.

Caught on video: If you’re looking for the definition of a punishment pass, this is it.

Another day, another road raging British driver screaming at a cyclist and using his car to threaten him. Seriously, what is it about cars that brings out the asshole in people?

It took 14 years to reach a settlement in a case where a road raging driver ran over a then-four-year old girl she rode in a bike trailer pulled by her father. Shockingly, the murderous driver got just two years, despite revving over 200 yards in reverse to asault his victims.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker says all cyclists fear bad drivers.

Then again, it’s not just drivers; a bike rider in the UK was punched by a pedestrian in a seemingly random assault; surprisingly, the attacker chose not to hang around until the police to arrived.

A Kiwi website insists e-bikes are fashion forward.

 

Finally…

Call him a bike riding, hooligan Johnny Appleseed. Your next bike could complain about your riding position.

Or maybe you’d prefer the bicycling equivalent of a luxury car.

No, really.

 

Guest Post: The cost of traffic violence — the daughter of a distracted driving victim speaks out

Last year, an alleged distracted driver plowed into a cyclist in Moorpark, then swerved into motorcyclist coming in the opposite direction, killing them both.

Recently, the daughter of one of those victims asked for the opportunity to tell her story. 

This is what she has to say.

……..

Hailey Cushman’s Story

My name is Hailey Cushman and I am Jesse Cushman’s only biological child. My dad was killed on September 12th, 2015 on his way home from work from BMW Motorcycles located in Ventura. He was hit head-on on his motorcycle in Moorpark, CA by Rachel Hill, who was later found to have been texting and driving. Hill first hit bicyclist Maciek Malish then over-corrected and swerved to hit my father. Both men were killed on impact but Hill only walked away with scratches. In fact, Hill was caught taking pictures of her injuries and posting them on her Facebook the next day as if the accident was humorous to her. This tragic event happened just 9 days before my 21st birthday (in which I had plans that were immediately cancelled and never rescheduled). Dad was going to be 44 years young in October 2015. He was born in Simi Valley, CA but lived most of his life in Reno, NV, which is where I live. Within a couple days of the accident I was down in Fillmore, CA, where dad currently lived with my grandmother, Jorja, and my stepmother, Julia. Julia and dad married in 2002. When dad moved to Southern California he was brought closer to his biological father, Joe Freas, who lives in Thousand Oaks, CA. Joe and dad were in the process of trying to rekindle their relationship after years of separation.

As a child I was lucky to have never experienced a close death in the family but that aspect has also made losing my father at this age extremely difficult for me. My dad had an exciting, fulfilling and fun life. My dad was Batman! My dad and Julia were heavily involved with cosplay and all things comics. Dad had several Batman suits that were so legit that he was in several professional photo shoots. That year dad and Julia won free tickets to the San Diego Comic Con, which they had been trying to attend for years. Dad and I enjoyed doing a lot together when I would come visit in the summer time; we would go boogie boarding in Malibu, go to Six Flags Magic Mountain several times a month (it was our favorite together), race quads (he raced professionally but he also taught me how to ride and I was too racing at just 5 years old). As a family, we would frequently play video games and board games as they owned a plethora of Monopoly games and superhero video games. We would even get the whole family involved with Rockband and have somebody on each instrument. Another big part of my dad and Julia’s life was motorcycles. They were a part of the local STAR riding chapters where they would do toy drives, poker runs and many other fun rides with the group. My grandma would always worry about dad on his motorcycle because she knew the risks but both dad and Julia were very cautious riders. I guess this proves that no matter how cautious you are in life you can never fully protect yourself from others.

Since I lost my dad my life has changed forever. I’ve had to see more psychiatrists lately for stress, anxiety and depression in order to keep my job and continue my college education (which I am close to finishing). I am so young and I have so much of my life ahead of me but my father will not be able to be there to walk me down the aisle at my wedding, be there at the birth of his grandchildren, see me graduate college or buy my first house. The Cushman and Malish family’s lives have forever been changed and will always hurt when we think about this tragic incident. We try to put our minds at ease by thinking about how Rachel Hill will have to live with what she has caused these two families for the rest of her life as well, but unfortunately, we are unable to rely upon the justice system to make her accountable. We have recently been told by the Ventura County District Attorney’s office that Hill may not even receive any jail time but only community service. The Ventura County District Attorney’s office is certainly corrupt. The CHP took 8 months to complete the police report to ensure they had all the information and evidence to create a strong case. The CHP’s recommendation was that Hill should be charged with a felony of two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. Within 2 weeks of the Ventura County District Attorney receiving the case they decide that Hill only be charged with a misdemeanor!

Now, I am a smart and educated person. I have been going to school for 16 years (total) and this is not what I was taught in how our justice system operates! When you kill another person due to reckless driving you go to jail! End of story! Rachel Hill is only getting a slap on the wrist for killing TWO innocent people. I spoke with the assistant District Attorney who informed me that they did not have enough evidence to prove gross negligence, even though they had all of Rachel’s text message conversations showing she was texting while driving leading up to the accident. Hill has been able to spend the last 9 months with her family through the holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, which were especially hard times for both the Cushman and Malish families. Now that Father’s Day is less than one week away my heart aches just thinking about that empty feeling I will have now not being able to celebrate it with my dad. No amount of money or punishment on Rachel Hill’s behalf will ever bring my father or Maciek Malish back but it would at least be nice to have a piece of mind knowing that Rachel Hill’s life would be forever affected with jail time, a felony and two counts of manslaughter on her record for the rest of her life the same way that our family will forever be devastated about this loss and injustice. Not a single person I have spoken to agrees with the District Attorney’s decision of a misdemeanor (besides the Hill family). We need to bring attention to this obvious injustice and corruption of our justice system by bringing publicity to this case for both the Cushman and the Malish family in hopes to one day begin to heal from this tragic loss.

From left to right: dad, Julia, grandma and me. Disneyland 2012 celebrating mine and Julia's graduation, grandmas birthday and dad and Julia's anniversary.

From left to right: Dad, Julia, Grandma and me. Disneyland 2012 celebrating my and Julia’s graduation, grandma’s birthday and Dad and Julia’s anniversary.

Dad and Julia's wedding picture: June 12th, 2002.

Dad and Julia’s wedding picture: June 12th, 2002.

Dad in his amazing Batman costume!

Dad in his amazing Batman costume!

My favorite picture of dad and I at Disneyland.

My favorite picture of Dad and I at Disneyland.

R.I.P. Jesse Cushman. I love you!

……..

Reducing, let alone eliminating, traffic fatalities will be impossible as long as prosecutors refuse to take even the most egregious cases like this seriously. 

If you’re as angry as I am about this case, contact Ventura County DA Gregory D. Totten, and politely — but firmly — demand that the case be re-filed as a felony.

Hailey, and all the families and loved ones of both victims, deserve better.

As do we all.

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