Tag Archive for windshield bias

Morning Links: LA County settles Milt Olin case for $11.75 million, and sheriff’s deputies get it wrong on PCH. Again.

Five and a half years after music executive Milt Olin was killed by a distracted LA County sheriff’s deputy, his family has finally received some justice.

About $11.75 million worth.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, the Olin family will receive that amount in a settlement from the county.

Which is just slightly more than the $80,000 requested in their original lawsuit.

But possibly less than a jury would have given them if the case had gone to trial.

Olin was riding in a bike lane on Mulholland Highway in Calabasas when the deputy ran him down from behind while responding to a message from another officer on his onboard computer.

That came just moments after the deputy had been texting with his wife while driving. Which, remarkably, is legal for emergency personnel in California, even if the text has nothing to do with official business.

The LA County District Attorney refused to file charges in the case, or to hold the sheriff’s department accountable in any way for a policy that allowed deputies to use the onboard computer while driving, with predictable results.

That policy was changed as a result of Olin’s death.

Which, in the long run, may be worth much more than his family will receive in this case.

Photo from the Milt Olin Foundation website.

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It’s a never-ending story.

Every few years, Malibu sheriff’s deputies insist on harassing and ticketing bicyclists who are doing absolutely nothing wrong, based on a flawed interpretation of California law.

And after various bicyclists, bike advocates and organizations explain the law to them, they back off. Until the deputies are transferred out, and new ones come in to take their place.

Then the cycle starts all over again.

Like it did this past weekend, when members of the Major Motion Cycling Club were harassed by a sheriff’s deputy, who used his loud speaker to insist that they ride single file in a non-existent bike lane.

So let’s go through this one more time.

CVC 21202 allows bicyclists to ride in the roadway, using the full lane when necessary.

Bike riders can, at their own discretion, ride on the shoulder of a roadway. However, nothing to the right of the limit line is legally considered part of the road, and bicyclists can’t be required to ride there.

And just because there’s a stripe on the side of the road, that doesn’t make it a bike lane.

It’s true that CVC 21202 requires anyone using a bicycle to ride as far to the right as practicable — not as far as possible, as it’s frequently misinterpreted.

However, it contains a number of exceptions when the ride-to-the-right rule does not apply, including in a substandard traffic lane. That means any lane that is too narrow to safely share with a bicycle and a motor vehicle, while allowing for a three-foot passing distance.

Like the lane shown in the video, which is clearly too narrow for a bike and a car to safely travel side-by-side. And like most of the other right hand traffic lanes in the LA area.

There is also absolutely nothing in California law requiring bicyclists to ride single file.

The CHP and LASD have often attempted to misapply the ride-to-the-right rule in CVC 21202 to say that anyone riding abreast is not riding as far to the right as practicable. However, as we noted, that requirement does not apply on a substandard lane.

It is actually safer to ride abreast under those conditions, because it increases the visibility of the riders and allows them to control the full lane, forcing drivers to change lanes to go around them.

And it makes the riders easier to pass by bunching closer together in a small group, rather than stretching out in a long line.

Finally, it’s impossible to obstruct traffic on a roadway with two or more lanes in each direction, where drivers can simply change lanes to go around.

But don’t take my word for it.

Below is the video the LAPD prepared to train its own officers in bike law and the rights of bicyclists.

Which should be required viewing at the Malibu/Los Hills sheriff station.

Thanks to Martin Blount for the video.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

An aggressive, road raging California driver flips off a bike rider and makes a punishment pass for no apparent reason.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

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Local

Los Angeles police solved just 8% of hit-and-runs in the city last year. Which means 92% of hit-and-run drivers committed a crime and got away with it. But sure, let’s keep pretending it’s not a crisis.

The SGV Connect podcast discusses how to support people who bike at the University of La Verne.

Registration is open for this summer’s Tour de Laemmle, the annual 135-mile ride along with Laemmle Theaters president Greg Laemmle as he visits all of the theater chain’s nine LA area venues.

 

State

No surprise here. San Diego drivers are taking advantage of a new bike lane in Mission Valley for prime parking space, forcing riders out into high speed traffic; police are ticketing the cars even though No Parking signs haven’t been installed yet.

A San Francisco woman asks if bike riders are really welcome in Paso Robles after a road raging driver threatens to run her and her husband down unless they ride single file. Which they were.

A San Francisco supervisor follows through on threats to remove a bike lane to make room for more free parking.

Don’t ride your e-scooter on the San Francisco Bay Bridge. Or any other freeway.

 

National

Distracted driving gets the blame for a 13.5% jump in traffic fatalities in the US; the United States was one of just five nations to see an increase in traffic deaths over a five year period.

Streetsblog says fire departments are now embracing safer street designs, rather than fighting much needed safety improvements.

An Oregon letter writer says bicyclists should be held to the same standard as drivers. So feel free to roll stop signs, ride through intersections after the light has changed, never signal, and ride ten miles over the speed limit while texting, just like the people in cars do.

A retired Los Angeles man says he’s given up on bicycling in the city, driven off the streets by road raging drivers, and moving to Tucson to take advantage of the city’s 131-mile off-road bike and pedestrian loop. Someone should send that to every member of the city council so they can see what we have to deal with on a daily basis.

A group of Ukrainian cyclists is passing through New Mexico on a ride across the US to promote adoptions.

Iowa bicyclists call for a law requiring drivers to change lanes to pass people on bicycles, and increased penalties for driving distracted.

A Chicago bike rider somehow assumes that bad bicyclist behavior is responsible for a dramatic increase in bicycling fatalities, and calls on his fellow citizens to yell at the miscreant riders.

Doctors in New York were able to save the leg of a nationally ranked junior cyclist after he developed an aggressive form of bone cancer, saving his dreams of competing in the Olympics.

A marathon runner is suing New York for $2 million after he broke his arm in a collision with a bike rider on the George Washington Bridge, claiming there’s not enough room for people on bikes and on foot on the bridge.

A Pennsylvania newspaper reminds drivers about the state’s four-foot passing law, and says there’s no excuse for disobeying a perfectly sound law.

The Voice of America looks at DC’s monthly Bike Party.

Apparently having solved the problem of distracted driving, Miami considers a campaign to reduce distracted bicycling, skateboard and moped riding. No, really.

 

International

Horrifying story from Ontario, Canada, where a man is fighting for his life, and a woman seriously injured, after a driver slammed head-on into four bicyclists on a charity ride; the driver was attempting to pass a slower vehicle, and reportedly never braked before hitting the riders.

A Canadian city is taking bikeshare to the next level by offering a free bike lending program, allowing users to check a bike out for a day.

In a bizarre comment, the head of London’s department of transportation apologized to drivers for the city’s hugely successful cycle superhighways, saying they were poorly thought out and rushed through under the previous mayor. Although he may have been talking about the construction delays, not the bikeways themselves.

London’s Independent recommends six of the coolest cycling destinations around the world to add to your bike bucket list.

When is a bike lane not a bike lane? When it can convert to other uses at different times of day, thanks to a new concept from a London design engineering firm.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes continues. Someone reportedly sabotaged a UK mountain bike trail by stringing wire across it, as well as placing logs and other obstructions on the trail.

Bike advocates in Malta complain about a limited and disconnected bike lane that doesn’t meet European standards. Proving once again that bicyclists face the same problems all over the world.

Over 82,000 people in Australia have signed a petition to require bicyclists to ride single file when in a group, and ban bikes from roads with speed limits over 50 mph.

 

Competitive Cycling

A member of the US Paralympic Cycling Team credits riding with lifting him out of a decade-long depression that began when he suffered a stroke as a teenager.

Britain announces a new campaign to stop doping and ensure public faith in cycling. Maybe they could start by taking a closer look at Team Sky. I’m just saying.

Five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault doesn’t hold back, saying Team Sky star and Giro champ Chris Froome doesn’t belong with the legends of cycling, and shouldn’t be allowed to compete until his doping case is resolved.

 

Finally…

It’s now legal to bike through the drive-through for a Portland burger. Putting school parking — and senior pranks — to better bikeshare use; thanks to Campoy for the link.

And we’re not in danger of being replaced until these little guys learn to hold their line.

Morning Links: Wasted time at HHWNC meeting, Glendale-Hyperion Bridge meeting, and Bob Blumenfield bike ride

So much for that.

I sat through three hours of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council last night, until they finally got around to discussing the draft Hollywood Community Plan.

Then stormed out after chairwoman interrupted my comment to argue with me, denied she was arguing with, then told me my time was up. All before I barely said anything.

Which is the second time I’ve attended one of their meetings, and been denied a chance to speak.

Nice when your neighborhood representatives refuse to listen.

Although I did stay long enough to hear a Hollywood Hills homeowner on the council tell us that we don’t need a bike lane through the Cahuenga Pass when bicyclists can just take the Red Line from NoHo to Hollywood.

Which pretty much sums up windshield bias. And tells you what we’re up against.

Update: A much calmer India Brookover stayed after I left, and offers this recap of what happened.

I was at the council meeting tonight and wanted to let you know how they voted, which actually ended up being pretty interesting. Also wanted to highlight some clarifications that were made.
The subjects of the motion were really unclear. The addendum, particularly the “infeasible” part is actually language gathered from a letter from the Outpost Estates Homeowners Group of the 5th district, not Anastasia Mann’s words.
Suzanne Warren, chair of district 5 (where homeowners group was located) actually ended up questioning the language of determining the lanes as unfeasible and said there was no reason to preclude a feasibility study. The transportation chair introduced a motion to strike the language regarding infeasibility from the addendum and remarkably, it passed unanimously.
I hope I’m getting everything right (its been a long night) so please check the minutes when they are posted. I found that the meeting turned out surprisingly successful. I was happy to see we had some allies on the board who countered the car-centric ethos I was expecting to hear.
It’s not a gigantic win but its certainly notable.

Hopefully, this will lead to a more promising discussion of Hollywood bike lanes and lane reductions in the days to come.

And maybe I’ll actually get a chance to speak next time.

Apropos of nothing, a here’s nice, calming, pretty bike photo downloaded from Pexels.com that I intend to stare at until I calm down.

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There will be a meeting tonight to discuss progress on the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge Project, which is slated to get bike lanes on both sides, but a walkway on just one.

Also on the agenda is design options for the nearby Red Car Pedestrian Bridge.

………

Third District LA City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield will host his 5th annual bike ride next month.

 

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Local

Los Angeles is adding more Leading Pedestrian Interval signals, giving people crossing the street a head start before motorists get the green light. Now they just need to change the law so bicyclists can go with the LPI signal, as well.

The LA City Council has voted to develop a plan to inspect and repair all the cracked and crumbling bike lanes in Los Angeles. Or you can read about it in a surprising good report from Chinese news agency Xinhua. Of course, developing a plan is not exactly the same as doing it.

Culver City is asking for input to help update their Bicycle and Pedestrian Action Plan.

Streetsblog’s SGV Connect podcast talks about the coming complete street project and protected bike lanes in Monterey Park.

LA County has approved a grant to develop an East San Gabriel Valley Active Transportation Plan.

 

State

There’s something seriously wrong when a six-year old Fullerton girl isn’t even safe from a drunk driver when she’s playing on the sidewalk.

A San Diego TV station asks if the Hillcrest neighborhood should have more parking or bike lanes. But somehow can’t seem to find a single bike rider to talk to.

Streetsblog looks at the creeping criminalization of walking, in the wake of Montclair’s idiotic law prohibiting pedestrians from using an electronic device or listening to headphones while crossing the street. Meanwhile, new motor vehicles come equipped with high-resolution touch screen displays, built-in WiFi and high-power sound systems.

 

National

A one cent increase in the gas tax would more than fund all federal spending for bike and pedestrian projects in the United States.

Cycling Tips offers photos from some of the great bikes at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

Bicycling looks at the growing NASCAR bicycling community, asking if they could be cycling’s best safety advocates.

You might want to think twice before you buy a Giro or Bell helmet, or a Camelbak water bottle, unless you’re okay with your money going to a company that also makes AR15-style assault rifles.

Great idea. A nonprofit group donated 200 bicycles to help Las Vegas kids get to school.

A Salt Lake City Op-Ed says Utah’s proposed stop as yield law is all about safety.

A new Colorado bill would leave it up to individual cities to decide whether to implement an Idaho Stop Law, allowing riders to go treat stop signs and red lights as yields. The problem with that sort of local control is that what is legal in one town could be banned in the next, leaving riders subject to tickets if they unknowing cross city limit signs.

A fellow rider remembers his friend, fallen cyclist and author Andrew Tilin, who was collateral damage in a crash between two drivers as he knelt to fix a flat in Austin TX.

The Des Moines Register profiles the city’s new active transportation planner, one of 16 new positions created by a 12 cent property tax increase.

A Philly weekly dispels common myths about bicycling.

A writer in Savannah GA complains it’s been six long years since the city had built any bicycling infrastructure.

You know bikeshare is catching on when it comes to the Florida Keys.

 

International

Two Canadian cyclists had their bikes stolen just day’s after completing a 500-mile winter fundraising ride around Lake Ontario.

Caught on video: A 13-year old British girl with a helmet cam records a near head-on collision on a narrow country road when an impatient driver couldn’t wait a few more seconds to pass her. But sure, tell us again about those scofflaw cyclists.

An Irish website offers advice on beating bike thieves. And no, it’s not about what kind of club to use. Unfortunately.

Your next job could be bicycling and filming through Europe and West Africa for the next four months. Just don’t expect to get paid.

Al Arabiya offers a little more information about the horrific crash that killed four teenage Saudi cyclists on a club ride, and seriously injured six others; the murderous schmuck behind the wheel driver attempted to flee after smashing into them at more that 100 mph before crashing into another car. And four other members of the club were injured when their car was hit by a truck as they rushed to see their friends in the hospital.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Manx Missile, aka Mark Cavendish, suffered a concussion and whiplash after colliding with four other riders when a team car driver unexpectedly hit the brakes in front of them in the Abu Dhabi Tour.

 

Finally…

When your bike light maps potholes for you. A new crowdfunding campaign promises to give you eyes in the back of your helmet.

And who says mountain bikes can’t fly?

Weekend Links: Windshield bias in response to calls for bike safety; blood drive for Moorpark hit-and-run victim

Talk about not getting it.

Letter writers to the Daily Breeze respond with the usual windshield bias clichés to the paper’s recent story about the Tuesday’s die-in in Palos Verdes Estates.

Especially since all the riders are really asking for is to not get killed when they ride through the peninsula.

Like the first letter, from a San Pedro resident, who says governments on the peninsula shouldn’t give in to “the shrill carping of a narcissistic, entitled and noisy minority.”

Significantly less that 1 percent of the users of PVP roadways are bicyclists, yet they stridently demand that vehicular travelers virtually surrender the roads throughout PVP to them, allegedly for their own “safety.”

The vast majority of bicyclists riding PVP roadways are using them for recreation, while conversely, automobile drivers are commuting, attending to errands or business.

On weekends especially, the critical major PVP arteries are typically clogged by crowds of hundreds of cyclists, often arrogantly hogging lanes and congesting the roadways.

Never mind the obvious contradiction that “less than percent” of road users somehow manage to congest the roadways by the hundreds.

Support SoCal’s leading site for bike news and advocacy. Give to the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today!

Or that the riders are “arrogantly hogging lanes,” since that’s exactly where the DMV says they’re supposed to be.

And never mind the ridiculous assertion that everyone in a car has somewhere important to go, while everyone on bikes are just out to have fun and to make life miserable for all those poor, put-upon people in cars, who never, ever drive without some urgent need.

He ends by claiming there are “hundreds, if not thousands” of dedicated bike trails where people could ride rather than forcing riders to deal with odious congestion.

Maybe someone should tell him that congestion is caused by all those people in cars on the road, who wouldn’t be stuck in traffic if they weren’t busy being traffic. Or that all those thousands of miles of bike trails exist mostly in his overly vivid imagination.

Then there’s the following letter, which confirms that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing by citing CVC 21202, which every bike rider should know by heart.

Section 21202 of the California Vehicle Code says bicyclists must ride as close to the curb as practicable. That means cyclists riding side-by-side are breaking the law.

Which is absolutely true, if you ignore the rest of the statute. Especially subsection (3), which lists the many conditions under which the requirement to ride to the right doesn’t apply.

(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

In other words, you don’t have to ride to the right when the right lane is too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle, while allowing for at least a three foot passing distance, and without having to ride in the gutter and debris that collects on the side of the road.

Which is pretty much every street on the Palos Verdes peninsula, let alone the entire County of Los Angeles.

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A blood drive will be held over the next few weeks for Linda O’Connor, who remains in a coma in critical condition a week after she was struck by an alleged drugged hit-and-run driver while she was riding with a friend in Moorpark.

According to the Ventura County Star, 34-year old Jasmine Duran, the driver who ran her down and tried to hide her car after fleeing from the scene, will be arraigned next month on felony counts of hit-and-run and driving under the influence of drugs.

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‘Tis the season.

Burbank’s Bike Angels lined up 50 bike on the steps of city hall, just part of the 200 refurbished bikes they plan to give away through the Salvation Army and other charitable organizations.

A bighearted Rohnert Park businessman gave out 200 bicycles and helmets to kids from struggling families. And in at least one case, slipped a mother a wad of cash to finish her Christmas shopping after both of her sons received new bikes.

Members of a Tennessee Baptist church team with the owners of a local funeral home to donate 45 bicycles for students at a nearby elementary school.

A Pittsburgh volunteer spends hours every month searching for special needs children who could use an individually customized tricycle, giving away over 1,200 of the $1,800 bikes since 2012.

A Louisiana sporting goods store gave 30 bikes to students at a Catholic school.

Florida’s Jack the Bike Man plans to give away a whopping 1,200 bicycles to area kids in a single day.

………

Taylor Phinney says cycling needs saving, and he that barely decided to stick with it for next year instead of retiring.

The man credited with inventing motor doping claims a January television investigation will reveal technical fraud at the highest levels of pro cycling.

Australia’s Mitch Docker has recovered from his horrific crash on the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix that left him with a broken eye socket, his tongue cut in half and six broken teeth.

………

Local

Los Angeles officials unveiled the new and improved Van Nuys Blvd in Pacoima, where one northbound lane was removed to make room for two 0.8-mile bike lanes; only the northbound bike lane is parking protected, while the southbound riders get a small buffer to separate them from motor vehicle traffic.

The LACBC reports on Tuesday’s meeting to discuss completing the missing 12.5 miles of the LA River bike path through the San Fernando Valley.

Altadena’s newly relocated Open Road Bicycle Shop goes for the wow factor with a repurposed dry cleaner’s carousel filled with bikewear.

 

State

San Francisco’s experiment with raised bike lanes used four different approaches to protect riders; one with a vertical curb was the least effective in preventing injuries.

 

National

Wired offers a semi-legal guide to hacking safer streets, based on an actual guide to hacking safer streets.

This is the price of unsafe passing, as a truck driver in my hometown gets 90 days behind bars for a failed pass, while his impatience cost a bike rider his life.

The Chicago Tribune bizarrely responds to a DePaul University study suggesting an Idaho Stop Law could save lives with an editorial saying too many bike riders have died already, even though none of them were killed going through a stop sign or red light. Chicago Streetsblog smartly dissects the editorial.

 

International

Trek’s CEO says women who ride love riding just like the guys.

A conservative think tank accuses Calgary of retroactively tweaking bike lane numbers to make the goals easier to meet.

Britain’s transportation minister could face private prosecution for dooring a bicyclist; in the UK, private citizens can pay to have someone prosecuted if government prosecutors won’t do the job.

British cyclist Guy Martin had to give up his attempt to break the record for riding 11,000 miles around the British coast after pulling his Achilles tendon.

Over 400,000 Belgians receive a government allowance for riding to work, an increase of 30% since 2011. A program like that could dramatically cut the number of cars on the street here, at a fraction of the cost of other efforts.

Manga fans can look forward to the upcoming anime version of Minami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club.

A Beijing professor says China’s laws need to catch up with the rapidly rising use of ebikes.

 

Finally…

Why waste money on a skin suit when you can just buy a compression shirt and sick in your gut. Don’t be a jerk at your local bike shop.

And nothing like a very fast-paced tour of Tokyo.

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