Tag Archive for windshield perspective

Morning Links: Cycling in the South Bay makes me blush, and what you — and drivers — don’t know about bike law

The Corgi assures me she cast her vote for a bike-friendly candidate, thanks to the little-known Corgi Suffrage Act of 1979.

The Corgi assures me that she cast her vote for a bike-friendly candidate, thanks to the little-known Corgi Suffrage Act of 1979.

I’m blushing.

No, really.

I’m not one to toot my own horn. Especially since the only horn I know how to play is a tuba, and the neighbors would have a serious problem with that.

As would the Corgi, I’m sure.

Fortunately, Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has done it for me, with a piece I intend to have engraved in full on my tombstone.

Which will require either incredibly small type, or a shitload or marble.

Seriously, thanks Seth.

He also offers up a great report on leading by bad example. Which I have done more than once.

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Good report from KPCC public radio on what drivers — and cyclists – don’t know about bike law, including a handy quiz to check your own knowledge.

Although I’d take the stats showing bike riders are at fault in most collisions with a big grain of salt, since determination of fault depends on the training and, too often, windshield biases of the investigators.

Few, if any, California police officers receive adequate training in investigating the unique properties of bicycle collisions, which differ greatly from motor vehicles. And not nearly enough officers have a working understanding of the actual rights and responsibilities of bike riders.

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Local

The LA Times offers their full obituary for the late, great Alex Baum, while KCET provides a detailed remembrance.

The CSULA paper looks at the benefits of bike riding for the school’s students.

Look out for road construction on southbound PCH between Busch and Trancas for the next two days, as they prepare to install a six-foot wide parking adjacent bike lane alongside the highway.

 

State

A Bay Area triathlete describes the effects a traumatic brain injury had on her life after a fall, apparently while walking or running. But oddly, she calls for cyclists to wear helmets instead of pedestrians.

A Marin County hiker was hospitalized after a trail rage confrontation with a mountain biker. Seriously, no matter how justified you may feel, don’t ever hit a 65-year old woman. Or anyone else, for that matter.

A story from the CSU Sacramento paper says people who ride a bike for 30 minutes score higher on memory and reasoning tests than those who don’t. But we knew that, right?

This is why you always carry ID, as Fairfield police attempt to identify a bike rider seriously injured in a collision; the victim remains unconscious in a trauma center.

A after joining a memorial ride for a cyclist killed by a distracted driver, Nevada County writer calls on drivers to try putting their cell phones in the glove box for the next 30 days. Great idea.

 

National

The Portland paper offers 10 tips on how to keep you bike from being stolen, and how to get it back if it is.

A Seattle writer questions whether bike advocacy is in decline in the city, especially since Seattle bike collisions are increasing.

A fat tire rider smashes the sled dog record for a 350-mile stretch of Alaska’s famed Iditarod trail. Of course, the warm weather that allows cyclists to ride fast also slows sled dogs down; my brother ended up with a cracked femur and wrenched shoulder trying to run his team on rocks one year.

Seriously? Even frigid Fargo gets bike share before the far more temperate City of Angels.

As if cars weren’t enough to worry about, an Allentown PA bar owner is on trial for allegedly walking out of his bar, then shooting and killing a random bicyclist riding a half block away.

A Hoboken man faces charges after being arrested for bike theft not once, not twice, but three times in the last nine months. Evidently, he’s both a prolific and crappy thief.

It shouldn’t take the death of a cyclist to call attention to a dangerous New Orleans intersection.

 

International

A Chilean mountain biker becomes the first professional athlete in her country to come out as gay. Clothes belong in closets, people don’t.

London’s mayor calls on bike riders to wave like a symphonic conductor to get drivers’ attention, which is far better than calling on motorists to actually pay attention.

An English firefighter testifies an angry driver buzzed him while he was riding to work, then got out of his car to yell at him, and buzzed him again, missing him by inches.

The UK extends their Think! Cycling safety campaign, despite evidence that it doesn’t seem to make any difference.

Newly retired pro cyclist Andy Schleck plans to open a bike shop in Luxembourg.

Sad news from Belgium, as a spectator is killed when a racer loses control of his bike in the wind; the victim was the wife of a former Tour de France stage winner.

An American professor working in the United Arab Emirates was killed while riding with a friend.

A Japanese man sues the maker of his folding mountain bike after the frame breaks, throwing him to the pavement and smashing his teeth. Let’s hope the $190 cost of the bike was used, not full retail.

 

Finally…

A Cincinnati TV station freaks out over the $50 each cost of bollards marking a parking protected bike lane, the concept behind which they don’t seem to get. A casual Aussie bicyclist feels threatened by cars, but can’t help ridiculing anyone who takes riding more seriously.

And a Bulgarian tourist decides to ride his bike into London from Heathrow on a major highway, causing much consternation since it evidently never occurred to anyone to try riding from the airport, let alone offer directions on how to do so.

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A prior commitment will keep me from attending today’s memorial service for Alex Baum, but he and his loved ones will be in my heart and prayers.

And someone please ask the mayor and LADOT when we’ll see the well-deserved public memorial for one of the truly great Angelenos?

Weekend Links: Trucker blames victim in Chinese video, and registration opens for Finish the Ride 2015

Perspective is everything.

Recently, we linked to a horrifying security cam video of a Chinese bike rider being run over by a massive semi-truck; fortunately, the victim miraculously survived, apparently unscathed.

To a bike rider, it seems pretty obvious that the truck overtook the rider before right-hooking him.

Yet from a trucker’s perspective, it’s the cyclist’s fault for riding into the truck’s blind spot, and not looking over his shoulder before crossing the intersection.

And if that doesn’t scare the crap out of you, it should.

Because far too many people excuse dangerous driving and instead blame the victims; the writer even acknowledges that the truck driver never seemed to notice the cyclist on the road directly in front of his truck as he turned.

Yet somehow, it’s the rider’s fault.

It shouldn’t be up to the rest of us to stay the hell out of the way of the big dangerous machines.

Thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the heads-up.

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It’s happened again.

An Oregon driver faces manslaughter charges after hitting a man crossing a busy street, then driving 11 blocks with the dying victim on the roof of her car before stopping to dump his body and flee the scene.

At least this time it wasn’t a cyclist. Not that it makes it any better.

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‘Tis the season.

Fontana groups give new bikes to over 200 low income kids. Four hundred bicyclists take part in the second annual Riverside Christmas Ride. Volunteers in National City donate dozens of bikes to kids in the community.

Santa Cruz police replace a bike stolen from a middle school girl who had earned it by making good grades. Los Banos police donate seven refurbished bikes to fourth and fifth graders. Eighty-five Oroville kids get refurbished bikes in an annual giveaway program from the local sheriff’s office.

Chicago bike messengers help deliver over 1,000 toys donated to the Marines’ Toys for Tots program. And a North Carolina man gives more than a thousand new and refurbished bikes to kids.

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Registration is now open for the 2015 edition of Finish the Ride, now billed as a Ride, Run, Walk ‘N Roll, to call attention the epidemic of hit-and-run and make the streets safer for all of us.

Last year’s event had a huge turnout, and this year’s on April 19th event promises to be even bigger and better, with more options and more challenging courses available.

And yes, I plan to see you there.

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Local

Rick Risemberg says you’re not so special anymore, because more of them are becoming us.

The LACBC is asking for your signature on a petition to create a world-class Beverly Hills Greenway on Santa Monica Blvd through the Biking Black Hole, instead of keeping it the same dangerous street it is now, as city officials seems to prefer. And yes, I’ve signed it.

Streetsblog wants your help determining the city’s Livable Streets Business of the Year; personally, I’d throw the extremely bike-friendly Timbuk2 store in Venice into the mix, as well.

 

State

A petition urges Governor Jerry Brown to amend state law to allow drivers to briefly cross a double center line when safe to do so in order to pass a cyclist. Brown previously vetoed an earlier version of the state’s three-foot passing law because it contained that exact provision. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Riverside officials discuss a possible pedestrian bridge over Highway 91; it’s not clear if it would be open to bikes, as well.

Palm Springs is scheduled to become more bike friendly next year, including 250 miles of marked bike lanes.

A Santa Barbara cyclist suffered head injuries when she was hit by a car; for a change, police respond by urging everyone to slow down.

Sad news from Santa Cruz, as a bike rider was run down from behind and killed by a hit-and-run driver; it takes until the second paragraph of the story for the local TV station to acknowledge that the truck was not acting on its own. Thanks to John McBrearty for the tip.

A Calaveras woman’s bike is stolen six weeks before a planned cross-country ride, so she decides to backpack through Oregon, instead.

 

National

Honolulu struggles to keep drivers from parking in a new protected bike lane; it might help if they moved the parking meters next to the cars instead of leaving them on the curb next to the bike lane.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske talks bike light requirements, at least as they apply in Oregon; most of what he says applies here, as well.

New York district attorneys prove to be the weak link in the city’s Vision Zero plan.

 

International

A British Columbia court awards $100,000 to a cyclist injured by a road raging driver.

The man who would be king, Britain’s Prince Charles, says streets must be reclaimed from cars.

A Danish study suggests hi-viz can reduce your risk of a collision nearly 50%.

Bike crashes are up in Melbourne, except on the city’s most popular street for cyclists.

 

Finally…

Bono brings the arm he shattered in a New York cycling collision out in public for the first time. Although it looks more like he’s trying to hide it and himself from the paparazzi than trying to show off anything.

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Thanks to Karen Scott for her extremely generous gift to help support this site

Morning Links: San Diego cyclists get blamed for collisions, and accused Eagleson killer enters not guilty plea

Evidently, it’s our fault.

Mostly, anyway.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, an analysis of San Diego bike crashes since 2011 shows cyclists at fault in nearly 60% of collisions.

Of course, those stats are based on police collision reports. And as the story notes, the results are subject to question.

Their accuracy depends largely on the individual officer’s knowledge and interpretation of bike law, ability to properly investigate bike collisions — especially when the injured cyclist is often unable to give his or her side of the story — and a lack of bias.

The simple fact is that few California police officers receive adequate, let alone in-depth, training in the rights and responsibilities of bike riders, as evidenced by the frequency with which riders are ticketed for things that aren’t actually illegal, such as riding in the traffic lane or two or more abreast.

And none are trained in the unique forensics of bicycle collisions, which differ dramatically from typical automobile crashes.

As for bias, with the exception of bike cops and officers who ride on their own time, most cops see the world from the same windshield perspective as other motorists.

All of which means that stats like this may provide support those who want to write bike riders off as law-breaking scofflaws.

But until we demand better bike training for traffic investigators — and police officers in general — they will have little basis in reality.

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Local

Not even zoo animals are safe from LA’s hit-and-run drivers, as a big horn sheep is killed after escaping its enclosure, and the jerk behind the wheel just keeps on driving.

Velonews reports on the first day of the CXLA Weekend at the Greek, with victories by Katerina Nash and James Driscoll in the elite races. Cycling Across LA offers video of the race.

A ride will be held on December 7th to honor fallen cyclist Milt Olin, roughly three months after the DA dishonored him by refusing to file charges in the case.

BikeSGV delivers their monthly newsletter filled with upcoming events in the San Gabriel Valley

 

State

Neil Storm Stephany entered a not guilty plea Friday in the alleged intoxicated hit-and-run death of cyclist Shaun Eagleson in Newport Beach last month. Stephany faces a well-deserved murder charge based on a prior DUI conviction.

Short-sighted San Clemente votes not to include bike lanes in a coming reconstruction of Calle Frontera, apparently not realizing that giving people an alternative to driving could reduce traffic.

‘Tis the season: A Pismo Beach man donates 57 bikes to the local sheriff’s department to give away for Christmas.

 

National

Great news from Tucson, as former Rep. Gabby Giffords gets back on her bike three years after the near-fatal shooting.

A road raging Seattle driver faces just three to nine months in jail following her conviction for second-degree assault for intentionally running down a cyclist in a horrific attack.

An allegedly very drunk Chicago bike share rider is critically injured after being hit by two cars.

Turns out that Wolverine-playing song-and-dance man Hugh Jackman is one of us, as he goes for a cold weather ride on the streets of New York.

A father and daughter finish their 4,200 mile trip from Washington to Key West to benefit wounded vets.

 

International

E-bikes are on a roll in Europe, but just starting to catch on in the US.

Bikes will be banned from a bucolic garden bridge over the Thames because they would allegedly spoil the peaceful walking atmosphere. And as we all know, it’s impossible to ride a bike peacefully.

Caught on video: A London cyclist captures a first-hand perspective of what it’s like to be hit by an unseen cab; the footage is evidence in a civil case.

Down Under girls just want to have fun on fixies. That is, if they’re not collecting a menagerie of bikes.

A newborn Aussie baby is safe, thanks to the cyclists who discovered him hidden in a storm drain where he had been abandoned up to five days earlier.

 

Finally…

Turns out rocket powered cyclists are nothing new. British cyclists have a better knowledge of road safety than motorists do; not surprising, since people on bikes are a lot more vulnerable on the roads those who can rely seat belts, air bags and crumple zones.

And a Boston man confronts the thief who’s stealing his bike, and wins.

 

Stupid human tricks: Hit-and-run triathlete, assault on a cyclist, and confused SF and NYC cops and DAs

Maybe it’s just me, but there seems to be a common theme to much of this week’s news.

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A Chicago cyclist is injured in a deliberate assault, as a passenger in a passing SUV reaches out and grabs her messenger bag, dragging her alongside the vehicle until her bike crashed into a parked car.

Evidently, just for the heck it, as she reported that the occupants were laughing as they risked her life.

Fortunately, she wasn’t badly hurt. But it’s another argument for protected bike lanes as she was quick to point out.

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Following the death of a San Francisco bicyclist, members of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition held a rally calling for improved safety and a separated bike lane on the street where she was right hooked by a truck driver who illegally turned across the bike lane she was riding in.

Evidently, one of San Francisco’s finest didn’t get the memo.

He illegally parked his patrol car in the middle of the bike lane, in the middle of the rally — despite an empty parking space to his right — forcing riders to leave the bike lane to go around his car. All to make a point that bike riders are supposed to pass on the left, just like anyone else.

Except they aren’t. Bikes are allowed to split lanes in California. And cyclists using a bike lane are in a separate lane from automotive traffic, and are no more required to stop for traffic in the lane next to them than a driver in the right lane would be expected to stop for one in the left.

Which isn’t to say it’s not the smartest move in response to clueless drivers sometimes.

Better to come to a full stop even though the law doesn’t require it than end up under the wheels of a car or truck.

And he blamed the death of Amelie Le Moullac, and two other bike riders killed by trucks in the same area this year, strictly on the victims. Even though the truck driver who killed Le Moullac was most likely overtaking her, rather than the other way around.

So he took the law into his own hands, apparently making the law up as he went along and needlessly risking the safety of anyone using that bike lane, just to blame the victim of a collision that’s still under investigation and attempting to bully bike riders into seeing the world through his own windshield perspective.

Sound about right?

If he’s not working a desk and worrying about his pension today, there’s something seriously wrong in Baghdad by the Bay.

Thanks to murphstahoe and Bike Soup USA for the heads-up.

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Thankfully, not all San Francisco cops have their heads so far up their own badges, as the department responded to a tweet from a tipster to bust a bike chop shop.

And speaking of bike thieves, a San Francisco resident noticed one riding off on a stolen bike. And promptly nailed him with an ice cube from his third floor apartment.

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In a case of someone who really should have known better, a well-known San Francisco triathlete has been arrested for the hit-and-run that left a Bay Area business suffering from the after effects of a severe brain injury.

Ironman champion Meredith Kessler was allegedly driving the SUV that ran into Soren Krogh-Jensen as he walked in a crosswalk last March, tossing him into the air before crashing back down ob his head. Security video shows her remaining at the scene for several minutes, reportedly checking the victim before getting back in her car and running away like just another heartless coward.

You’d expect better behavior from someone who rides a bike, especially at that level.

At least, I would.

Then again, instant karma seems to have played a role, as Kessler suffered a head injury herself in a collision with another rider while competing in a triathlon that followed the hit-and-run.

And yes, I know karma doesn’t really work that way.

But still.

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On the opposite coast, a New York City cop decides to ticket a bike rider for going through a red light by knocking her off her bike, apparently failing to realize — or perhaps not caring — that any fall from a bike can result in serious injury.

Or worse.

That’s like deliberately crashing into a driver’s vehicle in order to make a simple traffic stop. Or pistol whipping a pedestrian for jaywalking.

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Update: Thanks to Joe B for pointing out that the case below actually dates to 2009. For some reason it popped up in a web search for stories posted online in the previous 24 hours, and I neglected to check the date before writing this. So the good news is, maybe today’s New York isn’t as bad as it seems; or maybe the bad news is, this sort of thing has been going on longer than we thought. 

Or maybe I just need to avoid posting my own stories after 1 am. My apologies.

In another example of the sheer idiocy of officials in supposedly bike-friendly New York, a rider faces a charge of criminal mischief after he was deliberately doored by the driver of a massive SUV.

The vehicle was stopped partially blocking a protected bike lane with no indication of why it was stopped; but when the rider attempted to go around it, it started moving again.

So the cyclist responded by slapping the side of the SUV to warn the driver he was there; I’ve done the same thing more than once, and seen other cyclists do it as well.

It usually scares the crap out of the driver, but it’s better than getting run over by someone who doesn’t even know you’re there.

But I’ve never seen anyone respond the way this driver did, flinging open his door into the victim and knocking him off his bike. Then standing over him threateningly before picking up the man’s bike and setting it on the kickstand and driving away.

Leave it to the New York DA’s office to victimize the victim all over again, apparently for that potentially life-saving tap on the driver’s door.

According to the story, criminal mischief requires property damage in excess of $250 — which is far more likely to have been caused by the door hitting the rider than the other way around.

And this from the city Bicycling ranks as the 7th most bike-friendly community in the US.

Maybe the New York DA’s office didn’t get the memo, either.

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In another horrifying case from Gotham City, a taxi driver took the leg — or possibly legs — of an English tourist after an apparent dispute with a bike rider.

And Dr. Oz came running to the rescue.

The bike rider, who was injured in the incident, was next to the cab when the driver allegedly became impatient while attempting to make a left turn. When the rider attempted to tell him to stop, the cabbie reportedly became angry and stepped on the gas, tossing the cyclist onto his hood before slamming into the woman who was sitting on a piece of concrete street furniture.

Her life was apparently saved by a bystander who had the presence of mind to use his belt as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding on her severed leg, while another put the amputated limb on ice. Reports are her other foot was crushed and may not be able to be saved.

TV’s Dr. Oz reportedly saw the collision from his studio window, and came down to help, followed by a camera crew.

Needless to say, the NYPD seems to have ignored everything leading up to the crash and quickly determined there was no criminality involved. Not an impatient, careless or road raging driver, but just another tragic oops.

Fortunately, the city’s DA — yes, the same ones who charged the cyclist in the previous story — is taking another look at it. And the agency responsible for licensing cab drivers is taking steps to revoke the driver’s taxi license for a whopping 30 days; although under the circumstances, life would seem more appropriate.

Meanwhile, advocates are trying to get the NYPD to take traffic crime seriously, instead of just targeting bike riders while ignoring speeding motorists.

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A Florida detective makes a U-turn without checking his mirror, and collides with a driver in the next lane. But of course, it’s the stop sign-running bike rider who gets the blame.

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A British mom gives her hockey playing son a new BMW because she thought it was too dangerous to ride his bike to work.

Forty-two days later, he was killed driving his new car.

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Newport Beach’s highway-style right turn lanes put cyclists and pedestrians at needless risk. Actually, these are far too common throughout Orange County as well as San Diego County; another example of well-meaning but outdated planning gone dangerously amuck.

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But at least the Tour de France was dope-free this year. Right?

Although now that I think about it, I remember the same being said about Lance in the not too distant past.

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Finally, here’s the story I wrote for LA Streetsblog as guest editor yesterday, reporting on the new Save Our Streets LA proposal to repave the city’s crumbling streets.

And hopefully fix the sidewalks and install bikeways and build complete streets in the process.

Charge filed in death of bike-riding Cal Poly Pomona student Ivan Aguilar; is the university really at fault?

A bike-riding college student is dead.

The driver who took his life faces a relative slap on the wrist.

And the campus where he was killed appears to be doing little or nothing to protect cyclists on campus.

Instead, Cal Poly Pomona seems to be hiding behind California’s devastating 85th Percentile Law to justify plans to raise speed limits on campus, making it even more dangerous for anyone on foot or two wheels.

Or at least, that was the gist of a Twitter conversation I had with representatives of the school Wednesday morning.

The outpouring of grief that followed the death of Cal Poly Pomona student and cyclist Ivan Aguilar should have spurred immediate action to tame what is reportedly dangerously out of control traffic on campus, where numerous students have reported feeling unsafe walking or biking.

Yet four months later, no changes have been made to protect students and faculty — not even on the street where Aguilar lost his life. And none are currently planned.

In fact, the school’s new 2013 traffic study doesn’t even include the words bicycle, bicyclist or pedestrian, according to a story by Beau Yarbrough in the Daily Bulletin.

Kind of makes it hard to make meaningful improvements when nothing is considered except speeding motor vehicle traffic flow.

Although to be fair, they have talked about bikes.

Key word being, talked.

But traffic plans that don’t even consider non-motorized transportation show just how out of touch campus leaders are. And how far the school has to go to make it safe for anyone, let alone everyone, whether on two feet, two wheels or four.

Apparently, those students are right to be afraid.

Especially when the death of a popular and promising young man leads to nothing more serious than a misdemeanor charge with a maximum penalty of just one year in county jail.

According to the Daily Bulletin, CPP Civil Engineering student Gonzalo Aranguiz Salazar will face a charge of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence.

In other words, pretty much the mildest charge authorities could file under the circumstances, while still holding someone accountable for the death.

Is that justice?

I have no idea.

I’ve yet to see any description from any source of how the collision occurred. No word whatsoever on how fast the driver was going, or if he broke any traffic laws leading up to the impact with Aguilar.

Apparently, it’s on a need to know basis.  And no one with knowledge of the investigation seems to think you or I need to know.

We’re just expected to accept that the charges are fair and appropriate given the top secret circumstances.

Sort of like we’re supposed to trust that campus administrators have the safety of their students at heart, on a campus that does not include a single inch of bicycling infrastructure.

Beverly Hills, meet your collegiate counterpart.

In all honesty, I’m not sure Salazar is the one who should be facing charges.

But you can’t charge a college with living in the auto-centric past and favoring motorists at the expense of every other road user. As much as it may be deserved.

But something tells me Cal Poly Pomona won’t make the list of bicycle-friendly universities anytime soon.

Update: Gottobike forwards a quote from American bike racer Ted King that seems oddly appropriate to this discussion:

It is impossible to find solutions when you’re busy making excuses.

And Boyonabike reminds me of something I let slide from the Daily Bulletin story about the Salazar charge, and shouldn’t have. 

The story quotes Megan Chaney, director of Clinical Programs and Experiential Learning and Associate Professor of Law at the University of La Verne College of Law, explaining why a misdemeanor charge may be appropriate in this case.

“A lot of time when somebody plows into somebody in a crosswalk or an intersection, it’s just an accident,” Chaney said Wednesday. “We put the onus, the responsibility on the driver, not the pedestrian, unless they’ve done something really horrible….”

“You’re allowed to look at the radio; that’s why you’ve got a radio. You drop your water bottle and look down to pick it up,” she said. “You really weren’t acting with any sort of criminal culpability. “

That’s the problem.

As a society, we’ve chosen not to hold drivers responsible for all but the most extreme actions behind the wheel. The collisions that result from carelessness, distraction or relatively minor violations of the law are excused as mere accidents, and left for the insurance companies to deal with, with little or no consequences for the drivers involved.

And that’s why we continue to have 30,000 +/- deaths on American streets each year.

It may be the current legal standard. 

But actions that result in the death or serious injuries of others should never be accepted. Or excused. Motor vehicles are, by their very nature, dangerous machines, and their operators can and should be expected to use the same caution behind the wheel that we expect from those involved in any other hazardous situation.

When life is taken more seriously than simple convenience on our streets, then — and only then — will anyone be safe on our streets.

Maybe Cal Poly Pomona doesn’t care how many students die if they get to raise the speed limits

Evidently one dead cyclist isn’t enough, as a new Cal Poly Pomona traffic study completely ignores bike and pedestrian safety.

In fact, the study — released under a Freedom of Information request — actually urges raising speed limits for motor vehicles, rather than doing anything to encourage non-motorized transportation. Or protect the lives and safety of those who bravely choose to use it in spite of the campus administration’s apparent disregard for anyone who travels on less than four wheels.

According to an article in the Daily News,

The words “bicycle,” “bicyclist” and “pedestrian” do not appear anywhere in the 2013 traffic study document.

It’s the same story with the 2006-2007 traffic study, which was released a year after student Matthew Myers was struck and killed in a crosswalk on Kellogg Drive, a tenth of a mile west of University Drive, across from Parking Lot F-9…

The article quotes the university’s Executive Director of Public Affairs as saying people just don’t understand how difficult it is to add speed bumps or bike lanes on campus, saying a simple bike lane on Kellogg Drive would cause traffic to back up onto I-10.

Right.

Give me a brush and a bucket of paint, and I’ll show them just how easy it is.

It’s shameful when a major university, which is supposed to be dedicated to critical thinking, can’t manage to look past their own dangerously outdated auto-centric windshield perspective to develop safety solutions that would benefit everyone on, arriving to or leaving campus.

And then manages to talk out of both sides of their mouths by promising to improve bike and pedestrian safety while proposing to place students and staff even more at the mercy of motor vehicles by to increasing speeds on campus and refusing to lift a finger to calm traffic.

Seriously, if I was a parent, I would think twice about sending my child to a school that evidently doesn’t give a damn about the safety of their students. Especially the ones who choose not to travel by motor vehicle.

There are plenty of other California colleges and universities that do.

Maybe the students and faculty need to stop calling for improved safety. And demand a school administration that gets it, instead.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

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On the first day of New York’s new bike share program, a writer for the self-proclaimed supportive but failure-fearing Daily News seems to like it, while another suggests the city will probably survive — even if the program doesn’t include helmets. Meanwhile, the frequently anti-bike New York Post gleefully announced the first Citi Bike bicycle theft occurred before the bike could even be installed. A protester claims Paris would never put a bike share station in front of the Louvre, but a photo proves him wrong. A writer for London’s Guardian says the clumsy Mikes Bikes just make him want a less clumsy one of his own. And the Times calls it a tie in four races across town.

The program is even popular with the city’s candidates for mayor, who have fallen over themselves in criticizing Bloomberg’s efforts to increase cycling facilities. And two days in, calamity has yet to strike.

The world hasn’t come to an end, either.

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An Indiegogo campaign has two weeks left to raise $3000 to send an eight-member foster family to CicLAvia.

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Local cyclist Weshigh captures a dangerous driver on video, as the jerk — which seems to be the mildest word appropriate to the situation — passes a small group of cyclists on their right using the parking lane, then flips them off as he drives away. Before getting stuck in traffic, that is, allowing them to capture his license number.

Maybe it’s just me, but I swear I can hear lawyers lining up to try out L.A.’s still untested cyclist anti-harassment ordinance.

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The next in an endless series of community meetings to discuss planned bike lanes in Northeast L.A. takes place on Monday, June 3rd. Despite the hysteria over bike lanes in NELA., the fire department isn’t concerned. A business owner says parking is the real problem in Eagle Rock, not bike lanes. The top 22 bike stories so far in 2013; L.A. checks in at #19. Boyonabike — quoted in the Daily News article that kicks off today’s post — examines the recent LACBC panel discussion I participated in, along with the Bike Safe guide it promoted. Glendale could see $57 million in improvements, including new bicycle facilities throughout the city. Learn to ride safely in Long Beach this Sunday. Long Beach plans to separate bike riders and pedestrians on the beach bike path, which oddly brings opposition from beach advocates.

The Inland Empire checks in as the nation’s 6th most deadly areas for cyclists and pedestrians. Get $5000 to design and build an artistic bike rack, as Palm Springs works to become bike friendlier. While L.A. worries about protecting Hollywood locations instead of cyclists, San Diego riders get their fourth green bike lane in just weeks, including this good looking lane on Montezuma Road; thanks to Monet Diamonte for the heads-up. A series of bike corrals is coming to Coronado. A Fresno bike trail with get an underpass beneath a busy street, a year too late to save a seven-year old bike rider. Meanwhile, a 19-year old Fresno State student is killed in a collision with a big rig, while the battle over Fresno bike lanes goes on. NorCal’s MonkeyLectric ups their game with the programmable Monkey Light Pro wheel light system; I’m a big fan of their earlier, non-programmable Mini Monkey Light, which offers a fun, playful way to not get run over at night.

How not to buy a bike in seven steps. So much for contrition, as Lance still hasn’t said “I’m sorry” to the people he bullied or for the lives he ruined. An Everett WA writer says watch out for passer-aggressive motorists. Your guide to riding in Colorado; even I only did some of these rides when I lived there. Despite a significant decline in Colorado traffic fatalities, cycling deaths are going the wrong way — up 44% since 2002. Denver bike thieves are caught on camera. Signup begins for Chicago’s upcoming bike share. Boston researchers find helmet laws reduce deaths and injuries for riders under 16 by 20%, but fail to consider possible reductions in ridership levels that could more than account for their findings; oddly, though, it appears you actually have to wear one before it does any good. One of my favorite bike bloggers is now the proud owner of a new Boston bike shop. Florida’s governor shoots down a planned 275-mile cross-state bike and pedestrian trail.

Mexican TV shames people for driving in the bike lane; I wish someone would do that here. A Canadian writer points the finger at those murderous, spandex-clad cyclists speeding down the bike path; yes, you and I are apparently the root of all evil. Or maybe it’s just me. A British Columbia bike rider apparently collides with a pedestrian before fatally falling in front of a bus. A Victoria writer says the road to hell may be paved with good intentions, but it doesn’t have bike lanes. An Ontario driver gets 4-1/2 years for killing a cyclist while binging on coke. A Toronto bike commuter rants after a close call while riding. Top Gear’s frequent anti-bike ranter Jeremy Clarkson has become one of us, but still can’t resist a few digs. A London study shows free parking is less important than most retailers think. A quick-thinking London cyclist saves a toddler from drowning in the Thames. Police suspect a Brit fixie rider of bike theft because he wasn’t wearing Lycra. Another favorite sometimes bike blogger explains why Scot cyclists pedaled on Parliament. Biking in Britain is actually safer than you might think. Ten lessons from this year’s Giro, including the indisputable fact that 2013 winner Vincenzo Nibali is a badass. A careless Kiwi driver crashes into a kids bike safety class.

Finally, if you’re already facing a life sentence for having three strikes under Louisiana’s habitual offender law, don’t ride on the sidewalk with marijuana in your shoe and coke in your hat. Although I have to admit, that’s about the flimsiest excuse for a probable-cause pat down I’ve ever heard.

And an 11-year old astutely observes “When you drive, the Earth smokes.”

Run over by a riding mower, near-killer PV speed bumps to stay

As some of you may know, my oldest brother runs a dog team up in the Anchorage area, competing in the famed Iditarod sled dog race four times, and finishing three.

The other left him and his team huddled in a shelter in subzero temperatures, waiting for rescue with a broken sled — not to mention a broken leg, frostbite and a bruised shoulder.

The dogs were just fine, though.

So maybe he was in the market for a safer form of transportation, or one that works a little better once the snow melts. Or maybe, like the rest of us, he was just trying to save a little with the current sky high price of gas.

Regardless, my brother, Eric O. Rogers — perhaps the only particle physicist and dog musher on the planet — has now officially joined the ranks of bike riders.

And promptly gotten himself run over.

By a riding mower.

It seems he rode his bike to the local Lowes home improvement store, and stopped in the parking lot to ask an employee where he could find a bike rack. And as he was stopped on his bike, he was hit by man on a riding lawnmower.

Fortunately, the mower wasn’t in use at the time, and he escaped with nothing more than a little road rash.

And I’m sure you already know the answer to the question that nearly got him turned into mulch.

Lowes, at least that one, doesn’t have bike racks.

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In a decision that defies common sense, the City Council of Palos Verdes Estates has voted to keep the speed bumps that nearly killed cyclist Richard Schlickman.

As you may recall, Schlickman was critically injured when he hit the newly installed speed bumps — excuse me, speed cushions — while riding downhill at speed, with little or no warning to cyclists that they had been built on a popular riding route. He had been riding downhill at speed when he hit the bumps, sliding nearly 80 feet down the roadway before coming to a stop; fortunately, word is he continues to make slow but steady improvement from what could have been a fatal fall.

But rather than remove or replace the potentially killer cushions, the council inexplicably voted to keep them in place.

Evidently, they haven’t yet crippled or killed enough cyclists in their effort to tame local traffic. Maybe someone should tell them there are alternative methods to calm traffic that don’t put riders lives at risk.

I hope PVE has a good lawyer.

Thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up.

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Hap Dougherty shares another great set of cycling photos. This time, it’s a Memorial Day ride that took him from Westwood’s Los Angeles National Cemetery, throughout the Westside and up the L.A. River Bike Path — home to this weekend’s L.A. River Ride.

It does make you wonder why the cemetery insists on banning bikes, when so many riders just want to pay their respects.

Myself included.

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Over the weekend I found myself drawn into a discussion on the West Seattle Blog, possibly the nation’s leading hyperlocal news site — sorry Patch — managed by a couple of longtime friends.

One of their readers was shocked and offended to see a cyclist towing his child in a bike trailer, assuming imminent danger — if not death — for the parentally neglected kid.

Problem is, while motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for children, few, if any, of those deaths result from collisions with bicycle trailers. In terms of sheer numbers, children are at far greater risk riding in a car with their parents, or simply walking on the sidewalk.

One of the writers tried to make the point that even if just one child was killed as a result of riding in a bike trailer, it would be one too many — especially if it was your child.

That conveniently ignores the nearly 7,000 or more passengers killed in motor vehicle collisions each year — many of them children. As well as the more than 4,000 pedestrians of all ages killed every year. Each of whom was someone’s child.

So rather than getting up in arms over a potential, hypothetical danger, we should be concerned about the proven risk posed by careless, aggressive, intoxicated or distracted drivers, who kill over 33,000 people on American streets every year — including a minimum of 630 cyclists.

Sadly, there are none so blind as those who cannot see through the glare of their own windshields.

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Finally, thanks to Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious for stopping by to say hi as he passed through town over the weekend, along with his lovely family. It was a true pleasure to finally meet someone I’ve only traded emails with, and who’s work I have always enjoyed and admired.

And while I neglected to take any pictures, he did capture great shot of the new intern, who has been helping more than she knows by sleeping behind the sofa this morning and allowing me to work uninterrupted for a change.

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