Morning Links: Ride SaMo’s Breeze bikes, Seth says thumbs down to PCH bike lanes, & an 8 y.o. hit-and-run perp

Local

The rich get richer as bike lanes are scheduled to go in on Westwood Plaza this month on the already bike-friendly UCLA campus.

Nine more bikes have been stolen in Downtown LA, including one where the owner left the key resting on the seat. Seriously, let that be your reminder to register your bike now, before anything happens.

The Santa Monica Public Library wants your advice on what kind of programs they should offer, including possible bicycle-related programming. Meanwhile, visitors to Saturday’s Santa Monica Festival can try out one of the bikes from the city’s coming Breeze bike share.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson says Malibu’s new door zone bike lanes on PCH are complete rubbish, and the equivalent of the city giving the finger to cyclists who ride the highway.

Flying Pigeon hosts the monthly Spoke(n) Art Ride this Saturday.

LADOT Bike Blog lays out the full schedule for next week’s LA Bike Week, while CICLE hosts Women’s Bike Night next Wednesday as part of Pasadena Bike Week.

 

State

Someone with a San Clemente address has scammed two bike manufactures out of high-end bikes by posing as a magazine editor asking to do a review. Note to bike makers: I will gladly review your bikes, and probably even return them afterwards.

The ninth annual Grand Prix of Cycling rolled through Dana Point on Sunday.

Apple Valley police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who ran down a cyclist from behind; the victim was airlifted to a hospital with unknown injuries.

San Jose becomes the latest California city to adopt a Vision Zero plan. Now it’s time for the state to step up.

 

National

Drivers often complain that bike riders don’t pay enough for the roads we ride on. Actually, it’s the other way around.

Denver is missing an opportunity to create a network of protected bike lanes.

An Illinois woman is being investigated by child services for riding her bike while holding the hand of her small son as he ran alongside, apparently struggling to keep up.

Maybe it’s just me, but 9 am seems just a tad early to use heroin before getting behind the wheel; the allegedly stoned driver hit a parked car, then drove onto the sidewalk and ran down a parked bicycle. But what the hell is an “unoccupied” bike?

New York introduces a new Vision Zero TV ad designed to get drivers to actually slow down and pay attention. As if.

A New York street could go from having a 10-foot shared lane to a six-foot parking-protected bike lane with a five-foot buffer. As Yoda would say, jealous I am. Except a Jedi master probably wouldn’t be jealous.

A heftier Jonah Hill is captured by paparazzi pedaling a Citi Bike through the streets of New York.

 

International

How to tell if you’re watching too much cycling on television. I only wish that was a problem on American TV, especially when it comes to women’s racing.

Ottawa votes to spend nearly $5 million to not install protected bike lanes.

The Guardian looks at how Amsterdam became the bicycle capital of the world, including the Stop de Kindermoord movement to end the deaths of children on their streets. Something we desperately need the equivalent of right here in the US.

Thai authorities are on the lookout for a driver who fled the scene after plowing into a group of Bangkok bike riders, killing one and injuring two others. This follows just days after a drunken, speeding driver killed three riders elsewhere in the country.

 

Finally…

The Feds want to ask Lance’s girlfriend if his pants are on fire, while Astana goes on double secret probation. A New York cyclist unexpectedly beats a well-deserved ticket for running a red light.

And Mad City police are on the lookout for a hit-and-run cyclist who broke the leg of a two-year old boy; the perp is described as an eight or nine year old girl.

 

23-year old bike rider killed last week in Granada Hills truck collision

Today is turning into a very sad day.

Last Thursday, I received a secondhand report that a bicyclist had been killed in Granada Hills earlier in the week. Since then, I’ve been working with Asher M to confirm the report, without success

Sadly, that came today, when the LAPD’s bike liaison for the Valley Traffic Division confirmed that that a rider was killed last week.

According to his email, the victim was crossing Nordhoff Street while riding north on Petit Ave when multiple witnesses report he went through the red light while riding against traffic, and was struck by a vehicle.

No time was given for the collision.

Asher was able to track down Facebook and Instagram pages identifying the victim as 23-year old Andrew Fang. A memorial post indicates he was on his way home from school when he was hit by a truck, and died in the hospital the following day.

A fund has been established to help his family cover the unexpected costs relating to his death. As of today, it has raised a little over $3,800 of the $10,000 goal.

This is the 18th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth in Los Angeles County; it’s also the third in the City of Los Angeles. That compares with 16 in the county and four in the city this time last year.

Update: The wreck occurred at 7:50 pm, so visibility may have been an issue, as well.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Andrew Fang and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Asher M, whose assistance was invaluable.

Morning Links: More on efforts to undo Chase Street, bike riding family shot in WI, and apparently only dopes dope

Good commentary from Mr. CiclaValley (who apparently has no idea how hard it is not to type CicLAvia by mistake) on the ridiculous efforts to undo a road diet on Chase Street in Panorama City.

As he points out, the argument comes down, as it usually does, to the convenience of pass-through motorists versus the safety of people who live, work and attend school along the street, which was never intended to be the arterial people seem to use it for.

Or that the local neighborhood councils want it to be, at least.

Battles like this are best seen as the violent death throws of LA’s overdependence on motor vehicles. Simply put, the city has no choice but to change; as he points out, increasing capacity on our streets does nothing to reduce congestion in the long run.

The only choice we have is to provide viable alternatives to driving. Which means, not just providing transit options, but making our streets safe to bike and walk.

As an added benefit, improving safety also makes our neighborhoods more livable, resulting in increased property values and greater profitability for local businesses.

Which seems to be more than worth a small increase in congestion — which usually only lasts until drivers adjust to the changes, anyway.

But hey, that’s just me.

………

This one’s just too sad for words.

A Wisconsin father and daughter were killed, and the mother injured, when a stranger opened fire on a family out for a bike ride before killing himself. Just because he was pissed off after a fight with his girlfriend, and they happened to be there.

There are no words.

………

Give Lance his yellow jerseys back.

A new study says doping not only doesn’t improve performance, but it can actually have the opposite effect.

So Armstrong may have won in spite of cheating, not because of it.

Yeah, good luck with that one.

………

Local

The WeHo Bicycle Coalition posts candidate questionnaires for all the candidates in next months West Hollywood election, while the city’s City Council considers jacking up fines for parking in bike lanes.

Malibu is hosting a free bike rodeo for kids ages 4 – 13 this Friday afternoon, along with the premier of a new video promoting safety on PCH.

Look ma, no hands! Actor Orlando Bloom impresses the impressionable Brit press by riding his mountain bike hands-free through the ‘Bu.

A Long Beach rider walks away from a collision in Belmont Shore.

 

State

All-diabetic Team Novo Nordisk will compete in this year’s Amgen Tour of California, while former non-diabetic Astana rider Evan Huffman struggles to come back with an entry-level team competing in the tour.

A a meth-fueled Santa Barbara woman attempts to make her getaway by stolen bike after attacking an elderly woman with a pitchfork.

San Mateo County can afford to widen the freeway, but can’t seem to scape up enough funds for a safe way for bikes and pedestrians to cross it.

Bay Area-based Google gets a patent for how driverless cars can detect bike riders and recognize hand signals. But can it recognize the one we give to too many human drivers? Yes, that one.

Chico bicyclists smartly adapt the tweed ride for the California climate with an annual seersucker ride.

 

National

Advice on how to choose a lock and effectively secure your bike.

A $100,000 grant from REI helps fund protected bike lanes in six cities. And no, Los Angeles is not one of them.

A Mac website says the non-Apple-made Stromer ST2 e-bike is such a blast to ride it shouldn’t be street legal.

A Honolulu protected bike lane increased bike traffic by 70% in just one year, while cutting sidewalk riding from 66% to just 14%.

Oregon begins a new campaign to increase bike tourism in the state.

My hometown offers an alternative to bike share, with a bike library that lends out bicycles to anyone who needs one. Note to the Coloradoan newspaper: Don’t let them pull the wool over your eyes. Fort Collins wasn’t a cow town; it was all about the sheep. Which explains why my high school team was called the Lambkins, something I’m still trying to live down.

Yesterday we mentioned a cyclist with pancreatic cancer who spent the last three years touring the US. Now another rider pauses in Texas on a cross country ride to raise funds to fight pancreatic cancer; his wife, who suffers from the disease, is following in the support van. My mother died of pancreatic cancer, as did Steve Jobs and Cardinal Joseph Bernadin. And as a relatively newly minted Type 2 diabetic, I face an increased risk, as well. I fucking hate cancer.

Tres shock! The editor-in-chief of Vogue is nearly flattened by a bike rider on her way to a New York red carpet event; the rider was reportedly led away by police.

Bono falls off his bike once again. But this time it was just a stunt for Jimmy Fallon.

West Virginia tells drivers to give bike riders three feet.

A South Carolina motorist faces an attempted murder charge for jumping out of his car and attacking a woman riding her bike; the victim was seriously injured in the assault.

 

International

Good for them. A UK appeals court tells a hit-and-run driver who killed a cyclist and tried to cover up his crime that he deserves every day of his eight-and-a-half year sentence.

A bicyclist is beaten to death by a motorcycle rider attending a wedding in India, after he lost his balance and broke a turn signal on the motorbike. A mob responded by trashing the wedding site, yet the couple still managed to exchange vows under heavy police protection.

Adult cyclists may soon be allowed to ride on the sidewalks in one Down Under state.

The LA Times looks at the problems besetting Giant’s giant Taiwan bike manufacturing plant.

Not surprisingly, the speeding Thai driver who plowed into a group of cyclists, killing three and injuring six, was under the influence.

 

Finally…

It often seems like spandex and those who wear it are under attack these days, but bike shorts still come in handy for smuggling a half kilo of coke jammed into your nether regions. When you’re claiming to be the victim in a road rage incident, it helps if you don’t head butt and bite the cops when they respond; it also helps if the Kiwi press can manage to keep the damn parties in the story straight.

And caught on video: A Brit bike rider flips through the air along with his mangled bike after he’s hit by a car, and catches the whole thing on his helmet cam.

 

62-year old crosswalk rider killed in Santa Ana left cross collision

Bad news from Santa Ana.

I learned late last night from a source in Orange County that a bike rider was killed in a left cross while riding in a crosswalk Monday evening.

The victim, identified by the Orange County Coroner as 62-year old Robert Horton, was riding in a crosswalk along 17th Street when he hit by a car turning left onto the northbound I-5 Freeway onramp around 5:20 pm.

He was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where he was pronounced dead at 6:06 pm.

Presumably, Horton was riding on the sidewalk when he rode into the crosswalk; no word on which side of the street he was on or which direction he was riding.

Riding on the sidewalk is banned in the downtown area in Santa Ana; whether that would apply along the freeway is unclear. Depending on how the local police apply the confusing laws on riding in a crosswalk, he could be blamed for the collision if he was riding against traffic.

However, looking at Google Earth, it’s unclear how the driver could have made a legal left turn onto either onramp, since they appear to be designed for right turns only, with left turns blocked by the median.

And while the Orange County Register identifies the make and model of the car, there’s no word on the driver. Or even if the car had one.

This is the 17th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Orange County. That compares with 38 and eight, respectively, this time last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Robert Horton and his family. 

Thanks to James Johnson of Johnson Attorneys Group for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Photographic proof of bikes in Hollywood, ride LA with Phil Gaimon, and transvestites on bikes

We took the Corgi on a long and pleasant walk through our new Hollywood neighborhood on Sunday, on our way to the Ride On! Bike Day at Amoeba Records.

And I was not only pleased to see that people ride their bikes to the city’s largest farmer’s market…

SAMSUNG

…but that Amoeba has their very own bike corral. Which doesn’t look a bit like the ones the city installs.

Amoeba Bike Corral

……..

Local

Caught on video: Ride the streets of LA with pro cyclist Phil Gaimon.

Pasadena mountain biker survives a 75-foot fall off a trail in the Angeles National Forest with only minor injuries.

Redondo Beach will host a ribbon cutting for their new and improved bike path and cycle track on June 13th.

The last link in a 21-mile bike and walking trail connecting communities in LA and San Bernardino Counties opens.

The annual Santa Monica Festival kicks off Bike Week this Saturday.

 

State

Women cyclists seek parity with the men; female racers will get a three-stage race as part of next week’s Amgen Tour of California, but only one hour of long-delayed TV coverage.

Orange County firefighters use a helicopter to rescue an injured mountain biker who went over his handlebars.

A San Diego cyclist was seriously injured when a wrong-way driver turned into an exit lane at a shopping mall.

San Jose plans to achieve Vision Zero by cutting the number of solo drivers on the road by half in the next 25 years.

 

National

A new study says putting lights on your hips, knees and ankles does the most to increase visibility.

After being told he had just 18 months to live, an Oregon man with pancreatic cancer spends three years riding through 41 states and three countries. Meanwhile, a cyclist who’s been riding for 71 years says it’s the key to aging gracefully.

Seriously? A Nebraska prosecutor concludes that drivers can’t be expected to see a three-wheeled ‘bent, even with an eight-foot flag attached. Thanks to Warren for the heads-up.

Illinois bike riders develop a free online quiz on the rights and rules governing bicyclists.

After Lansing MI officials remove a ghost bike honoring a 69-year old hit-and-run victim, local cyclists put a new one in its place.

When a DUI driver hits a man riding a bike, it may be many things, but it’s not an accident. Despite what a Kentucky TV station says.

Actor Patrick Dempsey is hosting Maine cyclists on the two day, 130 mile Dempsey Challenge.

The Boston Red Sox are offering a bike valet service all this summer at Fenway Park. Are you listening, Magic?

Roughly 32,000 bike riders take part in New York’s annual Five Boro Bike Tour. But why does the story refer to spandex-clad bicyclists when the photo shows nary a Lycra in sight?

Tampa’s bike share program has logged 40,000 miles with just eight flats and no thefts. And more importantly, no reported injuries.

 

International

Two Canadian cyclists plan to ride 5,000 miles from Poland to Iran to recreate the 75th anniversary of Polish exiles escaping to Iran in WWII.

A road raging Brit driver is on trial for swerving at a bike rider, throwing a water bottle at him and then threatening the rider with a knife; he claims he merely pulled over because his grandmother — who wasn’t actually in the car — had a cramp and dropped her water bottle when the door opened.

Bicycling gains popularity in Yorkshire. But how the hell does that threaten soccer and rugby, as the headline suggests?

Scotland plans to invest the equivalent of $30 million to fund 150 bicycling projects.

A new documentary by a Swedish filmmaker says it really is a battle between bikes and cars on streets around the world.

Two Indian boys kill their friend in a dispute over a rental bike.

Aussie bicyclists are demanding action to catch whoever has been sabotaging bike lanes with tacks for the last 16 months.

An Australian cyclist wants to thank the anonymous bike riding stranger who saved his life.

A Kiwi columnist says there’s no good or evil in the conflict between those in cars or on bikes; just people trying to get their “fat arses” to work. Or sometimes, riding next door to report a house fire when the phones don’t work.

Horrible news from Thailand, as a speeding driver plowed into a group of cyclists from behind, killing three riders and injuring six.

 

Finally…

Judging by the headline in an Alameda newspaper, an apparently sentient and driverless SUV attacked a bike rider. The New York Post reports Entourage actress Emmanuelle Chriqui rode a $799 bike out the door of a Rag and Bone boutique party in Venice, before bringing it back; there’s a story here because…?

And it turns out bicycling is the perfect form of sport and transportation for transvestites.

 

Weekend Links: Bike the Vote endorses Ramsay, bike protest at Malibu City Hall, and rough week for LA cyclists

Too much news, good and bad, for one weekend.

So let’s dive right in.

……..

Bike the Vote LA has officially come out in favor of Carolyn Ramsay in the May 19th election for LA’s Council District 4, which they describe as crucial for LA cyclists.

And as someone who lives in the district, so do I. Bike-friendly improvements can’t come soon enough to an area where there are far too few safe and comfortable options for cyclists.

Riders are invited to join Bike the Vote LA to canvass for Ramsay on Saturday.

……..

LA’s Mobility Plan 2035 goes before the Planning Commission on May 29th at the Van Nuys City Hall. The plan incorporates the 2010 bike plan, which has been gutted in some areas by a handful of city councilmembers, despite being unanimously approved the council in 2011.

Evidently, unanimous votes don’t mean what they used to. Maybe they had their fingers crossed.

You might want to consider showing up to tell the Planning Commission how you feel about that.

……..

If you ride PCH or the Malibu Hills, you owe it to yourself to protest the illegal mistreatment of cyclists by the motorists on the highway, as well as by members of the LA County Sheriff’s Department.

Join Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson at Malibu City Hall at 9 am on Saturday, May 9th, or meet him at Will Rogers State Park to ride into the city as a group. And hopefully not get any tickets for not riding in the non-existent bike lane along the way.

This has been an ongoing problem in the area, as bike riders work with the department to ensure fair enforcement, only to see new officers transferred in who don’t understand the basics of bike law, so the process starts all over again.

And it’s time it stopped.

……..

It’s been a rough week for LA cyclists.

According to a Facebook account, two bike riders training for the AIDS/Lifecycle Ride were mugged and robbed at gunpoint by three men on the LA River bike path Wednesday night.

One of the riders was eventually able to get away, but the other lost his bike and cell phone to the thieves.

Unfortunately, the account doesn’t say where it happened on the bike path. So be alert out there, especially at night. Thanks to Matt Ruscigno for the heads-up.

Then there’s this case, where a cyclist definitely didn’t get a three-foot passing margin.

In another Facebook account, a rider describes being passed by a vehicle so closely that the trailer it was pulling actually brushed his foot, scraping the side of his shoe — despite the fact that he was riding at the speed limit in a no passing zone.

Needless to say, the driver refused to take any responsibility, instead blaming his victim for being on the road. Or maybe the planet. Thanks to Mike Kim for the link.

……..

A Santa Ana cyclist is in critical condition after he was right hooked by a large truck when he came off a sidewalk into the street, and was caught under the rear wheels of the truck. He was dragged about 200 feet before the truck came to a stop.

As usual, the driver was not cited.

……..

Let’s catch up with the upcoming bike events.

Don’t forget Ride On! Bike Day at Amoeba Records from noon to 4 pm this Sunday, benefitting the LACBC.

All ages are welcome to the family friendly second annual Walk ‘N Roll Festival in Culver City this Sunday.

The Eastside Bike Club is hosting a breakfast ride on Sunday to kick off Bike Month.

Santa Clarita will host their free Hit the Trail community bike ride on Saturday, May 9th.

The LA edition of the worldwide CycloFemme Global Women’s Cycling Day movement rolls on Sunday, May 10th, starting at the Spoke Bicycle Café on the LA River bike path.

Tour LA’s iconic street art with the Eastside Mural Ride on Saturday, May 16th.

……..

Local

CiclaValley goes climbing.

Councilmember Jose’ Huizar calls for re-evaluating streets in Downtown LA to make them safer for bike riders and pedestrians.

A new bike from LA-based Pure Fix pays tribute to the late rapper Notorious B.I.G., aka Biggie Smalls, and former NBA All-Star Rasheed Wallace. But could it support an extra large rider like Biggie?

Santa Monica businesses can join in the city’s 2015 Commuter Challenge: Bike Month to see which company can achieve the highest CO2 savings by having their employees bike to work through May. Which just happens to be National Bike Month, as well as the start of the National Bike Challenge.

Manhattan Beach residents raise a whopping 543% of their Indiegogo goal to market an affordable e-bike beach cruiser.

The long planned two-way bikeway connecting Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach should be rideable by Memorial Day.

Advice on bicycling in LA County from a student at Biola University.

 

State

Schedule your life around the TV viewing schedule for the Amgen Tour of California for the next few weeks. Needless to say, the women’s races won’t be televised — except for a one-hour 11 pm highlight show. So much for network support for women’s racing.

Unbelievable. San Diego police are looking for a road raging truck driver who hit bike rider in the head with a hammer during an argument. I repeat, he hit a bike rider in the head with a hammer. Proof that bike helmets really do help.

The San Diego Bike Coalition kicked off Bike Month a day early. Apparently, they were too excited to wait another day.

A Modesto driver gets six years for a hit-and-run that seriously injured a cyclist while she was high on meth; somehow, she was still allowed on the road despite two previous DUIs.

Sacramento considers putting more of their streets on a diet.

I’ve said it before: It takes a major schmuck to mug a small boy and steal his bike, this time in Calaveras County.

A proposed Merced bike path is the regional finalist in a $100,000 contest sponsored by Bell Helmets.

San Francisco buses get triple bike racks, something we’ve been promised down here now that the law has been changed to allow them.

A Marin equestrian says safely sharing every trail with bikes, hikers and horses is an illusion. Maybe so, but bike riders and hikers hardly ever poop on the trail.

 

National

Bicycling lists 10 mistakes for beginner bike riders to avoid.

A new bipartisan Safe Streets bill in Congress would give planners two years to adopt Complete Streets policies for all federally funded transportation projects.

Denver bike messengers adapt to a declining market, while a London bike courier spills his secrets.

Mountain biking ex-president Bush does his best Elvis impersonation while leading wounded vets across his Texas ranch on the first leg of a 100 mile ride.

A Milwaukee writer discusses how to transport your dogs by bike.

A Vermont website worries that Complete Streets safety improvements will make things worse for cyclists in the wake of recent bicycling collisions. Even though none of them had anything to do with Complete Streets.

Bono still can’t play guitar five months after his bicycling spill in New York’s Central Park; it could take him another 13 months to learn if he’ll regain feeling in his hand.

Baltimore’s hit-and-run bishop gets defrocked four months after the alcohol-fueled death of a cyclist.

Wal-Mart isn’t responsible for the injuries suffered when a Mississippi boy took one of their bicycle-shaped objects for the spin through the store.

A Florida rider discusses when to pack it in and call the SAG wagon.

 

International

Advice on how to ride around the world from a Scottish rider who set a record doing it; a fellow world traveler writes about his plans to cross Australia by bike.

Here’s something LA riders can relate to, as a hard-won Toronto bike lane is blocked by a film shoot.

Canadian teens ride from Auschwitz to a Netherlands Nazi transit camp to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation Holland.

A UK rider is nearly garroted by an extended dog leash while riding on a bike path.

Caught on video: This is why you need good brakes, as a Brit bike rider barely avoids becoming bus fodder.

Also caught on video: The owner of a Dutch cat litter company converts his bakfiets into a kitty carriage for a 300-mile journey from Amsterdam to London.

VeloNews asks if the Vuelta has lost its mojo.

German police thwart an alleged plot to bomb a Frankfurt bike race; the race was cancelled in the wake of the arrests.

Touring China by bike may be the best way to find clean air and quiet in the booming country; meanwhile, a 28-year old Pomona College student is honored for teaching Chinese people how to take control of their own lives by building bamboo bikes.

 

Finally…

If you’re trying to sell a stolen bike, try to make sure your coffee-drinking potential customers aren’t off-duty cops. An Indian cyclist credits his survival in a hit-and-run in part to his knee and elbow pads, while a badly injured Brit rider thanks his badly mangled helmet.

Your next bike could be made of carbon fiber, ash and mahogany, though that wooden saddle looks a tad harsh. And you may never have to look up while you ride again; although personally, I’d be more impressed if it showed what’s behind me, instead. Thanks to Ed Ryder for the tip.

………

One last note. I’ve been told about a possible bicycling fatality in Granada Hills on Wednesday, but haven’t been able to get confirmation; both the CHP and the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division say they aren’t aware of anything. 

Let’s hope this one’s just a false alarm.

Morning Links: Turning private tragedy into help for others, and a 3-decade old AG opinion on sidewalk riding

Donny McCluskey in better days.

Donny McCluskey in better days.

Okay, so this one made me cry.

You see, one reason I write about fallen cyclists is the hope that somehow, some good will come out of such senseless loss. Whether in the form of improved safety measures at the site of the collision, or in some other way.

Patti McCluskey Andre made sure that happened.

It was just over three years ago that her brother, Donny McCluskey, stood waiting with his bike, for a Palm Springs red light to change. He was in the right place, exactly where he was supposed to be, obeying the law so many motorists seem to think we break with abandon.

Yet in the intersection in front of him, a drunk driver was hit by a motorist running that same red light. One of the vehicles went ballistic, spinning out of control and crashing into him; with his feet planted on the ground, there was nothing he could do to avoid the impact.

In seconds, he became collateral damage to the dangers on our streets, a victim of actions beyond his control.

The remorseful driver who ran the red light was ultimately convicted and placed on three years probation and community service. This at the request of the victim’s family, who saw no benefit in putting him behind bars.

In most cases, that would have been the end of it.

They would have walked away, mourning the loss of someone so dear to them, and trying to find some way to put it all behind them.

But Patti wanted Donny’s life to mean something.

So she started a fund in his name, which this month awarded its first two scholarships.

Here’s what she had to say:

Yesterday I had the honor of awarding the first 2 in memory of Donny McCluskey scholarships. Both recipients, Lisa Ponsford and Wendi Swanson are family nurse practitioners graduating in May with their DNPs. As FNPS working in our communities — they have the power to promote change at every level. Lisa works in the ER and Wendi in college health plus both are educators at WesternU. Both recipients are physically active and dedicated to changing population health with lifestyle interventions.

Both recipients were honored and touched to be chosen for this scholarship. All I can say is that I am honored to know them and wish they had known Donny, he would have been honored to have his name associated with these two!

Just how big a heart does it take to turn your own private tragedy into something so positive? Let alone something that will not only benefit those who receive them, but everyone whose lives they touch?

Patti has thanked me more than once for the work I do here. But I am in awe of her, and what she’s done to not only channel her own grief, but make our world a better place.

She’s currently raising funds for an additional scholarship for a graduate or doctoral student of Health Science at the same university. And promises to match every donation dollar for dollar.

I can’t think of a better cause.

……..

In light of yesterday’s guest post about riding on crosswalks, I was forwarded this 1993 opinion from then California Attorney General Dan Lundgren, concluding that the rules of the road do indeed apply to bicyclists on the sidewalk, and that sidewalk cyclists can be required to ride with traffic.

We note that certain rules of the road concern the use of the roadway in particular rather than the highway in general (e.g., § 2165 [except in specified circumstances, a vehicle upon the highway is to be driven upon the right half of the roadway]). Although a sidewalk is a separate part of the highway from the roadway, we believe that, given the factors discussed above, the intent of the Legislature was for the operation of a bicycle on a sidewalk to be similar to vehicular travel wherever practicable. Therefore, to the extent that a vehicle must be driven on the right half of the roadway, a bicyclist riding on an adjacent sidewalk must travel in the same direction as the vehicular traffic. This interpretation of section 21200 provides pedestrians with some assurance as to the direction of bicycle riders on sidewalks at all times. Such statutory construction is consistent with the well-established principle that “[t]he courts must give statutes a reasonable construction which conforms to the apparent purpose and intention of the lawmakers.” (Clean Air Constituency v. California Air Resources Bd. (1974) 11 Cal.3d 801, 813.)

Of course, an opinion of the AG does not have the force law.

It’s up to the courts to interpret and rule on the meaning of laws guiding the use of bicycles on the sidewalk, as well as the crosswalks. And laws can be amended, and interpretations change, over three decades.

I don’t know of any California city where sidewalk riders are routinely expected to ride in the direction of traffic. However, many police departments — including the LAPD — believe bikes become vehicles once they enter the street, and so must travel in the direction of traffic when they enter a crosswalk, yesterday’s post not withstanding.

But it’s interesting to see such a different interpretation of the law from thirty years ago.

……..

Somehow I missed this column from an auto-centric writer in my otherwise bike friendly home state, insisting that bike riders are law breaking junior partners who deserve only a small share of the road. And of course, the usual complaints about a “subset” of arrogant, self-righteous, self-centered and condescending riders.

A cyclist responds by shouting tongue-in-cheek taunts at other riders when he’s behind the wheel.

……..

An article in a Boston College environmental law review makes the case for how strict liability could even the scales on our roads, improve safety and encourage more environmentally friendly forms of commuting.

Like bicycling, for instance.

Strict liability is based on the assumption that motorists, as the operators of the more dangerous vehicles, have a greater responsibility for avoiding collisions, and so are presumed to be at fault in a collision unless it can be shown otherwise.

Adopting it here is probably the biggest step we could take to reduce reckless behavior behind the wheel and stop the carnage on our streets.

……..

Local

Thieves made off with nine bikes in DTLA in a one week period this month; eight of the purloined bicycles had their locks cut.

Turns out there’s already bike share in Century City, while nearby Westwood’s new bike corral is being put to good use.

Fear of a more user-friendly future on our streets rears its ugly head, as the president of the Miracle Mile Residential Associations waves a red flag and LADOT’s senior planner appears to backpedal on the city’s draft mobility plan.

The first bike lane in the ‘Bu finally opens, but it’s just a tad shorter than earlier reports. Instead of seven miles long, it’s two miles, along with an improved seven-mile bike route.

Glendale police held a fundraiser for next week’s 300-mile Police Unity Tour to honor fallen officers.

 

State

Irvine police make their second bust in two days of thieves stealing copper wire from the lights along a bike path next to the 405 Freeway. But at least the crooks were on bikes, right?

No bias here, as the Press-Enterprise says a bike rider was badly hurt when he ran into a car; never mind that he was actually right-hooked. Note to the P-E: The victim was cut off, not passing on the right; thanks to sponsor Michael Rubinstein for the link.

No bias here, either. A Hollister newspaper reports a bike-riding child hit a car and fell over, but fails to mention if the car was even moving at the time. And in more Hollister news, if you’re a known gang member carrying a concealed weapon, ride to the right, damn it.

San Francisco police arrest the unlicensed hit-and-run driver who plowed into three bicyclists earlier this month; she’s scheduled to appear in court today.

In an exercise in sheer stupidity, a San Francisco man is arrested for stabbing another man to death in a dispute over a bicycle.

Police in Menlo Park are looking for a bike rider who whacked a driver in the head with his bike lock after throwing something at his car. Seriously, no matter how much you think someone might deserve it, don’t resort to violence. Ever. Period.

 

National

Bikes hardly ever catch on fire. Unless maybe you’re on a Pedego e-bike; the company just recalled their batteries due to a fire hazard.

A new study says bike shares are more successful when the stations are close together. Are you listening, Metro?

A website lists the three best American cities to tour by bike. No, Los Angeles isn’t one of them.

Here’s that full report on bike helmets from Consumer Reports.

A Portland website asks if bike locks of the future could end 120 years of thieving bastards. Their words, not mine, but I like the way they think.

An Oregon judge gives a repeat drunk driver yet another second chance, despite already spending time in prison for killing a cyclist in 2004. The driver, not the judge. This is how we keep drunks on the road until they kill someone. Or in this case, kill again.

Yuma AZ changes the city ordinance to require cyclists to ride with traffic, after two-thirds of bicycling collision victims in the town were riding salmon. Which makes you wonder what the hell the law was there before.

Mad City cyclists will get a new $3 million bike and ped bridge this September.

A off-duty Cleveland cop is punched in the arm by an 81-year old man for riding his bike on a multi-use bike path.

Residents of a New York neighborhood complain about scofflaw salmon cyclists, unlike all those law abiding drivers on Gotham streets. Evidently, New York moms don’t teach their kids to look both ways before crossing the street, either.

LA may be the mecca for food trucks, but Pittsburgh is about to get the Porkrind Bike, delivering 15-flavors of free-range chicharróns.

A three-time DUI loser is sentenced to over 10 years behind bars for the death of a Virginia bike rider, after a BAC two-and-a-half times the legal limit — then has eight years suspended. See above about why we can’t get drunks off the roads before they kill. Or kill again.

 

International

Writing for the Wall Street Journal, a sociologist explains that Europeans are more likely to be injured riding a bike, though we Americans are more likely to wear a helmet. And says he doesn’t, even though he thinks he probably should.

Quebec’s Transport Minister is leaning against a mandatory helmet law, saying it would be hard to enforce.

An amateur Brit bike racer spends the equivalent of nearly $40,000 competing in a single year. Many amateur racers would like to just have that much money, let alone spend it on racing.

That’s one way to get the streets fixed, as a UK graffiti artist draws attention to potholes by drawing a penis around them. Thanks to Topher Mathers for heads-up.

The Wall Street Journal offers five things to know about riding in Amsterdam.

At least we only have to worry about LA drivers, as a South African cyclist was apparently killed by a giraffe.

 

Finally…

Slowtwitch offers advice on group riding for triathletes attempting to infiltrate the peloton. Advice on how to tell another rider his ass is showing through his spandex shorts.

And an off-duty Houston cop with crappy aim shot at a man stealing a bike from his porch twelve times — yes, 12 — because he “thought” the thief was armed. Apparently without hitting anyone, though police briefly followed a trail of dried paint or tomato juice.

Seriously, you can’t make this crap up.

 

Bikes Have Rights™*

How Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

 
Jim Pocrass, Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP

Jim Pocrass, Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP

By James L. Pocrass, Esq.
Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP
 

Have you ever been asked a question in which the answer seems so obvious that it seems like a trick question? This happened to me recently. A reporter asked me if it were true that, as he was told by a police officer, that you could be ticketed for riding your bike the wrong way in a crosswalk.

The question flabbergasted me. Since when are crosswalks one-directional? Pedestrians walk in crosswalks in both directions. That’s why there are buttons and/or signals on both sides of the street.

Requiring cyclists to only travel with the flow of traffic would lead to absurd results. You would have to cross two streets to go across the street.

The legislature passed Vehicle Code 21650: A bicycle operated on a roadway or a shoulder of a highway, shall be operated in the same direction as vehicles are required to be driven upon the roadway.

Subsection(g) states: This section does not prohibit the operation of bicycles on any shoulder of a highway, on any sidewalk, on any bicycle path within a highway, or along any crosswalk or bicycle path crossing, where the operation is not otherwise prohibited by this code or local ordinance.

The legislative comments to VC 21650.1 say: That had the Legislature wished to include the term “sidewalk” or “crosswalk” it would have done so.

All of this naturally leads me to opine that for the bicyclist to be in violation of VC 21650.1 (riding the wrong way in traffic), the cyclist would have to be riding in the opposite direction of traffic AND be either a.) on the shoulder of a highway or b.) on a roadway. (Again, assuming there is no local ordinance against riding in a crosswalk.)

Shortly thereafter, I received an email from a woman asking for my help. She was hit by a car while riding her bike across the street in a marked crosswalk. The police claimed the accident was her fault.

The law says it is legal for you to go from the sidewalk – against traffic – and ride into the crosswalk to the other sidewalk.

However, if there is a local ordinance that prohibits riding on the sidewalk, which many cities do, especially in commercial areas, AND the local ordinance specifically states that you may not ride through a crosswalk, then riding in the crosswalk and/or the sidewalk would be illegal. If the local ordinance does not state that you cannot ride on the sidewalk or in the crosswalk, then it is legal.

Vehicle Code 275 defines a crosswalk and does not limit it to pedestrians. Subsection(b) expands crosswalks to include: Any portion of a roadway distinctly indicated for pedestrians crossing by lines or other markings on the surface.

Legally riding on the sidewalk – slowly – and looking before entering a crosswalk for other vehicles, especially those making a right or left turn, and looking for pedestrians, should be legal (again, assuming there is no local ordinance restricting you from riding through a crosswalk).

There is even case law that specifically addresses the issue of riding a bicycle on a sidewalk against traffic. In Spriesterbach v. Holland (Case B-240348) the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Four, ruled on April 9, 2013 that: . . .because VC 21650.1 requires a bicycle to travel in the same direction as vehicular traffic only when ridden on “a roadway” or the “shoulder of a highway,” it does not by its plain language require bicycles to travel with the flow of traffic when ridden on the sidewalk.

The court continued: Pursuant to Section 21200, (a) persons riding a bicycle. . .upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this division. . .except those provisions which by their very nature can have no application. . .because 21650.1 governs the direction bicycle travel on a roadway or shoulder. . .it does not by its plain language require bicycles to travel with the flow of traffic when ridden on a “Sidewalk.”

Riding fast through a crosswalk and not stopping to look is very dangerous. A cyclist that rides into a crosswalk at 10+ mph does not give the driver of a vehicle that is turning left or right time to see the cyclist.

I suspect that is why the City of Los Angeles passed L.A. Muni Code 56.15(1): No person shall ride, operate or use a bicycle . . .on a sidewalk, bikeway or boardwalk in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. This ordinance gives the police a lot of leeway to determine what is “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”

I believe that these topics are good areas for discussion, but legally, I would (and will) argue that, if no local ordinance disallows it, then it is legal to ride in a crosswalk in either direction if it is done safely.

By the way, the answer to the question in the title of this post is that the chicken crossed the road on a bicycle in a crosswalk after stopping and ascertaining that it was safe to ride slowly across the road. But you knew that.

For more than 25 years, Jim Pocrass has represented people who were seriously injured, or families who lost a loved one in a wrongful death, due to the carelessness or negligence of another. Jim is repeatedly named to Best Lawyers of America and to Southern California Super Lawyers for the outstanding results he consistently achieves for his clients. Having represented hundreds of cyclists during his career, and Jim’s own interest in cycling, have resulted in him becoming a bicycle advocate. He is a board member of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. For a free, no-obligation consultation, contact Jim Pocrass at 310.550.9050 or at info@pocrass.com.

*Sponsored post

Guest post: BAC Vice Chair Glenn Bailey reports on efforts to undo the Chase Street road diet and bike lanes

Last week we alerted you to an attempt by the Panorama City Neighborhood Council to sneak in a last minute vote on removing the road diet and bike lanes on Chase Street through the San Fernando Valley neighborhood.

Despite the late notice, a number of bicyclists emailed to protest the blatant attempt to bypass legitimate discussion of the issue, and a handful of riders were able to attend the meeting.

Glenn Bailey, Vice Chair of the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee, offers his report on the matter.

………

Existing bicycle lanes in Panorama City were under attack last week as both the Arleta and Panorama City Neighborhood Councils voted to support efforts to “restore” two additional lanes of motor vehicle traffic along a one-mile stretch of Chase Street between Van Nuys Boulevard and Woodman Avenue. The bicycle lanes, installed a year ago, link a major commercial district in Panorama City with the existing bicycle lanes on Woodman Avenue, and will provide a future connection for the proposed bicycle lanes on Parthenia Street, which will extend west to Canoga Park. The Chase lanes also serve the adjoining Chase Street Elementary School and nearby Panorama Recreation Center.

The removal of the bicycle lanes has been spearheaded by the Arleta “Looky Loo” Neighborhood Watch group, even though the lanes are located in Panorama City and not in Arleta. They claim traffic is delayed “up to fifteen minutes during rush hour.” (Alternatively, bicycling the route at any time of the day only takes four to five minutes.)

The Panorama City Neighborhood Council (PCNC) held its regular fourth Thursday monthly meeting last week but the Chase Street bicycle lanes item was not listed on the agenda distributed three days earlier. Instead, the PCNC issued a second agenda for a special meeting that was not publicly distributed via the City’s Early Notification System until less than 11 hours before the meeting start time.

Generally, these “special” sessions are only called pursuant to State’s open meeting law, the Brown Act, to consider items that become known within two to three days before a regular meeting. However, public records indicate that the Chase Street bicycle lanes have been agendized by the PCNC at least twice over the last two years: in April 2013 and in October 2014. The issue was most recently considered by the PCNC Public Safety Committee at a meeting held on March 11, 2015 and yet the item was not included on the agenda for the next full Board meeting held on March 26, 2015. Instead, it mysteriously appeared six weeks later with virtually no advance notice for the public.

Despite the lack of public notice, the PCNC President, Viviano Montes, reported that the Board had received about twenty emails that afternoon supporting the bicycle lanes.   Two bicyclists who live in Panorama City and who use the Chase Street bicycle lanes on a daily basis did attend and spoke passionately in favor of keeping the lanes.

Two persons spoke against the bike lanes and apparently neither live in Panorama City, but rather in neighboring Arleta.  One speaker said the bicycle lanes should be “shared” with motor vehicles, apparently unaware that a five-foot lane width is too narrow to accommodate cars and that such use is a violation of the State Vehicle Code. She claimed to have petitions with 250 signatures to remove the lanes, but apparently a copy was not provided to the Neighborhood Council so the Board doesn’t know if the signers are actually from Panorama City or not.

But that was enough to influence some of the PCNC Board members who said they would vote to represent the wishes of the “majority.”  The vote was 10-1-3 (yes-no-abstain) to “ask the city to restore Chase Street to four traffic lanes between Woodman Avenue and Van Nuys Boulevard” which would necessitate the removal of the bicycle lanes. (A similar motion was passed the previous Tuesday by the Arleta NC on a 7-1-1 vote.)

According to the U.S. Census, the current population of Panorama City is 70,749 so if the Neighborhood Council wants to represent a true majority, they will need to hear from at least 35,250 more of their constituents.

Instead of undoing the road diet and removing the bicycle lanes, the City’s Department of Transportation should conduct a traffic and safety study and make recommendations to improve the flow of traffic, if necessary.  For example, the complaints about delays at the four-way stop signs could be addressed by installing roundabouts at those intersections.

The bicycle lane opponents vowed to submit their petition signatures to the local City Councilmember Nury Martinez (6th District) so stayed tuned as this story unfolds.

 

Morning Links: LAPD ordered to turn over video of bike rider beating, and Redlands riders do the right thing

Local

A judge orders the LAPD to turn over video of the beating their officers allegedly gave South LA bike rider Clinton Alford.

An artist working on a bicycle-themed interactive art installation for the Los Angeles State Historic Park wants your bike story for the project.

Nice idea. A custom-made book bike operating out of the San Pedro branch of the Los Angeles Public Library can carry and display 200 pounds of books to encourage reading.

Gizmodo looks at LA’s fabled elevated bike highway and why it failed, blazing the trail for what would eventually become the Pasadena Freeway.

For a change, a Malibu motorist actually admires the bike riders making their way up Latigo Canyon.

A Metro panel discussion asks if bicycling is in your future on Monday, May 11th at Caltrans HQ in DTLA.

The same Caltrans HQ location will be the site of Color Wheels: A Bicycle Community Art Show featuring art works from LA bike riders on Bike to Work Day night on Thursday the 14th.

 

State

After a compromise agreement, a single e-bike bill moves forward in the state legislature.

Bike riders attending Sunday’s Orange County Transportation Authority Bike Festival say streets behind the Orange Curtain aren’t as safe as they should be. Sort of like streets everywhere, in other words.

No bias here. According to the local paper, a Riverside bike rider wasn’t hit by a police car, but rather, he collided with it.

Female cyclists don’t earn enough as it is. Yet the women competing in the recent Redlands Classic agreed to donate 15% of their prize money to the family of Erica Grief, who was killed in a car crash on the way to compete in the race.

San Luis Obispo County leads the state in per capita bicycling deaths.

Bad news from Sunnyvale, as bike rider was killed during the morning commute.

 

National

Consumer Reports rates bike helmets, with recommended models starting at just $12.

Here’s your chance to buy a rare bike from a Portland collection. Or maybe all 203 if the mood strikes.

Evidently, winter is officially over in Jackson, Wyoming when the bike racks come back.

Wisconsin drivers can’t seem to figure out how to use roundabouts without endangering bike riders and pedestrians.

A 70-year old Minnesota woman plans a two year journey by bike across the US. If you can call a fully enclosed, solar powered e-assist tricycle a bike, that is.

Vermont cyclists are mourning a leading local rider and bike shop employee killed in a collision with a 17-year old driver, who also died after going over an embankment.

Crain’s talks with the new boss of New York’s Citi Bike about how to turn around the financially troubled bike share program.

CBS News discovers last weekend’s Red Hook Criterium, which brought over 300 riders from 29 countries to compete on the streets of Brooklyn. Here on the Left Coast, it was all about the Waffle Ride.

The NYPD is cracking down on bike riders, making New York’s most bike friendly neighborhood significantly less so.

 

International

The leader of the UK’s Liberal Democrats promises to turn Britain into a cycling nation.

A British jury finds a dangerous junction guilty, along with the driver who killed a cyclist; the 70-year old motorist said the victim somehow blended in with the background, despite his hi-viz.

Ed Ryder sends word that sometimes diabetes can be beat, as bicycling helps save the life of an overweight Brit man after his sons intervene. Which almost makes me wish I was overweight.

Scottish officials promise to increase spending on bicycling, while cyclists call for presumed liability in bike collisions, which would require motorists to prove they’re not at fault.

Dubai police seize 11,000 bikes from law-breaking riders in just two months. Imagine how many cars they could seize if they applied the same standards to scofflaw drivers.

 

Finally…

In a world where advertising has become inescapable, bike lanes have become the latest marketing medium. Jared Leto takes his new Joker green hair for a ride around Toronto.

And beware doping drivers. A pair of Ohio grad students have developed a roadside test to determine just how high they really are; apparently, counting the number of empty Twinkie wrappers in the vehicle is not a legally valid standard. Thanks to Geri Wilson for the heads-up.

………

Come back later Tuesday morning for a guest post from LA Bicycling Advisory Vice Chair Glenn Bailey reporting on efforts to remove the bike lanes from Chase Street in the SFV.

 

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