Sometimes, the news barely makes the news.
Especially if there are bikes involved.
Yo! Venice reports that three people — two of them riding bikes — may have been intentionally targeted by a hit-and-run driver Saturday morning.
According to the website, a cyclist was riding with friends across the intersection of Speedway and Venice around 10:30 am when a red Honda CRV clipped the back tire of his bike; witnesses at a nearby restaurant reported the driver didn’t even hit his brakes before speeding off.
As the victim and his friends gave chase down Speedway, they called out a warning as they saw him approach another rider. After the second cyclist pulled to the side of the road, the driver appeared to intentionally veer towards him, knocking him to the ground and leaving him with a cut on his left side, his mangled bike lying in the roadway.
The site reports the driver then ran over a third victim around 25th and Speedway; no word on whether that person was riding or on foot. Both of the last two victims were transported to a local hospital.
The driver was taken into custody later that day.
Yet somehow, despite the serial hit-and-run and the apparent vicious nature of the alleged attack, the story failed to make a much of a dent in the local media.
Even though it’s reminiscent of another allegedly intentional attack in which a driver plowed through tourists on the crowded Venice boardwalk just feet from Saturday’s incident.
KCBS-2 was the only major media outlet to pick up the story, confirming that two victims, possibly cyclists, suffered substantial, but non-life threatening injuries.
The TV station also reports that the suspect was arrested when witnesses were able to provide police with the Honda’s license number.
Frighteningly, police say he knew he’d struck people when they contacted him, and that he did not appear to be intoxicated.
Thanks to Joe Ryan for the heads-up.
Urbanful lists five fun social bike rides around the US, including our own CicLAvia; the next one walks and rolls through Pasadena’s Old Town on May 31st.
CiclaValley offers a recap of Thursday’s Griffith Park Advisory Meeting, where the recent opening to cars of popular biking, hiking and horse riding route Mt. Hollywood Dr. was discussed; Streetsblog’s Joe Linton provides a detailed report on the meeting.
Work begins on the city’s first parking-protected bike lane as part of the Great Streets program on Reseda Blvd.
Writing for Orange 20 Bikes, Richard Risemberg says more and better road diets are the solution to trash bins blocking the bike lane. That’s been a long and recurring problem in the City of Angels, even though it’s illegal to block a bike lane, period.
A San Dimas stage race brought road racers from around the world, while mountain bikers race around Castaic Lake.
No bias here, as a San Diego TV station says plans for a bike lane through the Hillcrest neighborhood would destroy “prime” parking spaces.
Sad news from San Diego, as a 47-year old bike rider isn’t expected to survive after being shot in the city’s East Village neighborhood.
Mountain bikers are overwhelming the 20,000-acre Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, described as the Louvre for off-roaders.
No bias here either, as a San Francisco website accuses a seriously injured cyclist of smashing into a car on a Highway 101 onramp.
A 27-year old woman is honored as one of the Outstanding Women of Monterey County for her role in Ciclovia Salinas.
A Bay Area woman has taken over 25,000 kids back to nature on mountain bikes, often for the first time; her Trips for Kids non-profit now has 90 chapters around the world.
Seriously? A Petaluma website seems shocked that anyone would ride a century, while calling a bicycle seat the world’s most excruciating sitting device.
Bicycling lists 10 famous people who worked as bike messengers, nine of whom took me by surprise.
Two Yuma AZ cyclists were hit by a car, one injured critically, by a driver with a suspended license who admitted he just wasn’t paying attention.
A Utah cyclist on a training ride with a group of 100 other riders was somehow hit and killed by a semi-truck traveling in the same direction even though neither appeared to be distracted; a GoFundMe account has been set up to pay her funeral expenses.
Rocky Mountain National Park will open to mountain bikes for the first time.
Some people just don’t get the benefits of bike tourism; Kansas commissioners question why they would want a US Bike Route besmirching their county, especially if they have to pay for the signs.
A Chicago rider is suing after she was doored by a police officer while riding in a marked bike lane; naturally, the cop blames the victim.
The field is set for the Little 500 made famous by Breaking Away after qualifying for the men’s and women’s races.
A cyclist in his 80s rides over 6,200 miles across Canada, despite Parkinson’s and macular degeneration.
A new British study says bike riders are healthier and less stressed than non-riders. But while biking may be the new golf, London professionals are still afraid of the city’s streets.
Good read from the Guardian, saying what’s lacking from Lance’s attempt at rehabilitation is humility. If Armstrong really wanted to rebuild his reputation, he could start be becoming an advocate for bike safety.
We only seem to hear about pedestrians injured in collisions with cyclists, but the bike riders often get the worst of it. That was the case with woman in a London park, who was seriously injured when she collided with a runner.
That Brit bike rider attempting to ride over 75,000 miles this year was on target, riding a minimum of 205 mile a day; however, his attempt may be in jeopardy after his ankle was broken in a collision with a moped.
Danish bike riders get their own bike-through McDonalds, but only for a limited time. Sort of like McRibs.
If you’re using a bike as a getaway vehicle following a burglary, it’s probably not a good idea to have a stolen weed-eater sticking out of your backpack. Put Carlos Santana in the Interested but Concerned category, as the guitar great is afraid to ride his new bike because of what happened to Bono, who fears he may never play guitar again after his solo bicycling crash in Central Park.
And a French mountain biker has set a new world record of over 138 mph.
Downhill, of course.
The first thing the city should do is change the name from speedway to anything else. Let me make a suggestion. How about, and this is long and would require a large sign but gets at the root of the problem: “Residential alley not your own personal speedway asshole” That’s a good name.
I’ve gotten the impression that some people view that street as a sort of personal highspeed arterial, as if they feel entitled to compensation for the large number of pedestrians and cyclists in the area. I’ve suffered more incidents of harassment and, as a pedestrian, right of way violations there than on neighboring streets. One notable incident involved a driver rolling through a stop sign as I was crossing in the crosswalk. He honked, accelerated and I stopped halfway across, he went around me and yelled something about a 5000lb car entitling him to the right of way.
Regarding blocking the bike lanes – I had the same question last week as I realized I always had to avoid the bike lane altogether on trash day during my commute. Despite noticing that several cyclist blogs rant about it being illegal to block the bike lane, it actually isn’t. California Vehicle Code 21211 does state that it is illegal to block a class I bikeway. These are defined as separated bike paths or trails. Most of our bike lanes are considered class II bikeways and are not covered under this vehicle code, an unfortunate technicality.
It’s not a question of blocking a bikeway. According to the LAPD, a bike lane is legally defined as a traffic lane reserved for the exclusive use of bike riders, just like an HOV lanes is reserved for the use of multi-occupant vehicles. And as a traffic lane, it is illegal to block, just as it is illegal to block any other traffic lane.
LA civic code also prohibits parking in bike lanes, though state law doesn’t.
You can read more about blocked bike lanes, and what to do about it, in this post from 2010.
As far as I can tell no one in CA believes there is anything wrong with blocking or parking in the bike lane because we’ve all been told that “you can park in the bike lane.” No one bothers to read or remember the second half of the law which states that you cannot “block a bicyclist” If you were to get an explanation from law enforcement to explain their failure to enforce the law, or their willingness to park in the bke lane, they might tell you that a bike lane isn’t blocked if the bicycle rider can go around the parked vehicle or object. Our definition of a blocked bike lane is apparently very different from theirs.
I’ve noticed that local papers, esp the OC register, in their attempt to “educate” the population (e.g. place the blame for collisions squarely on cyclists and their ignorance of the vehicle code) will periodically run a little summary of a few randomnly selected laws that concern bicycle riding. They always seem to mention that it is ok to park in the bike lane but never mention the bit about not blocking a cyclist.