Morning Links: Balboa bicyclist crashes with LAPD moto, search for hit-and-run driver, and making SD customers drive

Frequent contributor Danger D came across the immediate aftermath of a serious collision near Balboa Park early yesterday afternoon, involving a bike rider and an LAPD motorcycle cop.

Just passing by on the bike path on Burbank Blvd in the Balboa Dam area. They have the whole of Burbank Blvd closed in the area (probably to hide what they did until they can find a reason it’s not their fault)

An officer let me through while others tried to stop me from going under the tape. You should make some inquiry into this collision. Cop bike on its side in the westbound lane and a totaled bicycle with a bent over front wheel in the center of the road.

There’s no word on how the crash happened. Particularly since there’s a separated bike path around Lake Balboa that parallels Burbank Blvd.

According to traffic reports, the street was blocked off entirely throughout the afternoon and through the evening rush hour, which is not a good sign.

An extended total street closure like that usually means a fatal crash, or one they think could become one. Unless maybe they were just taking extra care with the investigation because a police officer was involved.

But at last report, the officer was hospitalized with minor injuries, while the person on the bicycle was in critical condition with non-life-threatening injuries.

Let’s hope it stays that way.

Photo from LAPD website.

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Tony Berquam is looking for the cowardly jerk — my words, not his — who left an injured bike rider lying in the street.

On 7/16, 5-5:30 pm, eastbound on Beverly near Fairfax, a lone cyclist was clipped by an unknown vehicle, knocking him to the ground. The rider was rendered unconscious and left injured in the street. The driver did not leave contact information. The cyclist was subsequently transported to Cedars by emergency services. Any help in establishing the involved vehicle and or related information is appreciated.

If you have any information, you can contact him at tbb422010@gmail.com.

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If you think your customers only arrive at your business in cars, maybe it’s because they don’t have any other choice.

That’s the battle San Diego merchants in the North Park neighborhood continue to fight, demanding that the city reverse plans for removing 420 parking spaces along 30th Street in favor of protected bike lanes.

Never mind that studies have shown that bike riders shop more often, and spend more in the long term, than people who arrive by car.

Or that making a street more bikeable — and therefore more walkable — results in an increase in livability, and a thriving, prosperous commercial district.

Not to mention a decrease in commercial vacancies, while boosting property values in the surrounding area.

But instead of explaining all that to his constituents, a weathervane councilmember stuck his finger in the wind, and decided the plan needs “slight changes” in favor of maintaining the automotive hegemony in the district.

So business owners continue to fight against their own self interests.

And San Diegans will continue to do their shopping by car, because it’s the only real option they have.

Full disclosure — I lived in the North Park neighborhood before moving to Los Angeles in 1990.

And while I loved living in one of the city’s few truly mixed neighborhoods, I hated the feeling of being unsafe anytime I tried to walk or bike to local restaurants or shops. It was easier to just hop in my car and take my business somewhere else.

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To the best of my knowledge, no bicycle ever flew off the road into one of my favorite fishing spots just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park.

But I admit I may have come close a few times.

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

A Northern Irish bike rider learned the hard way that someone had scattered box cutter blades on a Belfast bike path after one sliced through his rear tire.

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Local

LAist’s Leo Duran offers tips on how to get started riding a bike in Los Angeles.  He also says Biking in LA can be dicey. But I’ll try not to take it personally.

Long Beach addresses concerns about the recent Broadway road diet by agreeing to make “tweaks” to the roadway design — including widening traffic lanes in places by taking space from the protected bike lanes.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Agency wants to improve your safety on your bike and on foot with a series of Be Safe Be Seen workshops. If they really want to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians, they should give the workshops to drivers. And make them mandatory.

San Francisco Streetsblog says it’s time to stop Caltrans and Alameda County from building another bike and pedestrian hellscape by removing sidewalks and crosswalks, and forcing both to share 3.4 foot maintenance catwalk through a tunnel.

This is who we share the roads with. A red light-running Tesla driver is accused of slamming into a San Francisco couple as they walked in a crosswalk, killing the husband.

He gets it. Great piece from an Oakland illustrator, explains graphically why he’s afraid to ride a bicycle, even though his neighborhood is flat and he doesn’t drive a car.

 

National

The high-end Robb Report looks at the new and ponderously named Specialized S-Works Turbo Creo SL-Founder’s Edition, saying someone finally made an ebike that doesn’t look like an ebike. Which should come as a surprise to all the other ebikes that don’t look like ebikes that got here first.

A Portland nonprofit uses adaptive bikes to help people living with a disability or dementia enjoy the thrill of getting outside and riding a bicycle, even if someone else is doing all the pedaling.

The Department of DIY suffered a setback after an Alaska father used his own money to rent plastic bollards to keep drivers from mistaking the bike path his kids ride on for a roadway; the state DOT took them down the next day, insisting the 17 signs drivers already ignore are good enough.

Denver bike riders complain about downtown’s patchy bike network, and the total ban on bike riders on the 16th Street Mall. Which are the same things I complained about when I lived there. Except not even a patchy bike network was there then.

A Missouri writer says bike lanes are political, not practical, and everyone should just merrily mix with traffic in the streets like he does. Which is exactly what’s inhibited the growth of bicycling for the past 60 years. And will keep depressing bike rates, and bike riders, until people like him stop giving cover to anti-bike traffic engineers. 

Good for them. An Illinois woman’s own parents turned her into the police for the hit-and-run that left a 63-year old man with serious injuries, after she crashed into his bicycle. My dad would have done the same thing. Then made me apologize to the victim and pay for the damages.

They get it, too. The New Yorker asks if the automobile era was a big mistake, saying our cars haven’t loved us back for the love we’ve given them over the past century. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, things weren’t so awful for the first 50 years or so, if you can ignore all the pollution and killing people and stuff.

This is who we share the roads with, too. A Queens, New York community board member’s comment that pedestrians deserve to get run over reflects a car-first culture that continues to grant motorists hegemony over the street at the expense of everyone else.

A Maryland woman was killed in a collision while participating in a 50-mile fundraising ride for a local fire department. Note to WJZ-13 in Baltimore — chances are she didn’t collide with a car; the driver hit her.

Hats off to a group for teenagers in a Georgia youth home, who rode their bikes 500 miles through two states to move past addiction and show themselves and others what they’re capable of.

 

International

Counterfeit bike saddles could literally mean the difference between life and death.

A Toronto op-ed says bike lanes won’t end the city’s hostility to people on bicycles.

A British barrister claims his client’s Parkinson’s means he couldn’t be responsible for killing a bike rider because he was driving in a state of automatism, with no idea what he was doing. Which only means he shouldn’t have been driving in the first place.

A UK writer says start the two-wheeled revolution without her.

 

Competitive Cycling

The AP says this year’s wide open Tour de France is saving its best for last.

The Beach Reporter offers more photos from Sunday’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, where CiclaValley’s young daughter got to meet her idol Coryn Rivera and got a souvenir jersey from last year’s US road champ.

 

Finally…

A Hall of Famer’s career was nearly derailed by riding his bike back home after arriving too early for his first practice as an eight-year old. Comic-Con, where dockless scooters and bicycles go to die.

And a properly sepia-toned look back at the early days of bicycling in Europe.

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I neglected to thank Eric L yesterday for his very generous donation to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Although you can be thankful we haven’t followed the lead of all the “Christmas in July” sales and TV movies to run a midsummer holiday fund drive.

And yes, I’m properly embarrassed that last year’s holiday fund drive page is still up on the header for this site, like someone who still has the Christmas lights up on his doublewide trailer. 

 

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