Hit-and-run drivers critically injure bike riders in San Dimas and Carlsbad, LA begins process to lower some speed limits

Breaking news: The Citizen app is reporting that a man on a bicycle was killed by a driver in Highland Park. 

The crash occurred at South Ave 60 and the offramp to the 110 Freeway around 12:20 am. 

Hopefully we’ll get more news later. 

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LA County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for the hit-and-run driver who severely injured a man on a bicycle in San Dimas late last month.

The 37-year old victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding along the curb on Fifth Street west of Eucla Ave around 6:30 pm on January 27, when he was run down from behind by the driver of a dark colored Dodge Ram pickup.

The driver briefly stopped a short distance away before driving off, leaving his victim bleeding in the street.

Investigators ask anyone who lives in the area to check their surveillance cameras for any video that might show the crash or the suspect.

Something sheriff’s investigators should have done themselves in the first few days, if not hours, following the crash, before any video would be deleted or recorded over.

But maybe they were, like, busy or something.

Anyone with information is urged to call San Dimas Traffic Detective Christopher Bronowicki at 909/859-2818.

The video is difficult to watch, so make sure you really want to see the crash and its aftermath before you click play, because you can’t unsee it once you do. 

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A San Diego County family is looking for answers five days after a retired Los Angeles firefighter was found unconscious and badly injured next to his bike in the middle of El Camino Real in Carlsbad.

Seventy-four-year old John Burgan is in a coma in critical condition with internal injuries, as well as fractures all around his skull, face, ribs and right femur, after an apparent hit-and-run.

The location and condition of his undamaged bicycle suggest he may have been struck by the wing mirror of a driver’s vehicle while making his way to the left turn lane at Hosp Way.

Anyone with information is urged to call Carlsbad Police Officer Adam Bentley at 760/931-2288 or email adam.bentley@carlsbadca.gov.

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Finally, a little good news from LA City Hall.

Streetsblog is reporting that the City Council Transportation Committee has taken the unprecedented step of — wait for it — actually lowering speed limits in the City of Angels, in hopes of maybe making a fewer of them.

Angels, that is.

The city’s hands have long been tied by the deadly 85th Percentile Law, which worked in conjunction with speeding drivers to push limits ever higher, regardless of whether the new speeds were actually safe.

It took a new state law, sponsored by Burbank Assemblymember Laura Friedman, to reform, but not repeal, the 85th Percentile Law to allow the city to begin reducing speeds on city streets.

However, the committee’s action covers just 177 miles out of LA’s more than 6,500 miles of streets.

But it’s a start.

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It looks like New Yorkers overwhelmingly support safer streets, and using automated traffic cams to do it.

Even if their efforts are hindered by the state legislature, which should sound familiar to anyone in California.

New Yorkers want these changes to make streets safe. An Emerson College poll found that 68% of city residents support lowering the speed limit to 20 mph, and 72% want the city to have authority to set its own speed limits. A Siena College poll found that 85% of New York City voters, including 84% of car-owners, support red light enforcement cameras. More than three-quarters of New York City voters, including just about the same share of car owners, support automated speed safety cameras.

Not only are the speed and red light cams popular, they’re also effective.

As one example of the consequences, consider New York City’s speed safety camera program, which is currently only permitted by Albany to operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday. In effect, Albany forces cameras to be off for more than half of the hours in any given week. Speed safety cameras are wildly effective: A 55% drop in all traffic fatalities and a 72%decline in speeding followed the launch of the program. Speed safety cameras also avoid racial biases that may be present in armed police stops and avoid risks of stops turning violent or deadly. However, in 2020, nearly 40% of people killed in fatal traffic crashes died in speed safety camera zones, but when the cameras were forced to be off. Speeding doesn’t sleep, but state law forces our speed safety cameras to get plenty of shut-eye.

Let’s hope California legislators are paying attention.

Not to mention the LA City Council, which cancelled the city’s red light camera program, for reasons that mostly boiled down to angry drivers who didn’t like getting tickets for breaking the law.

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I wouldn’t count on plastic bollards to keep you safer. Even if these are better than the flimsy car-tickler plastic bendy posts.

https://twitter.com/gatodejazz/status/1494014664346259457

Personally, I consider anything marked by plastic bollards to be a separated bike lane, rather than a protected bike lane.

Because those little posts don’t protect anyone.

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Burbank police will be offering bicycle registration next Wednesday afternoon.

And cookies, too.

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A new movie documents a woman’s efforts to get back on her mountain bike after struggling with Crohn’s disease.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

No bias here. A Cincinnati op-ed calls bike lanes a “misappropriation of funds,” calling for the money to be spent fixing potholes rather than catering “to a small group of citizens that happen to bicycle.” Never mind that potholes are more dangerous for people on bikes than those safely ensconced in a couple tons of steel and glass.

You’ve got to be kidding. Residents of an Ontario, Canada city claim proposed bike lanes would violate Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees the right to life, liberty and security of the person. Because the bike lanes will have to be built over their dead bodies, evidently.

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Local

A Metro committee approved a five-year, $6.1 million contract for new keyless bike lockers at a number of Metro stations, replacing the much derided keyed lockers currently in use.

Bicycling rides through Malibu Creek State Park with volunteers from the National Park Service’s Mountain Bike Unit, which helps introduce kids to mountain biking while making the trails more inclusive. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

 

State 

PeopleForBikes released the schedule for next months 2022 Bicycle Leadership Conference in Dana Point.

Riverside County prosecutors rejected a hit-and-run charge against a man who killed a 62-year old bike rider outside of Hemet last week, as well as a charge of driving without a license, sending the case against Carlos Arturo Acosta back to the CHP for further investigation.

Three San Luis Obispo men pled guilty to killing a man riding a bicycle in a 2019 gang shooting.

San Francisco Strava artist Lenny Maughan marked the Year of the Tiger by using his bike to sketch the prowling cat atop the city map, riding 90 miles in four days to create the intricate artwork.

 

National

A Seattle website calls for the repeal of the county’s bike helmet mandate, saying it leads to biased enforcement against the homeless and people of color, while a local public radio station considers the hopefully soon to be repealed law.

The owners of a Dolores, Colorado bike shop do the right thing, applying for state historical funds to restore the 116-year old building they call home in the town of less than 900 people.

A new report shows Austin, Texas leads the nation in building bike lanes, with nearly 100% of the spending devoted to protected bike lanes. That compares with Los Angeles, where less than 40% of our already paltry efforts goes to protected lanes.

After Chicago bike riders complained about the removal of a bike lane, the city painted sharrows on the sidewalk and said “ride there.”

A Long Island legal columnist offers advice on what to do if you’re struck by a driver while riding your bike. Although he gets the order wrong; contacting your insurance company can wait until you preserve the evidence and get your ass to a doctor.

Sad news from New York, where an ebike rider died nearly a month after he was doored by a taxi passenger; naturally, the NYPD blamed the victim, allowing the driver and his passenger to go their merry way.

 

International

Life is cheap in British Columbia, where a man got a lousy 30 months for the drunken hit-and-run that killed a man riding a bicycle, then tried to blame an innocent co-worker for the crash. Never mind that it was the third time in six years he’d been accused of DUI. Just one more example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the road until they kill someone.

Popular BBC presenter Jeremy Vine was knocked unconscious when he hit a pothole while riding a Penny Farthing over the weekend, and was thrown over the handlebars; he was lucky to escape with just a black eye. And from that height, it’s long damn way down.

A 93-year old South African man got his stolen bike back after neighborhood watch members spotted a man walking it down the street; he was given the bike by his parents for his 21st birthday, and has ridden it for more than 70 years.

 

Competitive Cycling

Egan Bernal continues his recovery from a near-fatal training crash by riding a stationary bike for the first time since he was injured over three weeks ago in Colombia.

Belgian ‘cross star Toon Aerts professes his innocence after testing positive for a banned drug before his sixth place finish in the worlds. Although it’s kind of hard to explain why a healthy cyclist would have a breast cancer drug in his system if he wasn’t doping.

 

Finally…

How to ride a six-legged tandem. If you’re going to bust out a bike shop window to steal a $7,000 e-mountain bike, maybe try riding off instead of walking it down the street.

And maybe make sure the paint is dry first before riding through it.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

One comment

  1. Ralph says:

    Hmm, The six legged tandem link goes to Bernal.