Archive for Bicycle Safety

Update: Bike rider killed in early morning Stanton hit-and-run

And then it happened again.

Just three months and four days after Deborah Gresham was killed in a Stanton hit-and-run, another person riding a bicycle has lost his life to another fleeing driver, just two and a half miles away.

According to the Orange County Register, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was struck by a vehicle at the intersection of Chapman Avenue and Beach Blvd in Stanton around 2:40 this morning by a driver who fled the scene.

He was transported to UCI Medical Center in Orange 17 minutes later, where he died shortly after arrival.

No word on how the collision occurred, if the victim had lights on his bike, or who may have been at fault. However, judging by the taco’ed rear wheel on the victim’s badly mangled beach cruiser, it appears he may have been struck from behind with considerable force.

Garden Grove police stopped a 44-year old man whose car matched the description of the suspect vehicle at 3:15 am. KCBS-2 reports he was arrested for an alleged probation violation, but as of midday, had not been charged with the hit-and-run, though an OC sheriff’s spokesperson said no other suspects were thought to be at large.

A satellite view shows a eight lane road with double left turn lanes on Beach Blvd, and four to five lanes with turn lanes on Chapman, depending on direction; the Register ranks it as one of the ten busiest intersections in Orange County.

This is the third confirmed bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Orange County. It’s also the third in Stanton in less than 18 months, and the second on busy Beach Blvd.

To learn more about Deborah Gresham’s tragic death, read this heartbreaking piece by former Bicycling Magazine editor-in-chief Peter Flax.

Update: The Orange County Coroner has identified the victim as 38-year old Paul Hurst.

Update 2: The Orange County Register says Hurst was a transient; the area in which he was killed has a heavy homeless population, and a number of low cost hotels frequented by people with no fixed address.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Paul Hurst and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson and Robert Peppey for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Bike the Vote endorses Creed, possible SaMo heartbreak, and San Fran fights Chinese bikeshare

The first shoe has dropped in the race for city council in CD5.

Typical of LA’s gerrymandered council districts, the sprawling Westside district stretches east from Sepulveda to nearly encircle Beverly Hills, before reaching north to the San Fernando Valley west of Sepulveda.

For the past eight years it’s been represented by career politician Paul Koretz, who moved into the district once he was termed out of the state assembly, after serving on the West Hollywood city council.

It was Koretz who single-handedly killed the fully funded and shovel ready bike lanes on Westwood Blvd at the behest of a small group of wealthy homeowners, followed by inciting a council vote to remove the lanes from the city’s mobility plan. And stating there would be no bike lanes as part of the Great Streets program in Westwood Village.

Yet he oddly still claims to support bicycling.

His reasoning is that Westwood, which is included in LA’s High Injury Network under the Vision Zero plan, is too dangerous for bike riders. So his solution is to keep it dangerous, and shunt all those riders who currently use it as the most direct route between the Expo Line and the UCLA campus onto other less practical alternatives.

And with the exception of Motor Blvd, he has failed to implement any of the major bike lanes called for in the city’s Mobility Plan.

So it should come as no surprise that Bike the Vote LA has endorsed his challenger, Jesse Creed, in the March election over the incumbent Koretz.

You can read Creed’s responses to Bike the Vote’s candidate survey at the above link, and find Koretz’ responses here, along with that of a third candidate, Mark Herd.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newtown offers a good analysis of both the candidates, and Bike the Vote’s endorsement.

But the bottom line is that Koretz has had eight years to prove his support for bicycling is more than just talk. But his actions, particularly on Westwood Blvd, have proven otherwise.

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Heartbreaking news, as there’s an unconfirmed report that the owner of Santa Monica’s Bicycle Ambulance shop was killed while riding to work recently. I’m working on getting official confirmation; if anyone has any information, please let me know.

Update: A comment from Chris, along with an email from Brian Nilsen, confirms that a GoFundMe page raising funds to defray funeral expenses has been set up by the son of Tony Barnes, the owner of Bicycle Ambulance. There is also a ghost bike in Barnes honor at South Centinela Ave and Jefferson Blvd in Playa Vista. I’ve reached to the LAPD for more information.

Thanks to Stanley E. Goldich for the heads-up.

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San Francisco is threatening legal action to stop a Chinese app-based bikeshare provider from “dumping” thousands of rental bikes on the city’s streets without the proper planning or permits.

In other words, doing exactly what Uber did in moving into new markets, by establishing their ride hailing service first and dealing with the paperwork later.

But then, Uber was cars. And wasn’t Chinese.

And wasn’t threatening to disrupt the city’s existing dock-based bikeshare.

On the other hand, the problem with China’s app-based bikeshare model is that people are abandoning the bikes, resulting in a 500-bike pile in the city of Shenzhen.

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Calbike will host a webinar at 11 am today to discuss a grant program which could expand the use of ebikes to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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An LGBT website says trans cyclist Jillian Bearden is receiving both praise and uninformed criticism as she continues to break barriers.

Cycling Weekly says fewer, but bigger races could save cycling in France.

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Local

The LA Rams may need some help, but at least the new head coach rides his bike to work. Thanks to Josh for the link.

The LACBC is calling for bike riders to submit comments on a proposed redesign of Ventura Blvd in Woodland Hills by this Friday; the section under consideration currently has painted bike lanes, which the coalition would like to see upgraded to parking protected lanes.

Speaking of the LACBC, they’re in the market for a new Planning & Policy Director.

The latest Bike Talk features former bike shop owners Josef Bray-Ali and TJ Flexer discussing the demise of the local bike shop.

 

State

Westminster police are on the lookout for a bike-riding burglar.

A San Diego Navy vet got a new $3,000 bike for Christmas after his was totaled when he did a face plant last September. Then someone stole off his car it after his first ride.

San Diego has secured funding to begin design work on a crucial link between the Chollas Creek bike path and the planned 24-mile Bayshore Bikeway; the path would allow residents of lower-income areas to safely cross the I-5 and I-15 interchange and get to jobs in the downtown area.

No bias here. A Bakersfield bike rider gets hit by a drunk driver who flees the scene. Yet police still blame the victim for wearing dark clothing and not riding in a crosswalk — even though there was no reason for her to even be in crosswalk.

A Menlo Park cyclist says a new bike project would only benefit a small number of bike riders at the expense of most bicyclists and the rest of the city.

Caught on video: An East Bay cyclist leaves his bike cam going when he stops for mid-ride coffee, and catches a high-end bike thief red-handed.

 

National

Bicycling says riding inside doesn’t have to suck anymore. But it’s still inside, and the bikes still don’t move.

A Seattle website says the city owes residents an apology and their $1.4 million back after buying the city’s troubled bikeshare program, then unceremoniously killing it just before the long weekend. But there’s still a desire for bikeshare if it’s done right.

A French company rode their 3D-printed bike over 600 miles from Las Vegas to San Francisco to prove it works.

The war on bikes continues, as an Arizona bicyclist was shot repeatedly with BB guns by a man and woman in a passing car, with the couple’s child in the backseat. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough for people like that.

A homeless man says refurbishing bikes at a Utah collective to give to others has given purpose to his life.

A Colorado letter writer says “stupid is as stupid does” in deciding whether to ride on the roadways with motor vehicle traffic, suggesting — or rather, outright stating — that bikes don’t belong on public streets. I’d apply that same aphorism to people who can’t resist the urge to share their particular anti-bike bias with the rest of the world; saying it’s not safe to share the roads with motor vehicles is really just saying that people are incapable of driving safely, which I refuse to believe.

Wisconsin police bust a pair of bike thieves and reclaim a stolen bike that was being sold on Craigslist; the victim had been given the bike by her grandmother.

Chicago bike riders continue to ride through the winter as part of a two-week challenge. Oddly, no one seem to consider doing something like that here in Southern California, where the weather is much more conducive to year-round riding.

Blocked bike lanes remain a big problem in Brooklyn and Manhattan. And pretty much everywhere else.

President-elect Trump’s traditional inaugural walk will be on a DC bike path.

 

International

Now that a Canadian reporter has recovered from a near-fatal bike crash, she says it was one of the best experiences of her life, because it changed her for the better. And yes, she plans to ride again.

Toronto is studying near-miss incidents, as well as actual collisions, before and after bike lanes were installed on a major street, in order to get a more complete look at how safety has changed.

London cabbies bring traffic to a standstill to protest plans to close a key junction to motor vehicles; cyclists argue that taxis are one of the biggest causes of congestion and drivers are just supporting “the right to poison Londoners.”

A self-described bike lane-skeptic member of the British parliament questions whether bike lanes are the reason London traffic congestion has gotten worse, and if they are causing an increase in pollution as a result.

Scotland promises a more ambitious and innovative approach to cycling, as council leaders promise to play a huge role in encouraging ridership; the country plans to have 10% of journeys made by bike by 2020.

 

Finally…

Filming yourself riding a bike on a Buddhist temple is probably not the best way to win friends in a foreign country. And not even wheelie-popping former Super Bowl winners are safe on a bike.

Update: NoHo bike rider killed after falling in front of car last week

Sadly, some crashes never make the news.

That was the case in North Hollywood last week, when a bike rider was killed after falling in front of a car that had changed lanes to go around him.

According to an officer with the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division, the 50-year old victim was riding south on Coldwater Canyon Ave near Saticoy Street last Tuesday, riding with one hand while holding a cup of coffee in the other. When he moved left to go around a parked car, he clipped the car’s mirror and fell into the left lane, where he was hit by the car.

Tragically, the driver had seen him, and had already moved left to give him a safe passing distance.

No word yet on the victim’s identification, what time the crash occurred or whether he died at the scene.

This should be a reminder to stay out of the door zone, and hold onto your handlebars as if your life depends on it. Because sometimes, it does.

This is the second bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Los Angeles County. It’s also the first in the city of Los Angeles since the first of the year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 52-year old Efrain Molina; the crash occurred at 5:55 am on Coldwater between Elwood and Saticoy.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Efrain Molina and his loved ones. 

Update: Willowbrook bike rider killed by Blue Line train; first SoCal bike death in 2017

That didn’t take long.

Just six days into the new year, a bike rider has been killed in a collision with a Metro Blue Line train, marking the first SoCal bicycling fatality of 2017.

According to the LA Daily News, the victim was crossing the tracks at Willowbrook Avenue and El Segundo Boulevard in unincorporated Willowbrook when he was stuck by the northbound train around 6:55 this morning.

He died at the scene.

The identity of the victim is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The Daily News describes him only as a man in his 50s, while a CHP spokesperson, in a video on the LA Times website, calls him a 35 to 45-year old Hispanic male.

There’s no word on whether he rode through the crossing gates, or if he was somehow caught on the tracks when the train came through. The Times video shows the crossing gates and warning lights were working after the crash.

This should be yet another warning to always wait until the crossing gates go up before attempting to cross train tracks, regardless of whether it appears to be safe.

This is the first bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Los Angeles County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 52-year old Downey resident Esequiel Flores.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Esequiel Flores and his loved ones. 

Morning Links: Petaluma punishment pass caught on video, and red light-running stupid driver tricks

Welcome back. Please accept my belated wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous new year. And one filled with friends, family and bikes.

Lets hope this coming year is a safe and joyful one for all of us.

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This is who we share the roads with.

First a Petaluma pickup driver hauling a horse trailer makes what appears to be a punishment pass directed at a couple of bicyclists hugging the white line. Or possibly just a dangerous attempt to cut back in time following an ill-advised pass.

Then stops to have a profanity-laced chat with the riders, telling them to get off the road and onto a non-existent bike path.

Thanks to murphstahoe for the links.

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And here you thought only bike riders run red lights, right?

Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the heads-up.

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Sad news, as 1950 Tour de France champ Ferdy Kuebler passed away at a Zurich hospital Thursday; Kuebler won the Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege classics on successive days in 1951 and 1952, as well as a 356-mile, single-day Bordeaux-to-Paris race in ’53.

More sad news, as rising Canadian pro cyclist Ellen Watters was killed in a collision on a training ride; New Brunswick riders are making a new push for a three-foot passing law in the wake of her death, and appear to be gaining support.

Brit Tour de France champ Bradley Wiggins calls it a career at age 36, amid allegations of drug use masked by special medical exemptions.

American pro Andrew Talansky’s Grand Tour plans may have suffered a setback when he broke his thumb after hitting black ice on a Christmas Eve training ride.

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Local

The LAPD made an arrest in the Hyde Park hit-and-run that left a motorized bike rider seriously injured.

Joe Linton says a recent hit-and-run that left a pedestrian injured shows the need to make NELA’s Fletcher Drive safe.

Debbie Reynolds was one of us, and rode her bike to her first screen test on the Warner Brothers lot from her home in Burbank when she was just 16.

CiclaValley recaps his best articles of the past year.

Pasadena’s Complete Streets Coalition will hold their January meeting next Monday.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson justifiably calls out cyclists on an annual New Years Day ride, where hundreds of bicyclists reportedly blew through red lights on their high-speed tour down the coast, resulting in a crash that injured a pedestrian and a bike rider. And says some riders actually blocked paramedics from getting to them in their attempt to catch up to the peloton. Correction: I’ve heard from someone who was on that ride, who reports that as much of a mess as it was, the rider who collided with the pedestrian was on a different, earlier ride, and said the wreck happened when a pedestrian stepped off the curb while the sun was in his eyes.

 

State

Be careful when you order bikes and parts online. California’s Specialized is suing a number of internet-based bike dealers for selling counterfeit frames and accessories.

California motorists are now prohibited from even holding a mobile phone for any reason while they drive. Of course, it’s already illegal to text or use a handheld phone in the state, and we’ve seen how that worked out.

We may have to deal with bullheaded LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about crashing into Bay Area bulls.

San Francisco’s Vision Zero Coalition calls on the city to study its own traffic safety data.

Sad news from Stockton, where a bike rider was killed New Years Eve after allegedly riding through a red light.

 

National

States may have the traffic data the public needs to demand safer streets, but apparently, they’re under no obligation to share it, thanks to a little-known clause in federal law.

Two years ago there were no protected intersections in the US; now there are 12.

Now you can lock your bike up to a birth control device the next time you ride to Oregon’s Planned Parenthood headquarters.

A San Antonio driver hits a bike rider, takes her to a nearby bar, puts her damaged bike on her car, then drives away without identifying himself.

Great story. A homeless Escondido man rides a beach cruiser 1,640 miles to Wichita KS to build planes, because he says God told him to.

Life is cheap in Iowa, where a driver without insurance gets a whole two days for paralyzing a cyclist. Two. Effing. Days.

A Georgia cop helps a DUI driver turn his life around by buying him a bike to ride to work and AA meetings.

New York City now has a nine-mile long protected bike lane crossing the city.

The New York Times reports on a prominent evangelical preacher who lost his faith following a 40 mph solo fall on his bike.

A Miami rider offers a full year of stupid driver tricks caught on bike cam video.

A Florida man has a new bike thanks to a kindhearted EMS supervisor, who bought him one after his was totaled in a crash.

 

International

A new Canadian study says you may end up in the ICU, but at least you don’t have to stop cycling. Meanwhile, A new Chinese study shows riding a bicycle can reduce depression in patients undergoing hemodialysis.

Cycling Weekly offers essential commuting clothes for riding to work, not much of which actually is.

I want to be like him when I grow up. Eighty-seven year old English rider sets three world age group records.

1970’s glam rockers Slade will be cancelling their shows for the next few months after lead guitarist and founding member Dave Hill broke his elbow in a collision with a bike rider.

Dublin votes to cut speed limits to the equivalent of 18 mph throughout the city to improve safety. So when will California realize lives are more important than speed, and allow cities to set safer limits?

An Irish study says boys are ten times more likely to ride their bikes to school than girls.

An Indian tycoon plans to revitalize Great Britain’s declining bike-making industry.

A bicyclist rides 4,600 miles through nine Indian states on a solar-powered ebike.

A New Zealand man gets on his bike for the first time in five years. And gets knocked off by a road-raging driver who drove onto the sidewalk to deliberately ram into him.

A Tokyo pedestrian was killed by a lightless, distracted bike rider on a narrow, sloping passageway where bicyclists aren’t even supposed to ride.

Singapore is installing bikeways in neighborhoods around the island and encouraging the use of personal mobility devices in an attempt to go car-lite.

 

Finally…

This is why you hire an American PR firm to handle your US launch. Busted for driving under the influence of caffeine.

And Ricky Gervais is one of us. Even if he can’t figure out how to use a Presta valve.

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Thanks to George Wolfberg, Karen Karabell, Eric Lewis, Glen Schmuetz and Stephen Katz, and to everyone who gave to last month’s BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. The kindness and generosity of shown by the readers of this site has moved me more than I could possibly express.

I’d like to thank you all individually, but PayPal now keeps the email addresses of donors hidden. Which is probably a good thing, even if it means I have to thank you here, instead.

Update: Hit-and-run driver critically injures Hyde Park bike rider; LAPD fails to send hit-and-run alert or mention reward

Once again, a heartless coward has left a South LA bike rider bleeding in the street.

According to press release from the LAPD, a 35-year old man was riding some sort of motorized bicycle on 48th Street at Ninth Ave in the Hype Park neighborhood around 3:40 Monday afternoon when he was struck by a car driven by an unidentified driver.

The driver had been parked at the eastbound curb when he suddenly pulled out, turning left across the traffic lanes and into the path of the westbound bike rider, in a crash captured by a security cam.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

There are bike lanes in both direction on 48th, though it appears he was traveling in the through lane at or near the speed of traffic.

Police are looking for a burgundy or red late 1990s Oldsmobile Cutlass four door sedan. The department reports the two people in the car had just left Kenny’s Liquor, where they were captured on security footage.

The driver is described as a male Hispanic, approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall, between 180 and 200 pounds with dark hair. He was seen wearing a gray baseball cap, a gray jacket, white t-shirt, and blue jeans.

The passenger is described as a male Hispanic, approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall, with black hair and a mustache. He was seen wearing a red long sleeve shirt, black pants, and brown shoes.

Anyone with information urged to call LAPD South Traffic Division at 323/421-2500.

Oddly, the press release does not mention the city’s standing reward program providing up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of hit-and-run drivers; in this case, it provides an automatic $25,000 reward for a collision resulting in a severe injury.

It’s also strange that the LAPD did not use LA’s hit-and-run alert system that was approved by the city council early last year alerting the public to be on the lookout for suspect vehicles. For some reason, the department seems reluctant to use the program, even though it was created for cases exactly like this.

There is also a statewide program that was signed into law last year allowing hit-and-run alerts on state highway signs.

Maybe someday the LAPD will actually use some of the tools available to them to enlist the public’s help to catch people like this.

We can dream, right?

Update: Police have made an arrest in the case.

Update 2: In an LAPD press conference, South LA detectives identified the victim as 36-year old Los Angeles resident Gabrail Hasan, the father of nine kids under 15. 

The tattoo artist and vice president of the LA DTM (Doing the Most) Motorized Bike Club remains in critical condition in the ICU following emergency surgery for a crushed aorta.

Seventeen year old student killed in Norwalk collision on Thursday

This is not the news anyone wanted on the eve of Christmas and Chanukah.

According to the Whittier Daily News, a 17-year old boy was killed riding his bicycle home from a friend’s home on Thursday.

Unfortunately, not many details are available at this time. The paper reports Chandler Ray was struck by a car sometime in the evening at the intersection of Studebaker Road and Firestone Boulevard in Norwalk.

No word on how or when it happened, whether the driver remained at the scene or if he or she was detained by police. And no information on whether Ray died at the scene or was taken to a local hospital.

A street view shows what appears to be a busy intersection with four through lanes in each direction controlled by a traffic light, and left and right turn lanes on Firestone. As usual, there are no bike lanes in any direction.

The paper describes Chandler Ray as a popular and outspoken member of the Sante Fe High School football team.

A Go Fund Me account established in his name has already raised over $11,000 more than the $10,000 goal. It’s heartbreaking to think his family will never observe another holiday season without sadness.

This is the 72nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 32nd in Los Angeles County. He is also the third bike rider to die in Norwalk since 2014.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Chandler Ray and all his family and loved ones.

Morning Links: The tragic story of a ghost bike, and pre-holiday coffee and carb loading in the South Bay

It’s the final day of the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Give now to keep Southern California’s best source for bike news coming your way every morning!

One quick note before we start.

Unless there’s breaking news, this will be the last new post until after the New Year, as we take the next week off for a little well-deserved rest and the opportunity to make some behind-the-scenes improvements.

So please accept my best wishes for joyful holiday, whatever and however you celebrate. And for a very healthful, happy and prosperous year to come.

May we all have peace, if not on the Earth, at least in our hearts.

Ride safely, and we’ll see you back here bright and early on January 3rd.

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In a truly heartbreaking story, Hollywood Reporter editor — and former Bicycling editor-in-chief — Peter Flax follows a ghost bike from being stripped down and painted, to installation as a memorial to fallen bike rider Deborah Gresham.

As you may recall, Gresham was the victim of a drunken hit-and-run just seconds from her Stanton home this past October; she’s recalled as the giving, generous and caring founder of a popular Walking Dead fan site.

Flax traces the history of the ghost bike movement from its beginnings in San Francisco and St. Louis, and talks with local ghost bike organizer Danny Gamboa.

It’s a moving long read that reminds us of the horrible, needless waste on our streets, and the unbearable loss suffered over and over throughout the country on a daily basis.

And one that brought tears to my eyes before he was done.

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Delia Park forwards news of a good excuse to load up on coffee and sweets tomorrow for a Christmas Eve and pre-Chanukah celebration.

Join for some post Donut Ride carb loading!

WHERE: St. Honore Bakery in Lunada Bay, Palos Verdes Estates.

WHEN: This Saturday, December 24th from 10am to 12pm. Come anytime- we will be there!

WHY: Seth Davidson Bike Injury Lawyer and Cyclists For PV and So Cal Bike Safety will be picking up the tab for coffee and sugary bakery items in order to support local businesses.

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‘Tis the season.

Kindhearted employees of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office pitch in to buy a tandem bike for an El Rio man after thieves stole the money he’d been saving for two years so his medically challenged son could ride with him. Bad enough if thieves steal your bike; worse if they take your money before you can even buy it.

Food Network celebrity chef Guy Fieri rounded up bikes, helmets and other fun gifts for distribution to various NorCal children’s organizations.

Sacramento police give out bikes, helmets and toys to children. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

The Butte County Sheriff’s Office donated over 100 refurbished bicycles as part of its 17th annual Christmas Bike Giveaway.

An Ohio non-profit donates eleven new bicycles for children with a history of abuse, neglect and abandonment; since 2008, they’ve given new bicycles to nearly 6,500 children in foster care.

British cycling legend Brian Robinson dresses like Santa to give away 50 refurbished bikes for a UK charity.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Bike SGV advocates David Diaz and Wes Reutimann, as well as South Pasadena Mayor Mike Cacciotti and Transit Coalition executive director Bart Reed about the years biggest stories, and what we can look forward to in 2017. Meanwhile, Joe Linton calls on readers to support the non-profit news organization.

West Hollywood’s Community Development Department says the lamely named WeHo Pedals bikeshare is off to a strong start, with 545 people completing 3,919 trips since it was launched at the end of August.

One Santa Monica paper says it’s been a great year for bikeshare in the city, while another looks at Santa Monica’s new bike counter.

Long Beach bike and pedestrian deaths are increasing, which reflects the larger national trend.

 

State

The family of fallen San Luis Obispo triathlete Bridget Dawson files a lawsuit alleging that the driver was on the phone with her employer at the time of the crash. Meanwhile, a pair of SLO bike advocates says it’s possible to halt the increase in bicycling fatalities in the county.

Richmond votes to conduct a road diet to create a four-mile Complete Street, including bike lanes.

A Marin County writer says the world isn’t going to come to an end when an existing trail is opened to mountain bikers, and that concerns over safety are just an excuse to try blocking bike access.

After an accused drunken, underage hit-and-run driver killed a bike rider in a Fairfield collision, he came back to ask a bystander what happened.

Redding police recover a 7-year old girl’s stolen lime green BMX after a month-long investigation.

 

National

Finally, a use for your hi-viz. Other that trying to not get run over, that is.

Streetsblog looks at how states are standing in the way of cities’ efforts to lower speed limits. California’s deadly and outdated 85th Percentile Law is to blame for our state’s constant increase in speed limits and the inability to reign them in.

No, seriously. As much as some of us would like to bring back hanging for bike rustling, it’s really not worth having a shootout with Tucson AZ police to escape after stealing a child’s bicycle.

An Austin TX bike rider settles with the city for $3,000, two years after he was hit by a police detective in an unmarked car who was unfamiliar with the rider’s right to the road.

The hit-and-run epidemic is really getting bad when even the cops are doing it. A Massachusetts police officer was charged with leaving the scene of an off-duty collision with a bike rider, as well as negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

An Alexandria VA writer discusses what his bicycle has taught him about local politics, noting “it remains socially acceptable to stereotype people riding bicycles as ‘scofflaws’, while people driving cars are given a pass on speeding.”

 

International

After a Calgary man tried to sell his bicycle to raise money for Christmas presents, he ended up in the back of a patrol car suspected of bike theft — even though he still had the original receipt.

Things are looking up for people-powered transportation in Winnipeg.

New Delhi drivers may soon have to prove they have a place to park it before they’re allowed to register a motor vehicle.

A letter writer says Rwanda must leverage its success in cycling, like other African nations have in marathons and soccer. And apparently, domestique translates to house-helper.

A 26-year old Eritrean man has been named African Cyclist of the Year.

Fifty Malaysian civil servants have been given foldies and instructions to bike to work.

A Singapore writer asks if tougher sentencing would reduce collisions — not accidents, please — before concluding that dangerous drivers need to be stopped before they kill.

 

Finally…

Now you can stick Peter Sagan on your next envelope. It’s one thing to take the lane on a busy highway, another to ride with no hands so you can give a cop the double bird.

And if you’re riding after dark with four grams of coke on your bike, put a damn light on it and stay off the sidewalk.

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Thanks to Samuel Kurutz for his generous support of the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. And to everyone who contributed their hard-earned money to keep this site coming your way every day.

I can’t begin to tell you how much your support means to me.

And if you have given yet, there’s still time.

Update: Bike rider killed in South LA hit-and-run Monday night; one-third of all LA bike fatalities have been hit-and-runs

Yet another heartless coward has left his victim to die on LA streets.

This time in South LA, on one of the city’s most dangerous streets.

According to a press release from the LAPD, the victim was riding east on 33rd Street when he attempted to cross the intersection at Central Ave around 7pm Monday. He was struck by the driver of a dark passenger vehicle headed south in the left lane on Central.

The driver immediately fled the scene, leaving the victim bleeding in the street; he was taken to USC Medical Center where he died of his injuries.

He is identified only as a Hispanic man in his late 40s or early 50s. There’s no word on whether he had lights on his bike, how fast the driver was going or why he couldn’t stop in time to avoid the collision.

A street view shows a four lane street on Central Ave, with an offset intersection controlled only by stop signs on 33rd.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Central Traffic Division Detectives at 213/833-3713.

This comes just 12 days after another rider was killed in a hit-and-run less than a mile away at Central Ave and Washington Blvd; that driver was arrested in Glendale later that day as he tried to hide the damage to his car. And it’s the third fatal bicycling collision on Central Ave in the last three years, each of which involved a driver who fled the scene.

This is the 71st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 31st in Los Angeles County. It’s also the 12th in the City of Los Angeles; a full third of those have been hit-and-runs.

Update: Community members have released video showing the actual collision, but be forewarned, it’s very difficult to watch. The driver does not appear to have even slowed down following the crash. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his loved ones.

Morning Links: Last minute gift ideas, one last(?) bike giveaway, and mountain bike dog shredding

Just two days left in the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Give today to keep Southern California’s best source for bike news coming your way today, and every day.

My apologies for whatever mistakes you may have found in yesterday’s post. And I’m sure there were many.

A sudden wave of illness meant publishing yesterday’s post without proof reading, for the first time since starting this site over eight years ago.

Hopefully we’ll do a little better today.

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CiclaValley offers gift suggestions for the bike rider in your life. And yes, it is perfectly acceptable to put yourself on your holiday gift list.

H&S Bicycles offers their own list of must have accessories for your new bike.

Cycling Weekly offers five of the year’s most weird and wonderful products, which may or may not be suitable for giving.

Here’s a list of eleven books for the budding urban planner, two and a half of which I’ve read. I can strongly recommend Gabe Klein’s Start-Up City and Samuel Schwartz’ Street Smart, which has the best explanation of why density matters I’ve yet seen; I’m currently working on Janette Sadik-Khan’s Streetfight.

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‘Tis the season.

The New Orleans Saints team up with Toys for Tots and the US Marines to give children bicycles and other toys.

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Great nighttime video of mountain bike tom Wragg shredding the trails with his dog Ruby.

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Today marks three years since Australian tourist James Rapley was tragically killed early on a Sunday morning as he made his way home for the holidays. He was run down by a stoned driver on Temescal Canyon Road as he took advantage of an extended layover at LAX to get out for a bike ride along the beach.

Plans are in the works for a parking protected bike lane on the uphill side of the dangerous roadway, where speeding drivers often drift into the bike lane, in hopes of keeping something like this from happening again.

Yet those plans are languishing, in part due to insufficient staffing at LADOT, and partly due to the usual local opposition to any changes they fear might inconvenience them or add a few minutes to their commute, even if it does save lives.

Lets hope the city can finally work it out before another anniversary passes.

Or before someone else gets killed.

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A memorial to British cyclist Tommy Simpson has been restored to mark 50 years after he collapsed and died climbing Mt. Ventoux after taking amphetamines during the 1967 Tour de France. A sportswriter asks if his death was in vain, as suspicions of doping and drug use continue to taint professional cycling.

A former coach accuses Britain’s governing body for cycling of having a culture of lies, bullying and harassment.

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Local

LA Magazine’s Neal Broverman says the planned South LA Rail-to-River bike and pedestrian pathway will be a great amenity in a park-poor area, but a lost opportunity to build an actual rail line through the community.

If you’re looking for a fun pre-Christmas ride, you could do a lot worse than Saturday’s Street Librarian’s Last Ride of the Year to restock those little street lending library boxes in Silver Lake.

 

State

San Clemente hires a contactor for a complete makeover of deadly PCH, including a road diet and curb extensions, bike lanes in both directions, and a separate two-way cycle track along the southbound side, with an additional pedestrian walkway running alongside. Let’s hope other OC cities follow their example.

Next year should be a good one for San Diego bike riders, with four new bike projects opening and several others on the way.

Lake Elsinore is beginning to develop a citywide bicycle path and trails master plan.

A Templeton man faces a felony manslaughter charge in the death of a bicyclist earlier this month; the driver was attempting to pass another vehicle by illegally crossing the double yellow lines when he hit the rider head-on.

San Francisco’s 9th and Division is the latest Bay Area intersection to get the protected treatment.

 

National

The war on bicyclists continues, as someone has once again sabotaged a popular Seattle bike trail.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a customized bike belonging to a 15-year old Washington quadriplegic; fortunately, police recovered the bike and expect to make an arrest.

A scathing city audit calls Kansas City’s bike plan nothing more than lines on a map that don’t connect with popular destinations, and have gone largely unbuilt. If we ask nice, do you think they’d be willing to audit Los Angeles next? They could probably just change a few locations and repurpose the same report.

The rich get richer. Missouri, which is already home to the 240-mile Katy Trail paralleling the Missouri River, gets ownership of a 144-mile abandoned rail line that will be converted into a bike trail along the northern edge of the Ozarks.

Friends remember a Minnesota cyclist for his fondness for AIDS rides and red high heels after he passed away from cancer; he reportedly wore those heels on his final days as a mail carrier. As the son of a mailman, I can’t help but smile at that.

Kalamazoo approves a new plan to keep bicyclists safe in response to last summer’s massacre. While it’s good news, it shouldn’t take a tragedy like that to do the right thing.

New York commits to improving bike safety around the city’s many bridges and parks in the year to come. Meanwhile, the city opens a new two-way protected bike lane through Chinatown.

 

International

Ontario police are trying to identify a homeless man who was traveling nearly 1,900 miles across Canada by bike and canoe after his body washed up, just 60 miles from his stated destination.

A British bicycling group calls for a retraction after a columnist for London’s Sunday Times calls the dooring of a bike rider by the country’s transport minister a “beautifully timed maneuver,” and suggests he should keep it up to make “London a safer place for normal humans.” The original story is hidden behind a paywall where no one can see it. And should stay that way.

The head of a London university says the dangers bicyclists face on the city’s streets discourage foreign students from attending.

London will host a Ride with Bowie bike ride next month on the first anniversary of his death.

A bighearted 89-year old English woman has taken it upon herself to pass out free hi-viz vests to bike riders to make them more visible to drivers and pedestrians. Although it would be nice if someone could make drivers actually pay attention instead of making everyone else dress up like clowns.

Police in the UK are looking for a bike thief caught on security cameras struggling to carry one bicycle while riding another.

A Brit driver faces six years behind bars for careening into a bike rider while speeding and “driving like an idiot” with his daughter in the car.

Unbelievable. A driver in the UK walks after allegedly killing a 15-year old bike rider, despite a) not having a license, b) driving 80 yards with his victim stuck in the windshield, and c) getting out of the car and running away from the scene; the judge cites a lack of evidence in dismissing the case.

Bollywood star Ali Fazal is one of us, after he took up riding to the set while filming in London.

Horrific story from Melbourne, Australia as a woman bike rider was robbed, stabbed and slashed in an apparent random attack; she’s in stable condition after seven hours of surgery.

Life is cheap in West Australia, where a driver walks with a measly $500 fine — the equivalent of just $360 in US dollars — for killing a bike rider; a British cyclist was fined more than that for riding in a pedestrian plaza.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: Now that’s what I call a close call.

And you can stop holding your breath waiting for that combination smart watch and bike computer you’ve always wanted.

No, really.

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Thanks to Theodore Faber, Fred Davis Design and David Drexler for their generous support of the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

It’s hard to ask for money for this site, because there are so many other more deserving causes, and so many other obligations this time of year. So I deeply appreciate everyone who has opened their hearts and wallets to support this site, now and throughout the year.

Thank you.

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