Archive for Bicycle Safety

Woman killed by drunk driver while walking bike across Sepulveda Blvd in Manhattan Beach

There’s something seriously wrong when a woman can’t even walk her bike across a street without getting killed by an underage drunk driver.

That’s exactly what happened in Manhattan Beach last night, according to the Daily Breeze.

Thirty-one year old Manhattan Beach resident Amory Borgens was crossing on the 400 block of S. Sepulveda Blvd about 12:20 this morning when she was hit by a speeding car. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she died.

The 20-year old driver remained at the scene, and was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter.

However, it’s unclear exactly where the collision occurred, since the story places it near Tennyson Street, which would be the 600 block of South Sepulveda.

satellite view shows no crosswalks in a four block stretch of the busy six-lane street between Artesia Blvd and Longfellow Drive. Regardless, a crosswalk is presumed to exist at every intersection not marked by a No Crossing sign, whether or not one has been painted on the street.

Intentionally or not, the article, which was written by the City News Service, indulges in a remarkable degree of victim blaming, stating it was a “crash between Borgens and a speeding 2003 Toyota Corolla,” and “Borgens was in the roadway when she was struck.”

It’s hard to cross any street without being in it. And she didn’t crash into anything, she was run down by a speeding car.

It should also be noted that the legal alcohol allowed for anyone under the age of 21 is zero.

This is the 12th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in Los Angeles County already this year. And it’s the first bicycling fatality in Manhattan Beach in at least the last five years.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Amory Borgens and all her loved ones.

Morning Links: Bike beats car in race to beach, Calbike wants your take on bike politics, and BMX legend dies

No surprise, really.

KPCC challenged three staffers to race from Union Station to the Santa Monica Pier in Monday morning rush hour traffic, travelling by bike, bus and car. Or rather, a funky three-wheeled motorcycle equivalent.

But whatever.

And just as has happened in other cities that have run similar races, the bike came out on top. Even though the rider failed to plan out his route, and dropped down to pothole-ridden Venice Blvd for his journey to the pier.

Had he planned it better, he could have cut a big chunk of time off his commute by taking Wilshire Blvd, which runs directly to the coast, and where bikes are allowed in the Bus Only lanes that operate during morning and evening rush hours. Even though the lanes skip Beverly Hills and the condo corridor in Westwood.

A simple jump over to the bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd through Century City, then cut over to the Broadway bike lanes in Santa Monica and coast down to the coast.

He might have even been able to slow down a little.

And wear something other than spandex.

………

Calbike wants your input on candidates and issues that affect bicyclists, to help develop their endorsement strategy for the coming year; you can take the survey here.

………

Sad news from Greenville NC, as BMX legend and X Games star Dave Mirra died of an apparent suicide on Thursday.

If you’re thinking about hurting yourself, talk to someone. Anyone. There are people who care and want to help, no matter how bad things may seem now.

………

Local

Richard Risemberg doesn’t pull any punches, depicting CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo as the carpetbagger-in-chief while calling for a movement to draft Flying Pigeon owner Josef Bray-Ali to run against him. Somehow I missed this one when it was originally posted. And yes, Councilmember Bray-Ali does have a certain ring to it.

The Eagle Rock and Boyle Heights areas receive nearly $18 million in Complete Streets funding, including bike and pedestrian improvements.

Great piece from LAist, as they talk to the guy who rode a New York bikeshare bike across the US, ending in Santa Monica last week.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports the Ride Report app for iOS has gone national; the app is designed to run in the background, allowing riders to track and rate their trips while crowdsourcing riding data.

 

State

San Diego’s KPBS discusses women’s professional bike racing, saying women riders are making progress, but there’s still a way to go.

Last year, we discussed the mobile bike repair shops from Beeline Bikes; now one is rolling into the Conejo Valley to serve cyclists in Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and Agoura Hills.

A Salinas writer observes our streets are safe for everyone but people.

A writer from Modesto is up in arms that the city is paying $75,000 to house and feed riders in the Amgen Tour of California for one night. Never mind that the race will likely bring in a lot more that to local businesses.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is barring bikes — and trees — from a proposed public park in Mountain View, apparently because other parks elsewhere have had problems with connectivity. Which is sort of like blaming all bike riders because you saw one run a red light once.

 

National

Horrible story of road rage from Portland. As usual, the police refuse to do anything about it unless the rider ends up bleeding in the street.

The Chicago Trib says riding a bike on the Las Vegas strip is just too damn scary. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been there.

Why does my Platinum Level Bicycle Friendly hometown have to keep making bicycling improvements decades after I left? What, they couldn’t have done any of this while I was still there?

Forget three feet, an Iowa legislator proposes a bill that would require drivers to change lanes to pass a bike rider. Thanks to Cyclelicious for the link.

Caught on video: A Michigan bike rider beats a ticket for obstructing traffic when a state trooper gets the law wrong, using the cop’s own dash cam video to make his case.

Not all DC churches think bike lanes infringe upon their freedom of religion; an African American church in the same neighborhood as the one fighting tooth and nail against a bike lane says protected bike lanes make the streets safer for everyone.

 

International

The owner of the UK’s Vulpine bikewear company says the great helmet debate only serves to put people off bicycling, while concluding: “Cycling is not a major killer. Putting people off cycling is.”

A British website says more needs to be done to make bicycling a safe and normal activity.

Let’s hope it was a damn good bike. A Brit entrepreneur traded his stake in the Swiftkey mobile phone app for a bike, only to watch his former partners sell it to Microsoft for $252 million.

Russian women’s track cycling champ Elena Brezhniva gets a four-year ban for an unspecified doping offense; her coach naturally writes it off as a case of mere negligence. Because no cyclist would ever intentionally cheat, right?

A Philippine bicyclist takes a thrilling and scary ride through Manilla’s Quezon City.

An Aussie driver talks to the mother of a teenage boy who rode out in front of her car.

 

Finally…

Someday, every bike with come with its own mushroom knife and fire pit. Now you can get a pedal-assist motor doping bike of your very own; meanwhile, Dutch researchers will pay you to dope as you climb Mr. Ventoux.

And how to discover if anyone on your club ride is motor doping.

It’s easy to tell if I have a hidden motor on my bike. Just watch to see if I pass someone. Anyone.

No, really.

Bike rider killed in South LA collision last week

Sometimes bad news never makes the news.

According to the South LA Sheriff’s Department, a bike rider was killed in a collision with a car last Tuesday, Jan. 26th, at the intersection of Ocean Gate Avenue and 132nd Street in unincorporated LA County. The victim was taken to a local hospital.

Unfortunately, no other details are available.

A street view shows a pair of quiet residential streets; matching that up with the photo in the sheriff’s post suggests that the driver was headed west on 132nd.

A comment to the post says the victim was a boy; she also says the driver had the right-of-way, but may have been speeding. However, there’s no way to verify the comment.

This is the 11th bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the third in Los Angeles County. That compares with just two in SoCal this time last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his family.

Thanks to GhostBikes for the heads-up.

Update: Mountain biker found dead after search in Angeles National Forest

An overnight ground and air search for a missing mountain biker led to bad news in the hills above Altadena.

According to KCBS-2, a Torrance man was found dead in the Angeles National Forrest around 10:30 Saturday morning, after going missing while riding on Friday.

The victim, whose name has been withheld pending notification of next of kin, was pronounced dead after his body was discovered on the Brown Mountain Truck Trail.

There were no apparent signs of trauma, which suggests he may have died of natural causes, or perhaps succumbed to exposure from being lost on the mountainside overnight.

This is the 10th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Los Angeles County.

Update: The Pasadena Star News reports that, contrary to the earlier report, the victim did show trauma consistent with a fall. His body was discovered a short distance from his bike, which had been spotted by a hiker around 10 am about three miles up the trail. 

He had gone for a ride Friday morning; a search was initiated at 9 pm Friday when his cellphone was traced to an SUV parked at the trailhead.

Update 2: SFV Media identifies the victim as 49-year old Torrance resident Evan Bruce Sisson. The site reports he was discovered partway down a cliff, with his bike at the base.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Evan Bruce Sisson and his loved ones.

Weekend Links: HB hit-and-run scum, a busy bike weekend and upcoming events, and Amgen ToC stages set

It takes a major piece of walking — or in this case, driving — human scum to run down a nine-year old boy riding his bike in Huntington Beach, stop just long enough to look at him, then drive off, leaving the kid lying in the street.

Fortunately, the boy is okay.

The driver, on the other hand, isn’t. There’s something seriously wrong with anyone who could do that to a little kid.

Thanks to Lois for the link.

………

It’s long past time we caught up on coming events, with a number rolling this weekend. Hopefully before the rain starts.

Join a group ride to tonight’s Night on Broadway celebration in DTLA, departing from Eagle Rock at 3 pm.

Empact Long Beach hosts a number of bike safety workshops throughout the city in the coming weeks, starting today.

Walk Bike Glendale will kick off 2016 with a pizza party at Pizza Rev in Glendale this Sunday.

Pizza seems to be the theme of the day on Sunday, as LA Bike Trains is hosting the first of their monthly Biking ‘til Snack Time rides, with stops at a number of local pizza spots along the way.

Bike SGV is going pizza-free for Sunday’s ride celebrating the fourth anniversary of their monthly bike train. They note the ride will go on with light rain; heavy rain will mean a switch to a Bike Commuting Class, presumably indoors.

The Temple City council will hold a final vote on the proposed complete street redesign of Las Tunas Drive on February 11th.

Also on the 11th, the LA Planning Commission will consider amendments to the city’s recently passed Mobility Plan, including the possible removal of some bike lanes from the plan. Glad to see city staff has recommended keeping the proposed Westwood Blvd bike lanes in the plan over the objection of Councilmember Koretz and some homeowner’s groups.

CZ-2pFmUYAEDMu8The East Side Riders Bike Club is hosting the 7th Annual Ride 4 Love 2016 through LA’s Southside on February 13th.

The Van Nuys Neighborhood Council invites you to explore the area with the LACBC-led Tour de Van Nuys on February 20th, and stay after to help reimagine Van Nuys Blvd as a bike-friendly, green complete street.

Flying Pigeon is sponsoring a NELA Kidical Mass on February 21st.

Mark you calendar for the annual Malibu Gran Fondo March 6th and 7th.

Looking further ahead, this year’s Ride of Silence will roll on May 18th to honor fallen cyclists.

And the Eastside Bike Club is holding a Riff Raff Ride into Monrovia on June 26th as an unofficial adjunct to the 626 Golden Streets Ride through seven communities in the San Gabriel Valley. Most of which are more welcoming to riders than Monrovia seems to be.

………

The LACBC’s next Sunday Funday ride will be hosted by none other that Mr. CiclaValley himself, as he channels his inner Daniel LaRusso to show riders how to get to the March 6th CicLAvia in the northern reaches of the San Fernando Valley.

Meanwhile, CicLAvia continues to grow as it spreads out to Los Angeles, Lynwood, South Gate, Huntington Park and Southeast LA County on May 15th.

………

Been seeing lots of complaints from cyclists the past several days over this commercial for the new Audi plug-in hybrid, in which the owner of said car wins the admiring gaze of a bike-riding woman for driving like a total jackass.

Thanks to Alice Strong for the heads-up.

………

Route details are released for this year’s Amgen Tour of California, including a start and finish in San Diego’s Mission Bay to begin the race, followed stages from South Pasadena to Santa Clarita, and Thousand Oaks to Santa Barbara.

If France’s one-day Paris-Roubaix race isn’t tough enough, they’re adding an uphill, cobbled section for this year.

Pro cyclist Chad Haga describes what it’s like to fight an SUV with his face; Haga was the most seriously injured member of his Giant-Alpecin teammates, who were hit head-on by a wrong way driver while training in Spain. And voices his commitment to keep riding so she doesn’t get the final say on his racing career.

And in the cycling conspiracy theory that won’t die, Italy will hold yet another hearing looking into allegations that the great Marco Pantini was murdered rather than overdosing on coke.

………

Local

An OpEd in the Times says Metro’s bikeshare is set up to fail. Although I’d question the assumption that low-income residents are the most likely users of bikeshare, which hasn’t been the case in any other city I’m aware of. And while systems are planned for Long Beach and UCLA, they are not currently in place.

The city council has approved funding to install gates to keep cars off the LA River bike path, in hopes of stopping things like this from last year.

The Hollywood Reporter says allegations of preferential treatment for a former American Gladiators star accused of spousal rape is just the latest scandal involving the Malibu/Lost Hills sheriff’s station, including the death of cyclist Milt Olin, who was killed by a distracted deputy using his patrol car’s onboard computer.

Good news from Burbank, as police recovered the $5,300 customized bike that was stolen from a boy with cerebral palsy earlier this week; the bike was found on the side of a Silverlake street Wednesday night.

Speaking of CiclaValley, he say’s Glendale will be stepping up enforcement of traffic laws laws involving motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists today. Like the similar enforcement efforts in Santa Monica, make a point to obey all the laws today so whoever they ticket, it won’t be you.

 

State

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton responds to an OpEd from a Brown administration official, saying that doing better than Schwarzenegger when it comes to funding active transportation is not exactly the bar we set for the current governor.

Streetsblog also looks at the Death to Cyclists and Pedestrians Bill, which would slash fines for drivers who run red lights when making right turns. Okay, so maybe that’s not the official title of the bill. And the authors have the good taste to quote me in the story.

San Diego cyclists have to dodge motorists driving in the bike lane to avoid the crappy road conditions in Tecolote Canyon. One of the rare cases where road conditions are better in the bike lane than in the rest of the roadway.

Santa Barbara City College tries to encourage alternative transportation by providing a free breakfast for those who leave their cars at home.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, a pair of Bay Area brothers are marketing a streamlined US-made bike bell designed for road bikes.

Sad news from NorCal, as a bike rider was found dead on the side of the road, the victim of an apparent hit-and-run. And a bicyclist was killed in Eureka after allegedly running a stop sign.

 

National

Seattle’s underfunded bikeshare system is on the brink, while bikeshare will come to my hometown before it does DTLA.

A New Mexico man starts a petition calling for tougher penalties for drivers who injure bicyclists.

A Boulder CO writer says drivers will get used to safety improvements if you give them enough time, rather than pulling out prematurely in response to complaints.

Brilliant police work in San Antonio, as police somehow conclude that a man riding a bicycle with two purses may have stolen them. Although riding with one purse might be a different matter.

Evidently, there are wiser heads in South Dakota, where a bill that would have required bike riders to pull over and stop so cars and trucks could pass has justifiably died in committee; it was opposed by the state transportation, public safety and tourism agencies, as well as cyclists. And anyone else with a modicum of sense.

A writer for the Wisconsin Bike Fed says slow down and save lives. And compares drivers to the Simpson’s Montgomery Burns careening towards people in a crosswalk, shouting, “Out of my way, I’m a motorist!”

An Ohio man faces up to eight years in prison for shooting a 72-year old man in the eye with a paintball gun from a passing car; the rider lost all the vision in his right eye as a result. One more reason to always ride with shatterproof glasses.

 

International

A Toronto paper calls this a pivotal time for cycling in the city.

London is the latest city where a marketing campaign from Orangetheory Fitness attempted to rip off ghost bikes by locking orange-painted bikes around town. But unlike other cities, complaints in London forced the bikes’ removal.

Caught on video: A London cyclist gets caught in a right hook squeeze play. As the story notes, the rider should have either pulled up to where the driver could see him, or held back behind the Porsche rather than riding next to it.

Fines for riding on the sidewalk in England and Wales have dropped 70% over the past five years.

It’s another round of road rage in the UK, as a London cabbie picked up a man riding his bike and threw him down onto the pavement, a bike rider was punched in the face by a driver who got out of his car to confront him, and an English cyclist pushed a pedestrian and threatened to punch him, apparently for no reason.

Owen Wilson is one of us, as he takes a spin around Paris. Note to the Daily Mail: There’s a big difference between a mini bike and a “quirky” foldie.

A German man has worn out six bicycles riding through the streets of Berlin calling for voting rights for non-European Union citizens.

Caught on video 2: A Singapore driver gets an earful — in English — when he tells a cyclist he’s riding on the wrong side of the road.

 

Finally…

Left in the street by a hit-and-run driver, but at least she got to meet the Bieb. Evidently, Brit bike cops only need a cup of tea to bounce back from the bumper of a distracted driver.

And it seems Specialized takes a whimsical, if painful looking, approach to a page not found page. Thanks to the BAC’s David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

………

Come back Monday, when we’ll announce the winner of our recent bike giveaway courtesy of Beachbikes.net.

And don’t forget — you’ve got just three more days to take advantage of the special BikinginLA offer on a new Invincible bike from Fortified.

 

Morning Links: LA chosen Vision Zero Focus City, another Glendale cyclist threatened, and a special bike offer

Los Angeles has been selected as one of ten Focus Cities to lead the effort to eliminate traffic fatalities.

According to the Vision Zero Network,

Cities across the nation face similar challenges in ensuring safe mobility for all. The new Vision Zero Focus Cities program creates a collaborative network of early-adopter Vision Zero cities to build a common vision, and to develop and share winning strategies toward eliminating traffic fatalities and severe injuries.

Recognizing the importance of a stepped-up, multi-departmental, collaborative approach to advance Vision Zero, participants in the Focus Cities program will include representatives of each city’s Mayor’s Office, Transportation Department, Police Department, and Public Health Department. In addition, a concurrent track for collaboration will bring together Vision Zero community advocates from each of the Focus Cities.

Let’s hope this means a real commitment to Vision Zero here in Los Angeles, rather than allowing councilmembers to put riders at risk by arbitrarily carving streets out of the Mobility plan.

If Vision Zero is to work, it has to be the policy for all of LA, in every neighborhood and on every street.

Period.

………

Just days after video surfaced showing cyclists assaulted by a driver on a Glendale street, a Glendale teenager was cited for apparently threatening a bicyclist with a 10-inch knife from a passing van, after his mother had followed the rider honking her horn at him.

Why that didn’t merit the arrest of both the boy and his mother is beyond me.

Glendale police clearly need to do something to tame their streets before someone gets hurt. Or worse.

Meanwhile, LAist says the video shows that neither of the two Glendale cyclists who were assaulted by that brake-checking driver were remotely close to hitting the car. And they urge everyone to drive safely.

………

Maybe you’ve noticed.

The past few months, my curiosity has been piqued by a new bicycle from Fortified Bicycle, which promises to be virtually theft proof and indestructible, and built to survive the rough roads of an urban environment.

I’ve even linked to their Kickstarter a few times, both here and on my Twitter account.

Evidently, they noticed, because they contacted me yesterday with a special offer for the readers of BikinginLA.

I’ll let them explain.

Fortified 1THE ULTIMATE URBAN BIKE

Invincible is a sleek, bulletproof urban bike that is literally guaranteed against theft. Plus, Fortified Bicycle (the creators behind this project) have offered a special deal.

What makes Invincible a truly compelling urban bike? For one, every single component was selected for standing up to a rough urban environment. Parts that are commonly vulnerable to theft—lights, wheels, seat, handlebars—are secured with bolts that feature a proprietary drive geometry that opportunistic bike thieves will not be able to operate. But the biggest innovation here is their new cycle registration and theft protection service, Fortified Protect. Not only will Fortified send you a new bike if yours is stolen, they’ll also try and hunt down your stolen bike on third party seller marketplaces like eBay and Craigslist. That’s just cray.

The folks from Fortified are cutting Everyday Messenger backers a special deal. If you pre-order Invincible on their current Kickstarter project, they’ll add a free Invincible Rear Bike Rack ($45 value) to your rewards.

How to redeem this offer:

  1. Back Invincible on Kickstarter. Choose a reward level of at least $399 or more.
  2. Send a direct message on Kickstarter to Fortified Bicycle (the Invincible creators). Include the code “BIKINGINLALOVE” in that message. They’ll take care of things from there.

Fortified 2

Sounds like a good offer to me. But hurry if you’re interested, because there’s just six days to go before their Kickstarter ends.

And no, just to be clear, I don’t have any relationship with the makers of this bike, financial or otherwise.

………

Women, here’s your chance to try out for a pro cycling team. Without ever having to get on a bike.

……..

Local

The LA Times says the plan to relieve traffic congestion in Griffith Park is a good idea, but doesn’t go far enough; the paper calls for improved transit and protected bike lanes leading to the park.

KCET talks with Flying Pigeon owner, Bike Oven founder and all-around good guy Josef Bray-Ali.

Dallas Mavericks teammates JaVale McGee and J.A. Barea are one, make that two of us, as they take a tandem ride along the beachfront bike path near the Santa Monica pier.

LA’s own Phil Gaimon says barring small Pro Continental cycling teams from WorldTour races might reduce injuries, but it would unfairly limit opportunities for riders.

 

State

Police have a person of interest in custody, but not yet charged, in the murder of bike rider Sidney Siemensma on an Irvine bike path earlier this month; they say this was not a random attack.

Newport Beach says not so fast about that legal settlement we mentioned yesterday requiring them to work towards fixing a deadly intersection on PCH.

A senior planner for Alta Planning + Design describes their efforts in orchestrating a pedestrian and bicycle safety campaign. Clearly, they still have some work to do.

Local bike shop owners and their supporters will ride to protest San Diego’s DecoBike bikeshare program, arguing that it’s hurting their bottom line.

Apparently, bicyclists are being banned from a Santa Rosa pathway because of a typo; Portland bike riders have a similar problem, but for a different reason.

St. Helena proposes removing on-street parking in favor of a bike lane, while the owner of a local retirement community says that’s a bad idea, preferring parked cars to moving bikes.

Platinum-level bike friendly city Davis is aiming to be the first American city to reach Diamond status. After that, the next level would be Unobtainium.

Evidently, if you want to steal a bike, feel free to do it in front of UC Davis students, but don’t try to make your getaway in front of the sheriff.

 

National

Fifty percent of teens admit crossing a street while distracted. And the other half probably lied about it.

A Portland workshop is helping women overcome their fear of bicycling by teaching them how to fall. Which follows this sage advice from a few decades back.

A 77-year old Dallas truck driver is charged with driving under the influence after hitting a nine-year old child riding his bike around a mobile home park; fortunately, the boy is now in stable condition.

A bike riding Missouri bank robber gets nearly five years after stealing $14,000 to support his heroin addiction. He was caught trying to walk away after ditching the bike; if he’d kept riding, he might still be a free man, albeit with a monkey on his back.

A bill in the Tennessee legislature to encourage teaching students the right way to wear a bike helmet somehow became a bill to ban school districts from collecting teachers dues; thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

A fascinating set of graphs paint a picture of usage for New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare system. Including the deeper the snow depth, the less bikes are rented.

Speaking of which, a New York bike messenger discusses what he learned riding during the recent blizzard.

Once again authorities choose safety for motorists over safety for cyclists on a popular riding route by installing rumble strips, this time in Florida.

 

International

A Montreal memorial uses white shoes as the equivalent of a ghost bike for a fallen pedestrian.

Mother Jones says the jury is still out on that British study saying wearing a bike helmet makes you take more chances.

Scot authorities vow to get tough on illegal dumping, aka fly tipping, after a dog is maimed by a rusting bike left along a busy pathway. The more I do this, the more I learn English, as in the in the county, as opposed to what passes for it here.

Self-governing British dependency Isle of Man proposes legislation protecting cyclists, including a safe passing law and some form of presumed liability.

A Scottish newspaper looks at the man they credit with inventing the bicycle. Actually, it’s a little more complicated than that.

Spanish cyclist Alberto Gallego gets suspended for steroid use, just three days after joining his new team.

A Kiwi mountain biker plans to compete in a seven day, 310 mile race, a year after a reaction to a bee sting left him legally blind.

 

Finally…

Yes, the correct place to put a sign promoting a meeting to discuss cycle tracks is directly in the bike lane. Probably not the best idea to get loaded and throw a kid’s bike through the rear window of a cop car. Although yelling “boom” is a nice touch.

And most of us would have a hard enough time keeping our bike upright while working a Rubic’s cube, let alone solving 111 of them in two hours.

 

Update: Bicyclist killed Tuesday in Ojai Valley

This has got to stop.

For the fourth time in the last four days, bike rider has been killed in a SoCal collision, this time in Ventura County.

According to the Ventura County Star, a man was hit by a box truck while riding his bike in the Meiners Oaks area of the Ojai Valley just before 1:30 pm Tuesday, as the driver was leaving a private parking lot on East El Roblar Drive east of Felix Drive.

The victim was taken to the Ventura County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. His identification has been withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The driver remained at the scene.

There’s no word on where the victim was on the road or which direction he was riding, or which direction the driver was turning. A street view shows a two lane roadway with a parking lane on either side and a 25 mph speed limit, though that would not seem to be a factor in this case.

Anyone with information is urged to call 477-4100.

This is the ninth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Ventura County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 61-year old Ojai resident Christopher Angelos.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Christopher Angelos and his loved ones.

Update: Bicyclist killed in Santa Ana collision Monday evening

More bad news, as a bike rider was killed crossing a street in Santa Ana.

According to the Orange County Register, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was struck around 6:07 pm at the intersection of 17th and La Bonita Streets. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The New Santa Ana website reports he was north on La Bonita when he was hit by a pick-up; no word on which direction the truck was going.

The driver remained at the scene, and cited darkness as the reason he did not see the victim until it was too late. He was not suspected of being under the influence.

However, according to Google Maps, that address doesn’t exist, although it appears to be the intersection of La Bonita and Westminster Ave, which becomes 17th east of the Santa Ana River.

Assuming that is the correct location, a satellite view shows an uncontrolled six lane street on Westminster, with a 45 mph speed limit and the sort of wide lanes that too often encourage speeding. There is a stop sign on La Bonita at Westminster.

There’s no word on whether the victim had lights or reflectors on his bike. But there are street lights at the intersection, so the rider should have been visible if they were working. So the question becomes why the driver didn’t see the victim before it was too late.

Anyone with information is urged to call Investigator Bao of the Santa Ana Police Department at 714/245-8214.

This is the eight bicycling collision in Southern California already this year, and second in Orange County. It’s also the fifth in Santa Ana in just the last two years.

Update: The Register has identified the victim as 77-year old Huntington Beach resident Thuc Van Nguyen.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Thuc Van Nguyen and his loved ones.

Thanks to Ed Ryder for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Glendale driver brake-checks cyclists; Newport Beach legal settlement could fix deadly intersection

In case you haven’t seen it already, the big story of the day was a driver assaulting two cyclists riding in Glendale.

CiclaValley broke the story, reporting that the incident happened sometime last week as friends of his were riding on Chevy Chase Drive.

In the video, you can clearly hear an impatient driver honking from behind as the cyclists ride just outside the door zone, even though the bike computer visible at the bottom of the screen appears to show they’re traveling at 27 mph.

The driver then buzzes them at an unsafe distance, in clear violation of the three-foot passing law, before slamming on his brakes and brake-checking the riders, nearly forcing one off the road while the other has to swerve dangerously out into traffic to avoid rear-ending the car.

Yet even though this is an obvious case of assault with a deadly weapon — in fact, Dr. Christopher Thompson got five years for a similar incident — CiclaValley implies the Glendale police have been slow to act, at best.

Using a car in a violent manner should be no different under the law than if the driver had taken out a gun and shot at the riders. And should be taken just as seriously, especially since there’s video evidence of the assault.

The one problem with using video like this to press charges, according to officers at the last meeting of the LAPD bike liaisons, is that it’s difficult to prove who was behind the wheel.

Yet even that is not a factor here, since KNBC-4 tracked down the driver, who freely admits he was the driver in the video.

According to his version of events, he honked as he passed — for reasons he failed to explain, just as he failed to explain the apparent punishment pass — then slammed on his brakes after he heard something hit his car, suggesting that one of the riders hit it as he passed.

Yet the video clearly shows that never happened.

There’s no sound of a smack against a car, which should have been clearly audible. And there’s no wobble of the bike, which would have been inevitable if the rider had reached out and hit a hard object as it zoomed by.

The unidentified man, who says he’s a former cyclist himself, portrays himself as the victim in this incident, and says he was just trying to get away from those scary men who were attacking him.

Even though he was the one who honked for no apparent reason. And he was the one who passed dangerously close, even though he was legally required to be well out of their reach. And he was the one who slammed on his brakes directly in front of the two bike riders.

KNBC is no doubt patting themselves on the back for tracking the driver down and getting an exclusive interview with him. But they should be hanging their heads in shame for failing to confront him about the obvious holes in his story, accepting at face value an excuse that is both implausible and demonstratively false.

As should the Glendale police for failing to take action to protect people who are using the streets in a safe and legal manner.

They will most likely claim this is a case of he said/she said, and try to wash their hands of the matter.

But the evidence is right there on the video. All they have to do is look at it.

This just in: CiclaValley breaks down the driver’s statement in great detail, and doesn’t find a lot of truth to it. Or any, for that matter.

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

………

After the authorities refused to press charges, Philadelphia bicyclist posted video of a confrontation with a road raging hearse driver who hit him with the van’s mirror, and threatened him for the crime of kicking over a traffic cone.

………

Most legal settlements involving cyclists include a payment to the victim to help recover his or her loses.

It’s not often one tries to keep it from happening again.

Torrance law firm AgnewBrusavich announced a settlement with Caltrans and the City of Newport Beach over the death of 58-year old cyclist Debra Deem in 2013.

According to the settlement, Caltrans will pay $450,000, while Newport Beach will kick in another $225,000. But more importantly, both agreed to help fix the deadly intersection where it happened.

Deem had been riding north on PCH in Newport Beach around 4:30 pm on August 27th when she approached the intersection at Newport Coast Drive, where a freeway-style exit lane allows drivers to turn right without slowing down, and forces riders to cross high-speed traffic in order to go straight.

She was hit from behind by an 84-year old driver exiting PCH, and died the next day.

According to the lawsuit, Newport Beach was well aware of the dangers to cyclists at that intersection; in fact, a 2009 Bike Safety Task Force identified it as the intersection most in need of safety improvements.

Now that may finally happen.

The settlement negotiated by attorney Bruce Brusavich requires the city to cooperate with traffic safety experts selected by him and Deem’s husband, Cycle Werks owner Paul Deem, to design improvements to the intersection. And Caltrans will be legally required to consider those improvements in good faith.

Though evidently, not required to implement them.

It’s too late to help Debra Deem. But maybe this settlement can keep it from happening to someone else.

………

More bad news from the world of bike racing, as Claudio Clarindo, the world’s 12th ranked ultra-distance cyclist, was killed in a collision while training in Brazil, and his riding partner severely injured. Clarindo was a five-time finisher in the Race Across America, aka RAAM.

……..

Local

Continuing the theme of angry drivers, a Santa Monica cyclist encounters a driver who apparently wasn’t pleased with where he was riding. Maybe the fumes from that Porter Ranch gas leak is making drivers crazy; twice in the last week I’ve had drivers get out of their cars to physically threaten me while I’ve been walking.

LACBC board member and BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass explains the new state laws affecting bike riders.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with bike advocate Wes Reutimann, executive director of Bike SGV, about the proposed bike park at the former Puente Hills Landfill; you can sign the petition to support it here.

 

State

California is finally getting rid of the outdated LOS (Level of Service) requirement for environmental rules; the previous rules meant that removing bike lanes didn’t require an environmental review, while installing them often did.

The inventor of the cardboard-based Kranium bike helmet is suing a consortium of investors in San Diego, alleging they lied about contacts with retailers and failed to pay what they promised.

A new $5 million development in San Diego’s Imperial Beach will cater to bike riders and pedestrians with cafes, a bike shop and water station.

Police in El Centro say they don’t have enough evidence to get a warrant to look for a bike tourist’s stolen bike, even though they tracked the bike’s GPS to a house; when no one answered the door, they apparently gave up. Seriously, you’d think a GPS reading saying the bike was inside would be enough for a search warrant, but what the hell do I know.

 

National

The City Metric website asks if road diets are the next big thing for American cities, then suggests car culture may be too deeply entrenched for that to happen.

Vancouver WA gets its first green lanes.

A proposed Nebraska bill would repeal the state’s outdated must-use law requiring cyclists to use a bike path if one runs parallel to the roadway, although it may have a difficult time moving forward in the legislature.

A Dallas writer says cyclists and runners need to work together to make roads safer in the face of their common enemy, the motorist.

Nice program from a Connecticut school, allowing students to earn credit towards buying a refurbished bicycle, as well as establishing a bike club and teaching them to fix bikes.

A New York study shows that split-phase traffic signals that allow cyclists and pedestrians to cross an intersection before motor vehicles are twice as effective in reducing injuries as the more common mixing zones that send everyone through at once.

 

International

C is for Coffee, D is for Drafting, as Cycling Weekly offers the A to Z of bike riding.

A British letter writer complains about bicyclists blocking the sidewalk by chaining their bikes to posts and railings. If bike riders are locking their bikes up wherever they can, maybe it’s a sign that there’s not enough safe bike parking in the area.

If you can afford an electric car, you can now silently sneak up on cyclists in British bus lanes, where bike riders previously only had to contend with noisy buses and cabs.

Drivers usually get a slap on the wrist for killing a bicyclist; a UK German Shepard just won a three-year battle to overturn his death sentence for biting one.

Cyclelicious looks at a crowdsourced, lock-free bike parking solution in Latvia. And one that could easily work here.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have an 18-speed front wheel drive, although pedaling while turning may be just a tad awkward. Getting out on your bike could improve your sex life.

And screw OKCupid and Tinder; all you need to find true love is Strava.

 

Update: Riverside bike rider killed in Sunday collision

Sometimes the news reports are as infuriating as the news itself.

According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, a bike rider was struck and killed at the intersection of Meadowbrook Lane and Jurupa Avenue last night.

The police say the victim, who has been identified only as a man, was headed north on Meadowbrook when he “steered” into the intersection around 7:40 pm, and was struck by the eastbound pickup, whose driver was reportedly unable to stop in time.

The question is what does that mean? The implication is the victim was turning onto Jurupa; however, he also may have been attempting to cross and swerved to avoid the truck at the last minute.

The other question is why wasn’t the driver able to stop in time?

The police press release implies that the cyclist may have run the stop sign on Meadowbrook and ridden out into the path of the truck on the uncontrolled street, where the driver would have the right-of-way. However, that would depend on whether there were independent witnesses other than the driver who saw the victim ride out in front of the truck.

It’s also possible that he may have come to a stop, and simply misjudged the speed of the truck before riding onto the five lane, 45 mph street, or that the driver was speeding, giving the illusion that he had time to turn or cross the street. Or maybe the driver just wasn’t paying attention, and didn’t see the cyclist until it was too late.

Anyone with information is urged to call Traffic Detective Ken Madsen at 951/826-8723.

Hopefully their investigation will go a lot deeper than what’s contained in their press release.

This is the 7th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year,* and the first in Riverside County. It’s also the eight bicycling fatality in Riverside in just the last two years.

Update: Raw video from the scene shows the truck stopped in the center turn lane just beyond the intersection, with the bike stuck underneath, suggesting that the victim was crossing the street when he was struck. It also shows an open bottle of vodka standing upright next to his covered body, implying that he may have been drinking. But be forewarned, the video is very difficult to watch.

*I’ve added the death of a teenager who was killed while walking his bike on the train tracks near Oxnard.

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

%d bloggers like this: