Archive for Injuries and Fatalities

Morning Links: Traffic fatalities up nationwide, bike deaths reach 1990s levels; an NFL analyst says he’s sorry

It’s not your imagination.

Newly released government stats show America’s roads really are getting more dangerous.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic fatalities shot up 7.2% nationwide last year, the largest increase since Lyndon Johnson was president.

The total of 35,092 is still significantly lower than 2006, when 42,708 people died on American streets; however, this is the first year to defy the downward trend that has followed ever since.

Authorities say the increase is due at least in part to a 3.5% increase in vehicle miles traveled, which represents the largest increase in VMT in 25 years, spurred by lower gas prices and increased employment.

One in three fatalities involved drug driving or speeding, while one in ten involved distracted drivers.

Meanwhile, pedestrian deaths were up 9.5%, while bicycling fatalities increased a whopping 12.2% — both at the highest levels since the ‘90s, erasing two decades of safety gains.

That works out to an average of 96 people killed in traffic collisions every single day — more than two of whom were traveling by bicycle.

A genuine commitment to implement Vision Zero can’t come soon enough.

Or strongly enough.

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Today’s common theme is follow-ups to a number of recent news stories.

Cycling in the South Bay writes about the NFL Network’s Heath Evans, one of several recent anti-bike tweeters, who actually had the courage to show up and apologize. And turned out to be a pretty decent guy.

Mountain bikers call BS on a Forest Service investigation that a bike pedal scraping a rock caused a forest fire near Mammoth Lakes.

A Toronto bike advocate concludes the Canadian senator who complained bike lanes were turning the city into a third world country is out of touch. To say the least.

 

Twitter users respond brilliantly to a recent misleading article suggesting London bicyclists are ignoring the city’s new bike superhighways.

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Another day, another new leader in the Vuelta, and this time, by a wide margin.

America’s last remaining Tour de France winner claims to have developed a new process to dramatically cut the cost of carbon fiber. Let’s hope that means cheaper bike frames down the road.

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Local

Richard Risemberg says the new Expo Line bike path isn’t just fragmented, it’s demented.

LAist hears from Angelenos who live carfree; most cite less stress as the primary benefit to traveling the city without the seemingly requisite cars; Kimpton Hotels tackles the same subject for travelers visiting California.

Bike Walk Burbank will hold their annual meeting on Sept. 7th.

 

State

The Newport Beach Police Department warns about an increase in bike thefts.

Evidently, drivers break the law, too; San Diego police list the leading offense drivers are ticketed for as speeding, followed by disobeying traffic signals and driving without a license. So evidently, bike riders aren’t the only ones who roll stops and red lights. Despite what this commenter has to say.

San Diego bicyclists take a moonlight ride in their undies.

Rancho Santa Fe announces plans to move and elevate El Camino Real, while converting it a complete street with bike lanes and sidewalks.

Moreno Valley police blame the victim after a teenage bike rider is left lying in the road by a hit-and-run driver, saying he rode through a red light.

Talk about burying the lede. A Thousand Oaks cyclist was apparently chased down and struck by a road raging driver, in a case the police are investigating as an assault with a deadly weapon, although the Ventura County Star insists on treating it as a hit-and-run.

A San Francisco man is under arrest for stabbing two strangers in the head with a screwdriver on a BART train, then making his escape by stealing a bicycling at knifepoint.

Sacramento is planning to make major changes to downtown streets to improve safety for bike riders and provide transportation alternatives in anticipation of a boost in population.

 

National

A conservation writer looks at the science behind cycling’s enormous gender discrepancy. Which you could probably have figured out on your own.

Alta Planning’s Mia Burk says the biggest change over the last 20 years is that active transportation has become mainstream.

Police in Anchorage AK are looking for a bike rider who has pepper sprayed at least four people.

Win your third consecutive gold medal, and maybe Boise ID will name a park after you, too.

More anti-bike sabotage, as someone tossed tacks on the route of an Illinois crit; eight riders luckily escaped serious injury in a pileup caused by flats.

A Minnesota letter writer says that despite complaints from some people, a busy street that recently underwent a road diet has never been safer, and the bike lanes are used year round.

In a strange case from Minnesota, a man on an motorized-assist bicycle was the victim of a fatal hit-and-run; a similar bike was found at the same location the next morning, but police suggest it’s just a coincidence. Evidently, people in Minnesota just happen to leave bicycles like that lying around for no apparent reason all the time.

Cincinnati’s Red Bike may be the country’s most profitable bikeshare system.

Players from ten states converge on Memphis for a laid-back bike polo tournament.

 

International

Officials in Matamoros, Mexico, and Brownsville, Texas are planning to link the cities with a cross-border bike path. Maybe they can build a tunnel through Trump’s wall if he gets elected.

A new Canadian study shows having bikeshare stations nearby boosts property values up to 3%.

An English city belatedly realizes that they didn’t actually ban bikes from eleven streets, but only restricted the hours bicyclists could ride in pedestrianized areas. And can’t decide on who’s supposed to enforce it.

Paris ups the ante on open streets, banning cars from the entire city for one glorious day next month.

A New Zealand website says e-bikes aren’t cheating.

Caught on video: After an Aussie cyclist flipped off the truck driver who nearly ran him off the road, the driver got out of his cab to repeatedly threaten the rider.

Now that’s more like it. Japan is considering requiring car makers to include safety features to protect bike riders in crashes, including possible changes to the upper parts of vehicles. That’s because bike riders sit higher than pedestrians, and tend to strike the hood and windshield of cars in a crash. Although the better solution is not to hit them in the first place.

A Malaysian cyclist offers the fine points of using a bicycle to solve the first mile/last mile transit connections. Most of which would apply here, as well.

 

Finally…

Regardless of how annoying it is when drivers honk at you, please try to keep your pants on. Now that’s what I call a fat bike.

And your helmet may not protect you from a speeding car, but it could save you from a leaping stag.

 

Weekend Links: Bike rider critically injured in solo Burbank crash, and LACBC’s Tamika Butler honored

A 74-year old Bell Gardens man was critically injured after somehow slamming his bike into the back of a parked commercial truck in Burbank early Friday morning.

The victim suffered severe head injuries despite wearing a helmet; he reportedly had his head down and didn’t notice the parked truck ahead of him.

Which should be a reminder to all of us to always watch the road in front of you.

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Congratulations to LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler, who will be honored as the 2016 Professional of the Year ­– Nonprofit Sector by the Association of Pedestrian & Bicycle Professionals.

As a former member of the LACBC board, I can honestly say this honor is richly deserved. No one does more on a daily basis to make this city safer and more equitable for everyone who rides a bike.

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A Charlotte NC bike lawyer comments on the road raging Charlotte driver we mentioned here yesterday, who buzzed and brake checked a group of 30 cyclists, then screamed and flipped them off when they tried to calmly talk to her.

And she notes that even though bicyclists have been highly critical of her, online comments when cyclists are killed or injured are far more hateful. Even though the local press is desperately trying to turn her into the victim.

Meanwhile, a columnist for the Charlotte paper says he doesn’t feel sorry for the driver, and the whole thing could have been avoided if she just hadn’t acted like an idiot. And adds that the TV station that interviewed her was irresponsible in painting her as the victim.

Amen, brother.

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Virgin CEO Sir Richard Branson says he’s lucky to be alive after hitting a speed bump and going over his handlebars while descending a hill in the British Virgin Islands — which were not named after his company — and watching his bike go off a cliff.

Fortunately, he wasn’t badly injured, despite the photos, though his bike did not survive.

Thanks to Ed Ryder for the heads-up.

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Hats off to 16-year old Inglewood cyclist Rafael Solorzano, who won two gold medals in the Junior Track Cycling National Championships in Trexlertown PA this month, for team sprint and team pursuit.

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It’s happened once again. An Estonian cyclist was forced to withdraw from the Vuelta after he was hit from behind by a car for another team; his team director stressed that it was a complete accident, rather than the result of careless driving. Which doesn’t make it better; motor vehicles don’t belong on course during bike races.

Alberto Contador went down hard after touching wheels with another rider in the Vuelta, which could ruin his plans for the race.

An 86-year old Catholic nun owns the triathlon record for her age group.

And sad news from Michigan, as seven time world champion triathlete Karen McKeachie was killed in a collision with a motor vehicle.

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Local

Streetsblog discusses the future of bikeshare with the project manager of the North American Bikeshare Association.

Beverly Hills encourages everyone to walk or bike to tonight’s free Next Night celebration on South Beverly Drive. Never mind that there are no bike lanes to get you there, and nowhere to park your bike if you do.

Burbank police will be holding a free bike registration event from 8 am to 2 pm today, with Bike Walk Burbank on hand to provide bike safety inspections and minor repairs. Or you can just click here to register your bike for free with Bike Index.

Santa Monica police will conduct another of their periodic bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operations this Monday. You know the drill; ride to the letter of the law until you leave the SaMo city limits so you’re not the one who gets a ticket.

Just Ride LA is hosting a ride Tuesday night in honor of Michael Jackson, on what would have been the self-proclaimed King of Pop’s 58th birthday.

 

State

A Carlsbad woman will attempt to set a new bicycle land speed record this September.

A Redlands boy passes it forward after police recover his stolen bicycle, donating the bike police offers gave him to replace it to another child.

Just one day after San Francisco Streetsblog wrote about a vital bike bridge that was blocked with homeless encampments, the city cleared them out, while denying any connection to the story.

 

National

The Institute of Transportation Engineers tells the US Department of Transportation it should focus less on moving cars and more on moving people, regardless of how they travel.

Based on stats for the first six months of 2016, this is shaping up to be the deadliest year on American roads since 2007.

People for Bikes is looking for a project manager for their PlacesForBikes program.

Bicycling offers ten things cyclists wish drivers knew, including we’re just people, too.

Not surprisingly, Portland residents have embraced bikeshare, as usage has exceeded expectations since the system’s launch last July.

Who says you can’t make things in the US? The world’s best bike pump is made in Minneapolis, even if it does cost $450.

Despite being required to avoid drugs as a condition of his measly $5,000 bond for killing a bike rider while driving salmon and apparently under the influence, a Wisconsin man was sent back to jail for using heroin and faking a drug test with a bottle of freshly purchased urine.

A writer for the New York Times says everyone remembers their first bike, even if it gets killed by a defective roof rack.

Fox News commentator and prospective New York mayoral candidate Bo Dietl becomes just the latest politician to pander to bike haters by promising to rip out the city’s bike lanes his first day in office.

An arrest has finally been made in the fatal shooting of an Atlanta teenager who confronted two men over the theft of his sister’s bicycle.

 

International

In a series of tweets, a conservative and sadly misguided Toronto senator blames bike lanes for turning the city into the equivalent of a third-world country, comparing it unfavorably to New York, London and Paris. All of which have bike lanes, and none of which are third world.

The Toronto cab driver caught knocking a delivery bike rider off the road in a viral video has finally been arrested on an assault charge.

The mayor of Montreal calls for changes to the highway safety code following a series of collisions involving bicyclists, while the opposition accuses him of not doing enough to protect riders.

Who says bike helmets don’t improve safety? A British bike rider credits his with saving his skull when he was beaten over the head with a bottle by a notorious thug and drug addict.

A Brit bicyclist thanks the mean hearted git who stole his bike’s wheel, even though it was locked up in front of the police station overnight, since it kept him from riding when he started suffering dizzy spells.

Caught on video: A cyclist recorded himself covered by swarms of biting midges on a ride through the Scottish countryside.

 

Finally…

Who needs a cargo bike when you can just carry your refrigerator on your shoulders while you ride?

If you’re riding your bike while high on drugs and carrying meth and an illegal handgun, put a damn light on it — and don’t struggle with the cops when they try to stop you; on the other hand, if you’re carrying a sawed-off shotgun on your bike and have an outstanding warrant, don’t ride on the sidewalk.

And no, you can’t get compensation from her parents if you crash your car while staring at a woman riding a bike in a bikini and short skirt.

Though I must confess to riding my bike into a parked car under similar circumstances.

 

60-year old man riding bicycle killed in Newberry Springs collision

It’s been a bad 24 hours in San Bernardino County.

In addition to Friday’s fatality, in which a Loma Linda bike rider was killed by a suspect fleeing police, another bicyclist was killed in Newberry Springs Thursday night.

According to the San Bernardino County Sun, a 60-year old man was killed in a collision around 8:15 pm while riding his bicycle on Valley Center Road, east of Minneola Road.

He was pronounced dead after being taken to Barstow Community Hospital.

No other information is available at this time; the Sun reports it’s not even known if the driver remained at the scene.

A street view shows a two lane country road with gravel shoulders.

This is the 53rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh in San Bernardino County.

Correction: While the headline was correct, the story above initially gave the location as Newberry Park, rather than Newberry Springs. Thanks to Bryan J Blumberg for the correction

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

Update: Bicyclist killed by fleeing suspect in Loma Linda police chase

A police chase has turned deadly in Loma Linda, as a Loma Linda bike rider was run down by a suspect fleeing from San Bernardino sheriff’s deputies.

According to a notice released by the department, deputies were attempting to serve a domestic violence warrant on 37-year old Eric Tafoya of Rancho Cucamonga at a residence on Benton Court in Loma Linda this morning when they saw him leave the home.

They attempted to stop his car as he drove away, however, Tafoya continued driving, apparently traveling south on Benton Street before turning west on Barton Road.

As he approached the intersection with Anderson Road at 10:48 am, he smashed into a bike rider, then continued on without stopping, until he crashed into a van and fled on foot. He was taken into custody a short time later after being located by a police dog.

The victim, whose identity is being withheld pending notice of next of kin, was taken to nearby Loma Linda Medical Center, where he died at 12:18 pm.

No other information is available at this time.

There’s no word on how fast Tafoya’s vehicle was traveling, or whether the victim was struck on Barton or crossing at the intersection.

However, a street view shows a four lane street that could invite high speeds, with a bike lane on the right shoulder.

Tafoya now faces a possible murder charge, in addition to the original warrant.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Region 1 Major Accident Investigation Team at 909/918-2305; anonymous tips can be made at 1-800/782-7463.

This is the 52nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in San Bernardino County; it’s also the second in Loma Linda since the first of the year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 62-year old Redlands resident Randolph Stephenson.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Randolph Stephenson and his loved ones.

Thanks to Kate for the heads-up.

BOLO Alert: Bike rider critically injured in North Hills hit-and-run last month; LAPD still looking for witnesses

I’ve just received the following press release from the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division.

Hit and Run Driver Leaves Bicyclist Severely Injured

North Hills:

A hit and run traffic collision involving a motor vehicle and bicyclist occurred on Saturday, July 23, 2016, approximately 5:00 a.m. at Parthenia Street west of Woodley Avenue, in the community of North Hills.

The vehicle was traveling westbound Parthenia Street and collided with the bicycle being ridden by James Mours, a 47 year old resident of Mission Hills. The bicyclist sustained major injuries and was transported by Los Angeles Fire Department personnel to a local hospital for medical treatment. He is still listed in very critical condition.

There is no description of the vehicle or the driver. The Los Angeles Police Department is seeking anyone who may have witnessed the collision.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Valley Traffic Division Officer M. Tucker at (818) 644-8114. The report number is 16 17 13752. During non-business hours or weekends, calls may be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800)-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most key pads) using a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters can also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on “web tips” and follow the prompts.

Let’s get the word out and see if we can get some witnesses to come forward.

Best wishes to James Mours for a full and fast recovery.

Thanks to Officer Troy Williams for the heads-up.

 

Update: Bicyclist killed in North Hollywood

There’s been a report of a bicycling fatality in North Hollywood this morning.

Westondeboer posted the following comment on Reddit this morning:

My father was killed riding his bicycle this morning. He was a seasoned rider, Had been riding all of his adult life. He started riding his bike to work when I turned five, this was 31 years ago. We lived at the 170 & 5 freeway, and he worked in hollywood at Santa Monica and highland for Hanna Barbera. He rode his bike to work everyday. He owned one pair of pants and wore shorts everywhere, even when we went to the snow.

What is happening that we are moving too fast in our cars that we cannot notice those around us? Be it, walking, on a motorcycle, or on a bicycle.

What can we do to protect pedestrians these days as pedestrian deaths are rising.

RIP

A follow-up comment indicated that the crash occurred at Victory Blvd and Tujunga Ave at 8:15 am.

However, there’s no independent confirmation of the crash at this time.

This is the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 20th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the sixth in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: Urban Avenger says the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division has confirmed the fatality, and will issue a press release on Monday. 

Update 2: I’ve received additional confirmation of the death from the LAPD, though no further details are available at this time. 

Update 3: Still waiting on a promised press release from the LAPD with more information; however, the have confirmed the identity of the victim as William DeBoer. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for William DeBoer and his family.

Thanks to BikeLA redditors for the heads-up.

Redlands bike rider killed in Meade Valley hit-and-run

It’s happened again.

Yet another bike rider has been left to die on the side of the road by a murderous coward.

In a story that flew under the radar earlier this week, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported that an unidentified cyclist had been killed in a hit-and-run Sunday night.

According to the paper, the CHP was attempting to identify the victim, who was apparently struck from behind while riding west on Cajalco Road west of Wood Road in Meade Valley; however, Google Maps places that location in Perris, instead. No word on the time of the collision.

The driver fled the scene without stopping. Police are looking for the driver of a 2008-2014 Ford car with front end damage on the passenger side, with a possible broken headlight.

The victim was identified today as Duane Darling, a member of the Redlands Water Bottle Transit Company, a recreational bike club based in Redlands. He was reportedly on a 60-mile ride when he was killed.

No other information is available at this time.

A street view shows a two lane, undivided highway with a shoulder on each side; there would have been nowhere to go if he had seen or heard the car coming up behind him.

Anyone with information with information is urged to call CHP investigators at 951/901-8401, or the Riverside office at 951/637-8000.

Once they find the driver, he — or she — should face a second-degree murder charge for making a conscious decision to leave the victim to die.

This is the 50th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in Riverside County; that compares with 41 in SoCal this time last year, and four in the County.

If the crash did occur in Perris, it is the fourth fatal bike collision in the city in the last 36 months.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Duane Darling and all his friends and lived ones.

Thanks to Dorothy Wong and Lester Walters for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Surprising stats on CA bike crashes, and unarmed bike rider shot by sheriff’s deputies in Castaic

LA County is by far the most dangerous place in California to ride a bicycle.

Or maybe not.

Following up on his brief look at national bicycling crash stats, Ed Ryder is back with a more detailed look at bicycle injuries and fatalities on a countywide basis in California, from 2004 to 2016. And the results are both exactly what you might expect, and very surprising, depending on how you look at the data.

The good news is, bicycling fatalities dropped slightly in 2014, following a steady upward climb from 2009 to 2013, while injuries continue a gradual decline from a peak in 2012.

State Report 1

Not surprisingly, Los Angeles, as the state’s most populous county, led the way with 41% of bicycling injuries, followed by Orange and San Diego Counties.

State Report 2

The same held true for bicycling fatalities, as Southern California counties dominate the stats, led by Los Angeles at 30%, followed by Orange, Riverside, San Diego and San Bernardino.

State Report 3

However, the surprise comes when you look at injuries and fatalities on a per capita basis.

When Ryder examined the rate of injuries per one million population, he found that Los Angeles County barely made the top ten, coming in just above the state average. Santa Cruz County led the way, followed by San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Marin and Yolo.

State Report 4

When he looked at the rate of fatalities per one million population, Los Angeles didn’t even make the top ten. It turns out that Stanislaus County is actually California’s deadliest place to ride a bicycle, followed by Tulare, Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties. However, Southern California was still well represented with Riverside, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange Counties making the list.

State Report 5

So what exactly does this mean?

It could be more evidence of the safety in numbers effect, as you’re more likely to be injured in less populated counties.

Or the low death rate could be evidence of lower average speeds and better access to emergency care in Los Angeles County.

But the main thing it shows it that too many people are still getting injured or killed on our streets.

And we need to keep fighting until the last person killed riding a bicycle in California really is the last person killed riding a bike.

You can read the full report on California bicycling injuries and fatalities here.

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Questions are being raised after LA sheriff’s deputies shot an unarmed bike rider in Castaic Tuesday night.

The victim, a homeless man named William Bowers, reportedly jumped off his bike and tried to flee on foot as the officers chased him. He was shot when he allegedly reached for something in his waistband.

However, a witness says he was just walking down the street, after crashing his bike when deputies ordered him to stop, and had his hands down at his side when they opened fire.

The Times says it was unclear why the officers tried to stop him in the first place.

Local residents said the victim was well-known in the area. And despite suffering from drug problems, he never caused any trouble, though he did have a habit of trying to get away from deputies on his bike.

It wasn’t that long ago that shooting an unarmed man was enough to cost an officer his badge.

Now the accusation that someone reached for his waistband is enough to exonerate a cop.

Even if the victim was just trying to hold up his pants.

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Cyclelicious takes a deep dive into the Caltrans/UCLA report on bicycle crashes in LA County. If you don’t have the time or patience to dig through the full 97-page report, he offers an excellent summary of the key details.

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Bike SGV is hosting a used bike sale today through Saturday.

Bike SGV Used Bike Sale

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Defending silver medalist Lizzie Armistead insists she’s clean as she prepares to lead Britain’s cycling team into the Rio Olympics; she claims the missed drug tests weren’t her fault. Although missing three drug tests in 12 months does not exactly inspire confidence; after the repeated denials from Lance, Floyd, et al, it’s hard to believe anyone who denies doping these days.

Bicycling gets in the mood for Rio with five crazy moments in Olympic cycling history.

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Local

Metro votes to put the transportation tax increase, including funding for bike and pedestrian projects, on the November ballot.

KPCC’s Air Talk discusses the new law requiring temporary plates on newly purchased vehicles, which should help identify hit-and-run drivers.

CiclaValley continues his report on the ten most essential climbs in the LA area.

There will be a fundraiser this Saturday for bike shop owner Josef Bray-Ali’s grass roots effort to unseat anti-bike CD1 City Councilmember Gil Cedillo, aka Roadkill Gil.

Covina police arrest a burglary suspect who fled by bicycle after breaking a car window and stealing a purse.

The host of Tom Explores Los Angeles will explore the history of Santa Monica later this month with a tour that’s part walking and part bikeshare.

 

State

Mind the letter of the law in OC this weekend, where sheriff’s deputies will be enforcing traffic violations involving drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, in the latest effort to improve safety for the latter two.

Exclusive La Jolla may get a few docking stations for San Diego’s bikeshare system whether they want it or not. Meanwhile, a La Jolla man has discovered the alleys of the community because he’s not comfortable riding his bike on the street.

The madness continues in Coronado, as a letter writer says a proposed bike and pedestrian bridge would just bring more transients. Because evidently homeless people can’t figure out how to take the ferry, or follow the bike path around the bay to the strange little town.

A suspected Palm Springs car thief fleeing from the CHP on a bicycle suffered minor injuries when he allegedly swerved left into the patrol car that was driving right beside him. Sure, that’s credible; a suicide swerve makes much more sense than the cops cutting him off with their car to stop him.

Congratulations to Bakersfield on 29 new bouncing baby bike racks.

Bay Area advocates are pushing for a bike and pedestrian bridge over an estuary near Jack London Square.

An Oakland man was shot in a bike-jacking. Seriously, if someone has a weapon, just let them have the damn bike. No bicycle is worth your life.

 

National

A new Streetfilm says building an equitable bikeshare system is possible.

A man and his dog traveling cross-country by bike were both banged up when their rear wheel “exploded” while riding in South Dakota.

A group of Columbus OH cyclists will ride in purple tutus this weekend to honor a friend who died of leukemia.

A bicyclist slammed into a pedestrian in New York on Wednesday. Notice how no one ever seems to suggest that it might not have been the rider’s fault in cases like this, even though the pedestrian was jaywalking.

A New York study shows protected bike lanes reduce bicyclist and pedestrian injuries and fatalities at intersections by a whopping 53%. Despite claims by some that protected lanes would leave riders more vulnerable at intersections.

A Pennsylvania bike rider offers seven reasons not to hit a bike rider with your car. Reason #8: I know a lot of good lawyers.

The coaching staff of the Washington Redskins commute to training camp by bicycle, despite what they describe as a wild ride dodging car doors and riding salmon.

She gets it. A Charleston SC columnist says it’s time to stop bitching about traffic caused by a bike lane on a bridge, and focus on building a community that serves and protects all people, not just the ones in cars.

An off-duty Charleston cop has been charged with assault and battery following a fight with a salmon cyclist; the officer resigned while the case was under investigation.

A pair of Hilton Head SC thieves stole a pickup from a driveway, and left a bicycle in its place. Sounds like the owner of the truck may have gotten the better end of the deal.

 

International

Cycling Weekly explores the eternal question of what’s the right tire pressure.

If you build it, they will like it. Saskatoon, Canada residents are happy with a pilot bike lane network in the downtown area, even if it leaves a lot to be desired.

A Welsh woman was killed when she rode off a the edge of a ravine in the Pyrenees while cycling in a heavy fog.

Brit commenters argue over who’s at fault when video surfaces of a bike rider getting right hooked as he overtakes a taxi, whose driver failed to signal. So why does it have to be one or the other? Isn’t it just possible that both of them might have contributed to the situation?

An 81-year old Pakistani man is scraping by as a Lahore rickshaw driver after being hailed as a hero when he competed for the country as a cyclist in the 1960 and 1964 Olympics.

Caught on video: A bike-riding Kiwi mail carrier goes out of his way to get a few licks from a nine-month old German Shepherd.

Malaysian authorities raided the country’s cycling officials after accusations of substandard tracks and a lack of safety barriers during the recent Malaysia Games, even though funds had been allocated for the courses.

 

Finally…

No, really. It’s okay if you blow that red light, because you’re just following the rules of calories. How to tell if you’re a Fred.

And yes, you can cart a caribou carcass by bicycle.

 

Morning Links: CA exceeds national average in bicycling deaths, Caltrans studies bike crashes in LA County

Maybe we’re not quite as bad as it seems.

It’s been reported that California leads the nation in bicycling fatalities, with Florida a close second.

That doesn’t take into account the difference in population, though; as the nation’s largest state, it’s not surprising we lead in this most unwelcome category.

But if you look at the rate of bicycling deaths on a per capita basis, you get a very different picture. Stats man Ed Ryder created a graph to put things in better perspective, showing the Golden State ranks sixth in deaths per one million population.

Deadliest States by Population

Which is still too damn high.

As his next chart clearly shows, California has exceeded the national average every year since 2004. And probably before that.

CA bike deaths re: US

Which leaves us with the question what are we doing wrong?

And what are we going to do about it?

You can read his full report here.

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Caltrans and UCLA offer a detailed study of bike crashes in Los Angeles County based on the CHP’s SWITRS data, correlated with ridership based on local bike counts.

Both of which can be problematic; SWITRS relies on voluntary reporting of crashes by local police agencies, not all of whom provide accurate or timely data.

And bike counts only offer a snapshot of who is riding in a given area at a given time. Unfortunately though, it’s the only data available for many areas, since both the city and county of Los Angeles have long failed in their responsibility to collect accurate ridership data.

Without accurate data, it’s impossible to make the informed choices necessary to meet save lives and meet the needs of bike riders.

I haven’t had a chance to dig into the study yet. However, Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious called out a few key points.

  • Right turn only lanes double the risk for cyclists
  • LA Metro Rapid bus lines have a higher risk of bicycle crashes when compared to other primary roads without rapid bus lines
  • Locations with the highest crash risk tend to have below-average bicycle ridership
  • Roads with vehicle volumes over 20,000 have significantly higher average crash counts and crash rates for bike riders
  • There is a higher number of crashes and crash rates in poorer, non-white neighborhoods than higher income, white neighborhoods
  • People of color have higher risk of bike crashes than whites
  • If you ride your bike in high income neighborhood, you’re less likely to crash your bicycle
  • Vehicle speeds above 30 mph are associated with about 30-40% more crashes, but about 200-300% higher crash risk per cyclist
  • Lower-hanging fruit in terms of safety interventions is where ridership is moderate but risk is high

Masoner credits CABO’s Jim Baross for forwarding the report.

………

Great post from Detroit’s Wheelhouse, explaining how to drive like you don’t want to murder cyclists.

Seriously, this should be required reading for anyone who drives, or is even thinking about it.

………

Britain’s Lizzie Armistead has been cleared to compete in the Rio Olympics, despite missing three drug tests in a 24-hout period. And despite ample warnings. However, a doping official says they made the right call to reinstate her.

A South Korean cyclist is the first casualty of the Olympics as he gets mirrored on a training ride.

NBC presents the full schedule of Olympic cycling events, which will be available for live streaming.

Nineteen-year old South African cyclist Keagan Girdlestone is making a near-miraculous recovery after he was nearly killed crashing into a support vehicle during Italy’s Coppa Della Pace in June.

Former doper and ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis is now in the ganja rub business.

With the departure of its founder, Colorado’s USA Pro Challenge has semi-officially bitten the dust. Although it could be replaced by a seven-stage race for amateurs who can afford it.

London’s mass RideLondon race will be the first and only British event on the WorldTour pro cycling calendar next year.

Sunday’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix will feature a new 50-minute race for junior riders.

………

Local

LA County is offering a $10,000 reward for the people who pistol-whipped a doctor after he refused to pay $150 for allegedly damaging a bicycle.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman reports on the South LA Vision Zero focus group, stressing the importance of getting to know the South LA community before “presuming to plan for it or construct campaigns targeting it.” Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton has his own comic thoughts on Vision Zero.

Anti-bike incumbent councilmember Gil Cedillo has raised $250,000 for his re-election campaign, far more than grass-roots challenger Josef Bray-Ali.

A writer for The Source tries the new Metro Bike bikeshare, and she likes it.

LA Downtowner visits The Wheelhouse coffee shop/bike shop in DTLA. Not to be confused with the aforementioned Detroit establishment of the same name.

CiclaValley begins counting down LA’s ten most essential climbs.

 

State

Streetsblog writes about the state legislation that would lower the fine for drivers who roll through red lights to make a right turn. Meanwhile, the LA Post-Examiner takes a look at the issue as well, and gives this site a shout-out in the process; thanks to Tim Forkes for the link and the kind words.

Costa Mesa police are looking for the thief who stole a $3,000 bike from a 22-year old man’s garage while he was spending his birthday at Children’s Hospital donating blood; he used the bike for physical and emotional therapy after suffering a series of medical issues. Seriously, there’s a special place in Hell for whoever took that bike.

A Santa Barbara rider explains the origins of the city’s annual Fiesta Cruiser Ride in 1979.

When a Bakersfield man agreed to meet someone at a park to sell a bike he’d advertised on Craigslist, the buyer stole his bike, then shot at him as he pursued the thief’s car. Best advice I’ve seen for similar situations is to meet the other party at the local police station for any exchanges.

A bike rider killed in Sacramento last month had moved to the city to start over after kicking his addiction to drugs.

An Auburn mountain biker was rescued after a fall when people heard his screams for help.

 

National

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske explains how to lower your legal responsibility when organizing a group ride.

A 23-year old Spokane man is facing a murder charge after deliberately running down a bike rider when they quarreled over a pair of speakers.

A second man has been charged with spreading tacks along a popular Denver-area cycling route; the suspect is a cousin of the man charged last week. And both should go away for as long as the law allows.

A Houston restaurant is under attack by eco-friendly, bike riding vandals.

A Chicago jazzman has been practicing his saxophone under an overpass for decades as drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians go by.

Evanston IL residents bring out the pitchforks and torches after a new protected bike lane is installed, calling it dangerous and poorly thought out; one protester noted that drivers had to move into the parking lane to let a fire truck pass. Which is exactly what they are supposed to do.

Michigan bike riders are increasingly wary as roads become more dangerous.

A New Hampshire man has been commuting seven miles to work by bike for the last 16 years, towing his dog behind him in an open trailer.

New York police still haven’t made an arrest in the hit-and-run murder of a bike rider last month; police recovered the car the driver used as he appeared to intentionally swerve into the bike lane to run down the victim from behind.

The Alabama road rage victim whose dreams of riding across the US were shattered when a rampaging truck driver ran over his bike will leave the state with fond memories after all, as people donated over $4,000 to keep him going.

 

International

A Winnipeg writer says bicyclists want to get off the road as much as motorists want them to.

After being confronted by a racist, road-raging driver and his passengers, an Edmonton, Canada bicyclist says he won’t back down in the face of online harassment, because as a bike rider, he already knows what it’s like to be marginalized.

Brompton’s quirky folding bikes have achieved cult status.

A cop in the UK was honored for saving the life of a bike rider trapped under the wheels of a double-decker bus.

The mayor of Paris says she wants to “give Parisians back the space that cars have taken from them.” I’d love to hear LA’s Mayor Garcetti say that. And mean it.

Israeli border guards take a bike from an eight-year old Palestinian girl and throw it into the bushes, apparently to reserve the road for Jewish settlers; only one of the two officers involved was disciplined.

A Sydney, Australia bike rider suffered third degree burns on his upper thigh when his iPhone exploded after he fell off his bike. Thanks to Stanley E. Goldich and Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

Not every cyclist who gets it wrong is an “arrogant arsehole,” a newly minted Perth, Australia bike commuter warns; they might just be incompetent.

Relatives of a Philippine cyclist fatally shot by an angry driver call for restraint in the hopes that he may be the last victim of road rage.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be an ad. How to spot a female cyclist. Besides that whole woman on a bike, thing, that is.

And it’s a rocky and humiliating road to being a “real” cyclist.

 

Morning Links: Actor doors bike rider, PCH cyclist seriously injured in Malibu crash, and the science of bicycling

Did an actor get special treatment from the LAPD?

In a story that seems to have made news everywhere — except right here in Los Angeles — actor Jeremy Piven allegedly doored a bike rider when he flung his car door open without looking after parking his Cadillac near the Grove.

Yet despite the rider suffering a serious chest injury, Piven escaped without so much as a ticket because the police didn’t see it happen.

Even though CVC 22517 makes it clear that it is the driver’s responsibility to open a door only when it is safe to do so.

No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.

Which means that if the rider was hit by the door, the driver was at fault.

Whether or not anyone saw it.

………

A bicyclist suffered major injuries in a crash on PCH in West Malibu Wednesday afternoon; the rider reportedly lost control and swerved into the path of a pickup in the northbound traffic lane. Thanks to James Johnson for the heads-up.

………

Great piece from Scientific American relates the story of the researcher who finally unlocked the secrets of why a bicycle remains upright and able to balance itself even without a rider; next on his agenda is trying to solve the terrifying speed wobble.

Meanwhile, physics suggests that stopping and starting with both feet on the pedals is more efficient than pushing off with your foot.

………

A Chinese bike rider somehow miraculously dodges a barrel-rolling van.

………

Twenty-four-year old Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe is making an impact at the Tour de France, while Nairo Quintana is unexpectedly struggling. Five riders could still make the podium in Paris, but no matter what happens behind him, Froome seems to keep his hold on the yellow jersey.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner says claims that Froome’s Team Sky is dominating the race thanks to marginal gains is “bollocks.”

Peter Sagan will be the world’s best paid pro cyclist after jumping teams next year; he’s reportedly earn $6.6 million. He’s worth it in movie take-off videos alone.

………

Local

Investing in Place calls Metro’s upcoming transportation ballot measure a huge leap for walking and biking in Los Angeles County, while recapping just what advocates were able to win in negotiations over the measure.

Streetsblog interviews CicLAvia Executive Director Romel Pascual.

KPCC examines whether it’s better to ride a bike or drive in polluted air.

CiclaValley reminds us that the annual Tour de Laemmle rolls this Sunday.

An employee with the LADOT Bikeways Program describes her multimodal commute to work.

LA cyclist Nick Brandt-Sorenson, aka Strava’s Thorfinn-Sassquatch, was due to be sentenced Wednesday to up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine for peddling performance-enhancing drugs, just days after receiving a lifetime ban from US cycling’s governing body.

The Daily News says you’re a step closer to being able to ride your bike from Canoga Park to Griffith Park. Only one of which actually is one.

 

State

Bikeshare and ebikes factor into California’s aggressive zero emissions goals.

New bike lanes are planned for West Newport Beach, along with improvements to sidewalks and landscaping to encourage people to walk and bike.

Garden Grove’s draft Active Transportation Plan envisions a city where cars, bikes and pedestrians can move in harmony.

Authorities say 25-year old Zachariah Doll was wearing dark clothing, had no lights or reflectors on his bike and was riding salmon when he was killed in an early morning collision in the Riverside County town of Winchester last week.

A San Francisco survey shows most drivers want protected bike lanes, too.

Calbike is hiring a Communications Director to work in their Oakland office.

Pleasanton cyclists call on the city to improve a dangerous intersection where a 72-year old woman was killed recently while riding in the crosswalk.

Redding police arrest a junkie bank robber who tried to make his escape by BMX bike.

 

National

A new report from NACTO says that as cities build bike infrastructure, the rate of bicycling goes up while the risk to riders goes down.

If you build it, they will come. A real estate website says the belief that Millennials are eschewing suburbs ain’t necessarily so — as long as those suburbs have good sidewalks and bike lanes.

An 81-year old Denver driver who kept driving after fatally striking a 14-year old boy standing in a bike lane was still allowed to behind the wheel despite a previous hit-and-run last year — even though family members promised she wouldn’t drive anymore. It’s up to family members to keep older drivers off the road when they can no longer drive safely, since the government is unable, or unwilling, to do it.

Apparently, a Dallas bank was robbed by a bike-riding pirate.

Apparently taking a cue from Donald Trump, Skokie IL will allow residents to build fences up to ten feet high along a new bike path. No word on whether Mexico will pay for it, however.

Atlantic City police arrested an alleged serial hit-and-run driver for DUI after he crashed into a street sign, followed by a cyclist, followed by a car, before finally coming to rest after striking a toll booth. Fortunately, the bike rider only suffered bruises; no word on whether the sign, car and toll booth survived.

A New York driver faces 136 years behind bars for killing one man and injuring two others when he smashed into a business at 50 mph while high on meth; a bike rider was also injured by flying debris.

When Charleston SC approves a controversial bike lane over a local bridge, the local paper approves of their approval.

Bighearted Alabama cops buy a new bicycle for a child after he unintentionally bought a stolen bike with his $7 allowance.

Only 850 miles of the planned 3,000-mile East Coast Greenway are currently ready to ride; plans are for 95% of the off-road bike path to be completed by 2030.

 

International

Bikes are enjoying a renaissance and bridging class barriers in Santiago, Chile.

Vancouver finally rolls out a delayed and truncated bikeshare system, with just 260 of the promised 1,500 bikes currently ready to ride.

Like bikes that pass in the night, a single speed cyclist seeks a fixie rider she met under the Thames.

More anti-bike sabotage in the UK, as someone strung fishing wire neck high over a popular Belfast bike trail.

An Indian computer professor was forced to abandon a long-distance bike tour across the country due to illness after riding 2,200 miles in 23 days.

Singapore becomes the next city to embrace bikeshare with a 1,000-bike system using 100 docking stations.

 

Finally…

Call it Fifty Shades of Bicycles. Don’t ride your bike off a cliff into the ocean, bro.

And if you’re carrying stolen credit cards and a meth pipe on your bike, ride your damn bike on the right side of the road.

Seriously.

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