Archive for Legal Cases

Morning Links: $4.5 million settlement in broken street death, new laws aren’t helping OC, and windshield bias in CD7

LA’s poorly maintained streets and lack of safe bicycling infrastructure will cost taxpayers $4.5 million dollars.

And cost a bike rider his life.

The city council agreed to a settlement in the 2014 case of Edgardo Gabat, who struck a two-inch ridge of concrete on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, and was thrown over his handlebars.

Sadly, the city knew about the problem after other riders had been injured there, but failed to fix it. Yet continued to list Colorado as a bicycle-friendly street, despite a lack of any bicycling infrastructure or warning signs.

As the LA Times points out, this settlement comes as Los Angeles debates whether to invest Measure M local return funds in fixing the streets or supporting Vision Zero projects.

Clearly, both are necessary. Because sometimes, it’s the same thing.

And as large as this settlement is, I have a feeling Gabat’s family would gladly give it all back just to have him with them again.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from David Whiting of the Orange County Register, who says new laws and thousands of dollars spent improving safety haven’t cut the county’s bicycling death toll, averaging one rider a month killed in traffic collisions.

Yes, he stresses the need for bike riders to be polite and obey the law. And he’s not wrong about that, although no one ever seems to suggest that every driver has to obey all the laws and be ambassadors for motoring.

But he does point the finger where it belongs, at distracted drivers and dangerously close passes that violate the state’s three-foot law. And notes that fines for littering exceed the penalty for nearly killing another human being with just inches to spare.

The kicker to the story, which ends with a call for Wednesday’s Ride of Silence, is that his own wife returned home from a ride as he was writing it, and reported that a man in a truck yelled an obscenity at her.

Which really shouldn’t surprise anyone, unfortunately.

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Streetsblog considers the new protected bike lanes on Foothill Blvd in Sunland-Tujunga, which were installed as a Vision Zero measure in response to the death of bike rider Jeff Knopp. And how they entered the debate between CD7 council candidates Karo Torossian and Monica Rodriguez, as the formerly bike-friendly Torossian offered a windshield-perspective comment about bike lanes being “rammed down our throats.”

Meanwhile, the Eastsider repeats questions for the candidates for CD1, and once again, gets crickets from incumbent Gil Cedillo.

For all the problems that have surfaced recently with Joe Bray-Ali, it’s hard to imagine he could be any less responsive or more out-of-touch with the district than Cedillo has been.

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This is why you don’t retaliate against drivers, no matter what they do or how pissed off you are.

A Santa Clarita man was sentenced to 188 days behind bars for throwing a bottle at a car after the driver apparently cut him off as he rode his bike on the sidewalk.

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CNN visits the Madonna del Ghisallo chapel above Lake Como in Italy and its shrine to cycling and the Giro d’Italia.

A major crash took down 50 riders in the Giro, sending a number of riders out of the race and into the hospital. Meanwhile, Vincenzo Nibali’s homecoming was ruined when one of his teammates got the cycling equivalent of a red card for shoving another rider off the road.

The Modesto Bee previews the Amgen Tour of California, which starts this weekend, and says keep an eye on Peter Sagan. French rider Julian Alaphilippe won’t be defending his title, or competing in the Tour de France, for that matter, after knee surgery knocks him out for at least four weeks.

Southern California’s Coryn Rivera returns to compete in the four-stage women’s Tour of California after becoming the first American the Tour of Flanders; full rosters were released for the women’s teams.

The course for this summer’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix will go backwards.

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Local

Metro invites you to attend the grand opening of the long-awaited Hollywood Bike Hub on Friday the 19th at 9 am.

CiclaValley looks at last weekend’s NBA Reunion and BMX Bike Show, which oddly had nothing to do with basketball.

The LACBC will be hosting a pair of bike safety classes in Inglewood this afternoon and this evening.

The Bikerowave bike co-op invites you to bring your bike in on Saturday to get ready for Bike to Work Day, and score some swag from Metro.

Santa Monica gets serious about reducing traffic fatalities, including hiring a Vision Zero Czar, increasing funding, improving infrastructure, updating the bike action plan, and addressing the city’s speeding problem. Maybe LA could take a few hints from them.

The year’s first Redondo Beach TEDx talk addresses the city’s transportation issues, like how to reduce driving and where more bike lanes are needed; sadly, the discussion came just two days before a 13-year old girl was killed riding her bike along PCH.

Speaking of the young victim in that case, the Easy Reader News offers the most complete account yet of what happened that tragic night, and the heartbreaking impact Ciara Smith’s death has had on the community. If the story doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, you’re a stronger person than I am.

Long Beach approved plans for a new 2.5 mile bicycle boulevard in the southeast part of the city. Thus demonstrating to its much larger neighbor that it is in fact possible to build the things that are included in a city’s bike plan.

 

State

Good question. The Human Streets website asks if it’s possible to get the data needed to pass the Idaho Stop Law in California without actually trying it first.

An injured mountain biker was airlifted after falling off his bike at the top of Coyote Run Trail in Wood Canyons Wilderness Park near Laguna Nigel.

Laguna Beach is looking for more input to create a more inviting entrance to the city, including a multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists.

Cal State Fullerton police are looking for a bike-riding man who threatened to kill a woman who rejected his sexual comments.

Newport Beach boldly backs out of plans to improve safety on Bayside Drive, canceling plans for a roundabout, as well as an alternate plan for a road diet. Because obviously, you don’t want to do anything to save lives if it might possibly inconvenience someone.

Sixteen bike repair stations will be installed at fire stations throughout Ventura County over the next year; a 10-mile family friendly ride will be held on Monday to celebrate the first one.

Bakersfield police are still investigating a member of a prominent local farming family in the January hit-and-run death of a woman riding her bike; police found an empty vodka bottle in the SUV of the driver, who has at least one previous DUI.

A Bay Area TV station offers advise on what you need to start cycling, albeit from a strict roadie perspective.

 

National

A new study shows increasing bicycling infrastructure can reduce fatalities and severe injuries as much as 75%. It includes Los Angeles as an example, even though LA has drastically cut back on building bikeways, and largely forgotten its 2010 bike plan.

People for Bikes says living plants make great diverters and traffic calming measures while doubling as on-street storm drainage.

Oregon considers a new 4% – 5% excise tax on the sale of new bicycles to fund transportation projects; while bike advocates may not like the idea, they’re not going to the mattresses.

Chicago is about to get its first contraflow bike lane, on a road where people frequently ride salmon to avoid busier streets.

As we mentioned awhile back, Pittsburgh-based ultracycling legend Danny Chew is back on track towards his goal of riding one million miles in his lifetime, now using a handcycle after a crash that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Hundreds of police officers are riding from New Jersey to DC for the annual Police Unity Tour to honor officers killed in the line of duty.

The homeless man who stabbed a Connecticut man to death as he neared the end of a ride to Miami to propose to his girlfriend won’t stand trial after being declared incompetent by the judge.

 

International

A writer for Cycling Tips says there’s no such thing as “just” a concussion, and every brain injury has to be taken seriously. I concur, from experience.

London’s Telegraph shares ten cycling routes you should tackle on your next trip to the UK.

After former three-time Tour de France champ Chris Froome was intentionally hit by a car while training in France, the BBC asks how safe the roads in the UK really are for people on bikes.

The Guardian says police have to crack down on vicious drivers, because bike riders don’t deserve to be killed by bike-hating motorists for jumping lights or hopping curbs.

Caught on video: Yesterday we mentioned the road raging London mother-to-be who will be having her baby behind bars after running a bike rider off the road and into a tree; today, horrifying security cam video of the crash was released. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

A Dutch art student left her bike in an English town when she returned home, with a note encouraging people to use it and return it for others to use.

The Paris Velib bikeshare goes electric with a new operator, ebikes and a new parking scheme that doubles dock capacity.

 

Finally…

The best way to lose a race — and get laughed at — is to celebrate your victory a lap early. Unless it’s nearly getting run over by the peloton posing for your Instagram pics.

And if you’re going to flee the scene after a drunken crash, make sure the cyclist you hit wasn’t a bike cop.

They take that shit seriously.

 

Morning Links: Killer Baltimore bishop already up for parole; LAPD Hollywood Memorial Riders reach Arkansas

Some things are just too awful to understand.

Peter Flax does his best to do just that, and to explain to us, the incomparable loss to family and friends when someone doesn’t come home a ride.

In this case, a husband and father. A Baltimore bike builder named Tom Palermo.

It was a case that made news around the world. Not because of who he was, but because of who took his life.

The assistant Episcopal bishop of Maryland.

Heather Cook had previously been convicted of DUI, at over three times the legal limit, but was still on the road after convincing the court she had completed rehab and installed an interlock device.

She ran Palermo down from behind, fleeing the scene as a bicyclist gave chase before returning to turn herself in, long after her lifeless victim had been taken away.

Despite being charged with a litany of crimes that could have added up to nearly four decades behind bars — including DUI, hit-and-run and distracted driving — she accepted a plea to just four charges, the most serious of which was vehicular homicide.

She was sentenced to seven years.

Now she could be out in just 18 months.

Because of a quirk in Maryland law, which says that people convicted of violent crimes have to serve at least half of their sentence before being considered for parole.

But in Maryland, vehicular homicide isn’t considered a violent crime. Not even when the driver was nearly three times the legal limit, texting, and fled the scene.

Or when two little kids will have to grow up without their father.

It’s not fair. It’s not right.

But Heather Cook will have a hearing next week that could let her back out on the streets. And maybe kill someone else’s husband or father. Or wife, mother, sister, brother or child.

It’s a heartbreaking story. One that will probably leave you outraged.

And one that Flax tells very well.

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Seven LAPD officers and one retired officer riding from LA to DC on the first Hollywood Memorial Ride have reached Fort Smith Arkansas, pausing to honor fallen officers along the way.

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Congratulations to the University of Colorado, the new collegiate road cycling champions.

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Local

Los Angeles police are looking for a man rode his bike up behind another man near Crescent Heights and Wilshire Blvd, got off and whacked him in the back of the head with a hard object in an apparent random attack; the victim is currently in a coma.

Streetsblog says Councilmember Mike Bonin nailed the response when he was challenged about his support for Vision Zero.

The Santa Monica city council will discuss bike and pedestrian safety at their next meeting this Tuesday, including calls for a full-time pedestrian safety coordinator.

The LACBC continues their Bike Month member profiles with ride marshal Treva Moore.

 

State

The Idaho Stop Law is scheduled to go before the Assembly Transportation Committee on Monday, along with a bill that would clarify that pedestrians are allowed to cross in a crosswalk while the signal is counting down — something the LAPD tickets pedestrians for in DTLA.

Costa Mesa will pay out $250,000 to a man who was injured falling off his bicycle when he struck protruding wooden post on the sidewalk on Harbor Blvd.

An Escondido mom used social media to track down and confront the man who stole her son’s bicycle.

San Diego bicyclists are losing patience with progress on the city’s bike plan, even though the city has built out 15% of the new lanes in the 2013 plan, as well as improving 22% of the existing lanes.

The Ventura County Fire Department is unveiling their first public bike repair stand, attached to a fire station in Newbery Park. Great idea; attaching it to a fire station could help prevent the vandalism that is common with stands like that.

San Francisco’s transportation agency comes in just under the wire, completing the last of three protected bike lanes on the final day allowed under the mayor’s executive order.

A Sonoma County man finished a 13-day, 550-mile ride around the entire Bay Area, climbing a total of 68,000 feet along the way.

 

National

This is who we share the streets with. A Seattle pedestrian was harassed by a group of men in a car before one got out, pointed a gun at her as she tried to get a photo of the car’s plates, and shot at her. Hopefully they’ll find the guy and lock him up for a very long time. But it’s a reminder to always be careful, because you never know who you’re dealing with.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A Kansas man was arrested for reckless driving, after serving just 60 days for killing a bike rider two years ago; he was out on a three-year suspended sentence.

A Kansas woman is riding her bicycle to follow the 10,000 mile migration of the monarch butterflies from Mexico to Canada and back again.

Bikeshare continues to spread through the American heartland, as Wichita KS opens a program with 100 bicycles at 19 stations in the downtown area.

Kindhearted employees of a Toledo, Ohio bike shop will replace the bike that was stolen from an 11-year old boy at knifepoint.

Twenty-six bike riders set off on a 400-mile annual ride from Newton CT to DC to honor victims of gun violence, including the 26 children and adults killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting.

That’s one way to get votes. A Pittsburgh councilwoman — and current candidate for mayor — was caught on video honking at a bike rider and yelling at him to get in the bike lane. Even though there wasn’t one.

Something else you’d never spot from a car: A Philadelphia woman recognizes wooden pipes from a two-century old water system after workers piled them in the bike lane.

A DC-area man says not stopping is the best way to improve safety for cyclists.

 

International

Caught on video: A road raging passenger got out of a van and chased a British bike rider after he banged on the van’s window following a too-close pass.

No bias here. The UK’s Daily Mail says a bike rider rode into a car and headbutted the windshield after failing to see the car stopped directly in front of him. Or maybe the rider came around a blind curve and was unable to stop in time to avoid the car.

Arnold Schwarzenegger goes bike riding in Paris, and celebrity photobombs tourists at the Eiffel Tower.

An African website says Namibian cycling star Raul Costa Seibeb died mysteriously. Which is only mysterious if that’s what you’d call a car crash.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to flee the scene of a fatal crash, take your license plate with you. If you’re going to brake check a pair of bike riders, make sure they’re not cops.

And if you’re going to install bike racks at a shopping center, make sure you can actually lock a bike to them.

 

Morning Links: Vision Zero funding carries the day, cyclist-killing pedophile sentenced, and bad bike marketing

Safer streets won the day at yesterday’s meeting of the LA City Council’s Transportation Committee.

According to Curbed LA, a motion passed to allocate 60% of the city’s Measure M local return funds to Vision Zero projects, as opposed to a city plan to allocate two-thirds to fixing the city’s crumbling streets.

The motion sponsored by CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin passed by a slim 3 – 2 margin, with CD5’s Paul Koretz and CD4’s David Ryu voting to fix potholes while keeping the city’s streets dangerous.

As Bonin put it,

“We can fill a bunch of potholes, or we can save a bunch of lives.”

However, comments from Koretz blamed jaywalking pedestrians and poor pavement quality in bike lanes, not high speeds, poor street design or dangerous drivers, for the city’s unacceptably high rate of fatalities.

Never mind that he’s the one responsible for blocking planned bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and on other streets in his mostly Westside district.

And Ryu is the one standing in the way of a desperately needed road diet on 6th Street that’s overwhelmingly supported by the neighborhood councils in the area.

But sure, let’s go with potholes over human lives.

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Sometimes, I don’t even know what to say.

An Agoura Hills man was sentenced to the maximum term of nearly six years behind bars for committing lewd acts with a 14-year old boy, 29 years after he was convicted on felony counts of hit-and-run and conspiracy for killing a bike rider in Laguna Hills.

Gary Haw, who owned a string of tanning salons in the early 2000s, is also suspected, but wasn’t charged, with molesting other boys who worked for his company.

He was driving his father’s $80,000 Porsche when he slammed into his 17-year old victim in 1988. Despite throwing the boy’s body the length of a football field, he was somehow acquitted of vehicular manslaughter in the case, and received just two years in prison.

His father was convicted of obstruction and lying to a police officer for attempting to cover for Haw by claiming he was the one driving, even though he was at his Culver City home at the time of the crash.

Haw was also convicted of molesting a child in Santa Monica that same year.

Yet his attorney in the current case argued that Haw was a “pillar of the community” who was unlikely to re-offend.

Which seems highly unlikely, given his track record.

And which makes the five year, eight month sentence seem a few decades too short.

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Once again, a bicycle company badly misses the mark by assuming their market is made up solely of immature straight males.

As Bicycling points out, the sexist and homophobic ad Wolf Tooth Components and another company shared on social media over the weekend was quickly pulled when wiser heads prevailed following an intense backlash.

The question is why anyone would approve it in the first place. And why does the bike industry just not get it?

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Patrick Lynch forwards video of an airport bike cop photobombing a Today Show news report on TSA pat-downs.

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A professional mountain biker describes his addiction to Tramadol, the painkiller used — legally — by many cyclists in the pro peloton.

Women’s races have been added to two of the four stages of the new Colorado Classic bike race, with an unrelated women’s crit the third day.

A German website profiles American cyclist Leah Thorvilson, who went from marathon runner to winning a pro cycling contract at age 38 by coming in first in a Zwift virtual cycling competition.

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Local

CiclaValley calls tonight’s People For Bikes Draft Meetup at Pure Cycles a must.

LA-based Smart Bikes is accepting pre-order sales for their new Hexagon light, combining a rear-view camera with a taillight, brake light and turn signals, and allowing you to use your smartphone to see what’s coming behind you. But probably not the “ultimate safety device,” as the company describes it.

The LACBC’s annual River Ride will once again feature a Long Beach start, as well as the traditional starting line in Griffith Park; the Long Beach start was discontinued last year due to construction work.

 

State

There seems to be a common theme to our first three stories. I just can’t seem to put my finger on it.

  • Health rankings of California counties indicate where you live has an impact on how healthy you are and how long you’ll live, with Orange County near the top of the list, and Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties not so much. Safe, walkable and bikeable neighborhoods with access to fresh fruits and vegetables made a positive difference.
  • Calbike says a good state transportation bill was poisoned at the last minute by an ill-advised compromise allowing the trucking industry to keep polluting neighborhoods near ports and trucking routes.
  • A white paper from the California Air Resources Board says physical activity is good for you, just try not to breath the air.

Long delayed plans for a bikeway on San Diego’s Coronado bridge could cost as much as $210 million for a 15-foot tube suspended beneath the bridge, and could require a toll to fund it — either on the bicyclists and pedestrians using it, or the drivers on the bridge above them.

A Santa Cruz letter writer says “smug weekend cyclists” should be banned from a large number of mountain roads. Does that mean modest weekday riders are okay?

A Sacramento magazine says it’s time for the city to stop spinning its wheels and build its first protected bike lane, noting that Sacramento and Las Vegas are the only two of America’s 40 largest cities without at least imminent plans for one.

A Folsom newspaper says cyclists and motorists need to work together for safety, and drivers shouldn’t squeeze cyclists off the road.

 

National

A new study questions why girls lose interest in bicycling when they reach their teens; not surprisingly, traffic is a major factor.

A writer for Forbes calls the new $5,000, 33 mph Stromer ebike a people magnet and a thing of sheer beauty. Although here in California, any motorized bicycle that goes that fast requires a helmet and a motorcycle license.

It was a big night out for a Denton TX man, who was arrested after allegedly crashing his car into three separate vehicles before hitting a woman on a bicycle, then running away and attacking a woman getting out of her car, insisting he needed it to get something to drink.

Chicago bike riders are cheering plans for extending a bike trail and building a riverwalk bike path on both sides of the river through a gentrifying industrial corridor.

A Cleveland letter writer says don’t be a jerk by riding in the middle of the lane and slowing down traffic just to prove you have a right to the road. Never mind that riders are taught to take the lane to avoid the door zone, increase visibility and make drivers go around them to pass.

Next City examines how Massachusetts is updating its statewide bike plan to shift focus from recreational riding to riding for transportation.

 

International

The international bicycle industry is finally getting onboard with bike advocacy.

Peru’s Agricultural Minister was fired for sunbathing and riding her bicycle while half the country was being devastated by the worst flooding in two decades.

Plans are underway to install segregated bike lanes on London’s Westminster bridge, site of last week’s terrorist attack. However, work has been postponed for the foreseeable future, as one British lord inexplicably blames the current painted lanes for contributing to the carnage.

A British rider is close to finishing his goal of riding 107 kilometers (66 miles) every day for 107 days, despite working full time, and overcoming food poisoning and a major storm.

The head of Ireland’s Green Party calls for improving safety for cyclists on the country’s roads, comparing riding in Dublin to a Ben-Hur chariot race.

CNN takes a 12-day, 602-mile ride around Taiwan on a route that is rapidly becoming one of Asia’s greatest adventures.

Singapore is trying to encourage bicycling by installing bike racks and bike parking zones throughout the island.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: Going full Superman downhill on a fixie doesn’t look as hard as getting back on the spinning pedals. Evidently, bike racers get fined for riding where bike riders are supposed to.

And nothing like riding your fat bike past a long line of cars stalled in an Alaskan blizzard.

Morning Links: Driver arrested in South LA hit-and-run, while victim holds on; 105-year man sets new hour record

There’s good news in last week’s Hyde Park hit-and-run that left a motorized bike rider critically injured.

Detectives with the LAPD’s South Division held a press conference yesterday where they announced an arrest in the case, and reported the victim is still fighting for his life at County USC Medical Center.

Unfortunately, the Periscope video of the news conference is no longer online.

The driver, Javier Saravia, was taken into custody four days after the crash, following several anonymous tips after video of the crash was posted online. The suspect vehicle was impounded after being found in a carport at his home.

Despite rumors to the contrary, 36-year old Los Angeles resident Mikail Hasan remains in the ICU unit in critical condition following emergency surgery to repair a crushed aorta. His older brother Gabrail reports he is surrounded by family, responsive, but unable to communicate.

The father of nine children under the age of 15, Mikail Hasan is a popular member of the Hyde Park community. The tattoo artist was riding a customized motorized bicycle made by the LA DTM (Doing The Most Club), where he serves as vice president, when he smashed into Saravia’s car in a left-cross collision the day after Christmas.

Saravia immediately fled the scene, leaving Hasan injured in the street, where he was tended to by several bystanders.

“You should stop, that’s it,” his brother said towards the end of the press conference. “Nobody cares if you’re messed up, as long as you just stop. Just make sure that whoever it is, is alright before you continue on your journey.”

Saravia didn’t, and now faces a felony hit-and-run charge and a $100,000 bond. Police report there is no way to tell if he was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

Unfortunately, he did not have insurance, which means the Hasan family will likely be saddled with massive medical bills before he’s released.

According to the LAPD, this was just one of over 5,800 hit-and-runs in the South bureau last year, and 27,000 in the city as a whole.

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It’s official. Frenchman Robert Marchand set a new senior’s hour record, riding 22.547 kilometers — just over 14 miles — in a single hour.

At 105 years old.

Although his physiologist says Marchand could have gone even faster if he hadn’t given up meat.

He’s not the only older rider making news, though.

Texas rider Fred Schmid won his 21st national age group cyclocross title at 83 years old, despite not owning a bike until he was 61.

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A former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency says cheating by Russian athletes is even worse than anything Lance did. Meanwhile, scientists are working on new ways to beat the dopers — if cycling authorities are willing to pay the price to use them.

Thirty-five year old Russian cyclist Alexander Kolobnev retires after 14 years in the pro peloton.

The first Israeli pro cycling team jumps to the second-tier Pro Continental level just three years after it was founded.

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Local

The LAPD West Division has recovered a number of hot high-end bicycles; most appear to have been taken from a single individual in Irvine.

Work is scheduled to begin next Wednesday on the reconstruction of Santa Monica Blvd in Beverly Hills, which means the busy, dangerous and pothole-filled road may be virtually impassable on a bicycle for the next couple years. And there’s still no commitment to install bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd through the Biking Black Hole.

The LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday ride will roll this Sunday with an easy-to-moderate ride exploring the history of the northeast San Fernando Valley.

Nice gesture from the cops with the Glendora Police Department, as kindhearted officers pitch in to buy a girl a new bike after the one she got for Christmas was stolen.

Santa Monica will host a community forum to discuss building out the eastern portion of the Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway, aka MANGo.

Police in Santa Monica will be conducting their semi-regular bike and pedestrian safety crackdowns this Friday and Monday, so ride to the letter of the law until you leave the city limits. Although someone could explain to me why the story is illustrated with a photo of bicyclists outside Langer’s Deli in MacArthur Park.

 

State

Laguna Woods votes to spend $2,200 on mountain bikes and accessories for their security officers, noting that they’re not intended as a replacement for their patrol golf carts.

The environmental impact report has been released for the proposed 50-mile lone CV Link bike, pedestrian, and yes, golf cart trail through the Coachella Valley.

A Woodside bike club discovers it’s not easy to clear trash off a highway when Caltrans is involved.

 

National

A robotics expert predicts children born today will never drive a car. Especially if we can get them hooked on bikes first — and provide them with safe places to ride. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Portland’s new mayor rode his bike to work on his first day on the job, even though it was just 25 degrees out.

The Guardian looks at the growing number of ghost bikes and hit-and-runs in America’s fourth largest city. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

Apple is being sued for the death of a Texas girl for not making it impossible to use its FaceTime app while driving. Because apparently, just telling drivers not to be idiots and use their damn mobile phones just isn’t good enough. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the link.

Life is cheap in Texas, where a hit-and-run driver won’t spend a day behind bars for a crash that left a bike rider with serious, long-term injuries.

A teenage Texas cyclist won’t let a Christmas Day crash deter her from her goal of riding in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Arkansas and Tennessee open a new bike and pedestrian bridge across the Mississippi River at Memphis, connected to an existing freight railway bridge; Arkansas hopes to become the bicycling hub of the South.

A Pittsburgh city councilwoman proposes creating a bike lane advisory committee to review bike lanes and allow the public to weigh in on them, because she wants to ensure they’re safe. And because she thinks they’re ugly. The bike lanes, not the public.

Massachusetts drivers could now face a fine of $50 for stopping in a bike lane.

The bike-riding victim’s family is outraged, as Florida authorities negotiate a plea deal giving a killer driver just one day short of a year in jail. Or at least they think he was the driver; three years later, they’re still not sure, despite the conviction.

A Florida cyclist was shot in the butt at least three times with a pellet gun as he was riding his bike.

 

International

A new study in the prestigious Lancet medical journal suggests people living near major roadways have a higher risk of dementia. Although apparently not as high as those driving on them.

Bike Radar says it’s time to stop mocking MAMILs, offering eight reasons they were right all along. Meanwhile, a college professor says he’s a MAMIL and very happy about it, thank you.

Now that’s more like it. A 23-year old repeat drunk driver gets seven years for killing a Canadian bike rider and fleeing from police at 124 mph; she also gets a well-deserved ten year ban on driving, which hopefully won’t start until after she gets out.

Edmonton, Canada’s new downtown bike lane network should improve safety for pedestrians, as well.

Halifax, Nova Scotia made it through 2016 without a single bicycle or pedestrian death; local bike advocates credit better infrastructure, education and enforcement.

The LA Times suggests riding Ireland’s rugged west coast and crossing the country’s highest mountain range for just $1,900 a person; more if you need to rent a bike.

A New Zealand man is bicycling around the country to put on a one man science show.

 

Finally…

Now even toddlers can pedal inside without actually going anywhere. No, seriously, who the hell would steal a tall bike?

And if you can’t avoid a DUI, just buy all the copies of the local newspaper so no one will find out about it.

 

Morning Links: Ten years for drunken Santa Clarita hit-and-run, and LA County approves Vision Zero Initiative

Still working on fixing the problem with email notifications for subscribers to this site. My sincere apologies to everyone who may be inconvenienced.

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Ten years.

That’s how long a sentence Lucas James Guidroz is expected to receive after pleading no contest in the drunken hit-and-run death of Rod Bennett in Santa Clarita earlier this year.

The popular math teacher, musician and band director was riding on Placerita Canyon Road on May 25th when Guidroz plowed his Lexus into Bennett’s bicycle from behind, then fled the scene as Bennett lay dying where he fell.

He turned himself in shortly after police found his car two days later.

The 28-year old Guidroz is expected to be sentenced on November 7th on charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run driving resulting in death.

Although the Santa Clarita Signal still can’t be bothered to get the name of the victim right.

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LA County votes to implement a Vision Zero Initiative, without apparently understanding what that means.

Despite the press release from County Supervisor Hilda Solis’ office, Vision Zero is about improving safety with a goal of eliminating traffic fatalities — not encouraging environmentally friendly alternatives to driving, as admirable as that may be.

And as always, the unanswered question is whether county leaders have to courage to make the tough choices required to save lives.

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Maybe it takes awhile for news to make it past the Orange Curtain.

A full week after the Orange County Register reported on the drunken hit-and-run that may have left a bike rider with a broken leg, and a young woman facing charges just hours after posing with her new car, the broadcast media has finally caught up with the story.

LA’s KABC-7 offered a brief report on the arrest of 22-year old Laguna Beach resident Aya Ibish, while Sacramento’s Fox-40 went into more detail.

Maybe they picked up the story from the OC Weekly, which posted it on Monday.

Then again, if they can’t be bothered to read the Register, they could have learned about it right here days earlier.

Or they could have found out about it on YouTube, after the story got the Taiwanese TomoNews animation treatment, which is always good for a laugh or two.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the last link.

………

UCLA students discuss whether Westwood Blvd is safe for cyclists, in the wake of the much-needed Westwood bike lanes being removed from the LA Mobility Plan without a valid reason, other than some local homeowners and business owners apparently just didn’t want them.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

Local

Writing for City Watch, Tim Deegan says it’s time to embrace New Urbanism, and suggests the New Urbanism Film Festival, which runs tomorrow through Sunday, as the perfect place to start.

The aptly-named Alissa Walker writes about why she’s trying to raise her daughter carfree in Los Angeles.

Richard Risemberg says the Expo Line bike path could have been a contender, but was done in by inadequate street crossings.

Thankfully, the victim of Monday’s Long Beach hit-and-run escaped with just a broken leg; the driver admitted to police he was fleeing a previous crash when he ran into the rider.

 

State

The Desert Sun urges Indian Wells voters to turn down a resolution that could halt construction of the planned CV Link bikeway through the city.

The Berkeley alumni association talks with law professor Molly Shaffer Van Houweling, a five-time amateur world champ in time trials and road racing who set the women’s hour record last year at age 43.

 

National

Streetsblog writes about the four biggest sins reporters commit when covering pedestrian deaths, all of which apply to bicycling, as well.

It’s time to apply for the fourth annual QBP Women’s Bike Mechanic Scholarship Program, to prepare for a career as a wrench.

A Tucson AZ veteran made enough money selling bicycle chain art to pay for surgery for his therapy dog.

Good news, as Robert Choi, the founder of Utah-based Volagi Cycles, is showing some improvement after suffering a head injury when he was rear-ended by a driver last week; he was found unconscious in his office after initially refusing medical treatment. Always get checked out by a doctor anytime your head hits the pavement, regardless of whether you’re wearing a helmet; even a small brain injury can have serious consequences.

A volunteer bike repair center is fixing up bikes to give to the homeless in my hometown.

Once again, a visitor to this country is unable to survive America’s mean streets, as an Australian man was killed when his bike was rear-ended while riding in Kansas.

Chicago readers offer their advice on how to make bicycling safer, from licensing and ticketing cyclists to making bicyclists ride salmon.

A New York court rules the city’s bike lanes can stay, after rejecting a lawsuit claiming they caused environmental harm by creating traffic congestion.

Common sense finally comes into play in Maryland, where a 15-year old girl who was slammed into a wall and pepper sprayed for refusing medical treatment following a bicycling collision won’t face charges after apologizing to the police.

 

International

A Canadian writer, who says he’s a bike rider himself, calls plans for a national bicycling strategy an ill-conceived boondoggle. Meanwhile, a Newfoundland counselor calls for turning his city’s bike lanes into parking spots.

London’s mayor calls for completion of a new bike and pedestrian bridge over the Thames by 2020.

Selfies kill. A British woman died after hitting her head in a solo fall, just moments after taking a selfie as she rode from her mother’s birthday dinner; her husband called for a mandatory helmet law as a result, saying she’d still be alive if she’d worn one.

The BBC talks with pro cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten about the Olympic crash that horrified the world; she argues that Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead shouldn’t have been allowed to compete after missing three drug tests.

 

Finally…

Evidently, blocking bikeways is nothing new. Bikes are great for transporting anything, including the loot you just stole from a home.

And you can see a lot of things when you ride hopefully a wild panther won’t be one of them.

Morning Links: Driver’s license revoked in Moorpark deaths, the cost of traffic violence, and bike infrastructure news

The good news is, we’ve figured out what caused the problem with email notifications for new posts. Now that the tech supports are back from their annual conference, maybe we can get it working again.

………

One detail was left out in previous stories about the limp slap on the wrist given Rachel Hill in the Moorpark distracted driving deaths of cyclist Maciek Malish and motorcyclist Jesse Cushman last year.

In addition to 300 days in county jail and three years probation, Hill had her driver’s license permanently revoked, according to the Moorpark Acorn.

Not suspended. Revoked.

The paper says she can apply for a new license at some point down the road. Which suggests that permanently doesn’t really mean permanently.

Still, that’s a stiffer penalty than most killer drivers receive.

And something that should be required following any traffic fatality where the driver is found at fault. Particularly if he or she flees the scene.

………

This is the cost of traffic violence.

Cycling in the South Bay relates the horrifying tale of the aftermath of a drunk driving collision, and a cyclist’s shattered ankle that refuses to heal.

And the Daily Bruin offers an update on UCLA triathlete Nako Nakatsuka, two and a half years after she was seriously injured in a collision, then seriously screwed by the legal system when she was forced to pay for damages to the car that hit her, as well as her own medical expenses.

You should always get a good lawyer to review your case if you’re injured in a wreck; there shouldn’t be any cost to you unless you receive a settlement.

………

Today’s common theme is bike infrastructure.

Tempe AZ cyclists get their first bike box.

Philadelphia opens a mile long, two-way protected bike lane; it had been the largest city in the US without one.

Kansas City installs a new bike signal to give bicyclists a head start.

The news is not all positive, however; a bike rider complains that Berkeley’s protected bike lanes only result in greater confusion, and fail to employ best practices from around the world.

………

It was a bad weekend for bike racing, as a Serbian cyclist died following a collision in a Chinese race, and a 60-year old English amateur cyclist died when he hit a support vehicle in a French race.

Controversy continues over therapeutic exemptions given to Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins over the use of banned asthma medication, after his medical records were released by Russian hackers.

……….

Local

CiclaValley offers an up-close look at the Encino Velodrome’s Ride the Black Line.

Friends of fallen cyclist Alan Deane met at his Pasadena ghost bike on the fifth anniversary of his death to call for safer streets and tougher sentences for killer drivers. Thanks to Complete Streets Pas for the heads-up.

Megan Lynch forwards word of the latest crackdown on bicycle and pedestrian safety violations, this time in El Monte on Tuesday.

Santa Monica Spoke will host a Handlebar Happy Hour at the Border Grill this Wednesday.

 

State

Cyclists can expect to see safety improvements along PCH in the Capistrano Beach area, as plans call for a two-way protected bike lane along the highway.

A Ventura bike rider tried to defend himself with a stun gun when he was punched by three people as he rode on a beachfront bike path, who then pepper-sprayed him and stole his bike and cellphone.

The Sacramento Kings’ new arena features 100 bike racks, as well as a free bike valet, but no safe way to get there. And you’ll have to do something with your bike helmet, since they aren’t allowed in the arena.

 

National

A new bike helmet comes complete with built-in Wi-Fi, action cam, speakers and microphone. But no word on whether it will save your skull if you fall off your bike.

Forget air cartridges and bicycle pumps; fill your next flat simply by pedaling, as long as you don’t mind a lot of extra hardware.

Someone is using upholstery tacks to sabotage a new Seattle cycle track; local bike shops report over 30 people have come in to have flats caused by tacks repaired. And that doesn’t count all the people who may have fixed their flats themselves.

Bike advocates around my hometown remind drivers and bicyclists to watch out for each other.

An Iowa economics professor says it’s just not fair that bike riders don’t have to pay to use the roads, especially since some bikes cost “well into four figures.” Although you’d think an econ professor would understand the economics of bicycling a little better.

Iowa cops recover a boy’s stole bicycle after it had been dismantled. So they made the thief put it back together before they returned it.

Over one thousand Milwaukee bike riders turn out for a slow roll ride honor a local bike shop owner and cycling legend after he was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of liver cancer.

The New York Times questions why phone manufacturers don’t cut off texting drivers, when they have the technology to do it. Damn good question. And let’s include car makers in that, too.

Washington’s two senators both oppose legislation that would allow mountain bikers into federal wilderness areas, as do two of the state’s leading bike advocacy groups.

South Carolina authorities rule the death of a pregnant woman in a collision with a bicyclist was an accident, even though the cyclist was riding without lights after dark; he faces a fine of just $232.50.

A New Orleans writer says cycling in the Crescent City is still dangerous, but getting better.

 

International

Four Americans stop in British Columbia on an 8,000 mile ride to call attention to the dangers of distracted driving.

A new documentary tells the story of an aboriginal youth who helped build world-famous mountain biking trails in the Yukon.

A Winnipeg professor calls for making cycling in the city safe for everyone.

A 19-year old British man competed in triathlon two years after he was paralyzed for three months in a fall off the top of a concrete velodrome.

Police are looking for a road raging driver who repeatedly bumped a Brit bike rider as he waited for at a series of red lights, then ran over his rear wheel when he finally got off to protest.

A former British cabinet member denies sabotaging a Welsh mountain bike trail, insisting he was trying to clear it instead. Sure, let’s go with that.

Volvo introduces a new bicycle and pedestrian detection system for buses, starting next year on European bus systems.

A cyclist from the United Arab Emirates embarks on a three-day, 310-mile journey through Belgium and France to dispel myths about Islam following the recent terrorist attacks.

A Pakistani extreme cyclist says she rides to break stereotypes that limit the sports and professions women can participate in.

 

Finally…

If you want to ship your bike without getting damaged, put a TV on the carton. Seriously, if you’re going to ride 250 miles from Germany to Poland to visit your grandmother, tell your parents first.

And forget doping; how about a little scrotal Botox instead?

 

Morning Links: 300 days in Moorpark distracted driving case; applications now open for Great Streets grants

The good news is, we’ve figured out what caused the problem with email notifications for new posts. Now the problem is figuring out how to fix it. Hopefully we’ll have it working again soon.

………

Life is cheap in Ventura County.

The Ventura County Star reports 27-year old Rachael Hill was sentenced to 300 days in jail for killing bicyclist Maciek Malish and motorcyclist Jesse Cushman just outside of Moorpark last year while “distracted by a portable electronic device.”

Probably texting, in other words.

Hill received an unwarranted gift when the Ventura County DA inexplicably filed the case as misdemeanors, rather than the felony charges recommended by CHP investigators.

She’ll begin her sentence November 4th, and will most likely serve just a fraction of that time before she’s released from county jail.

On the other hand, we should probably be grateful she got any time at all.

Meanwhile, Hill sentenced both men to death, and their families to a lifetime without them.

……….

Applications are now open for the second round of LA’s Great Streets Challenge projects.

………

The official trailer has been unveiled for a new documentary about cargo bikes, called Motherload.

………

A triathlete gave up a probable gold medal while competing in Cozumel, Mexico, when he stopped to help his heat-stroke stricken brother across the finish line.

There’s a new record for the world’s fastest human-powered vehicle, as a bullet-shaped ‘bent hit 89.58 mph in the World Human Powered Speed Challenge.

……….

Local

Peter Flax says riding an ebike does not make you a bad person, and that ebikes aren’t about replacing bicycles, but replacing cars.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman writes that bicycling and equity advocates will converge on Atlanta in November for The Untokening: A Convening for Just Streets and Communities to reclaim the streets and make them safe and accessible for all.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton suggests walking, expanded bikeshare and bike valets as possible solutions to the transportation crunch getting to the Rams games at the Coliseum. Improved bike lanes would also help, while benefitting USC students and local residents on non-game days.

The 626 Golden Streets ciclovía postposed due to last June’s brushfires in the San Gabriel Valley has been rescheduled for March 5th; the 19-mile open streets event will allow people to walk, jog, skate and bike through eight SGV cities.

 

State

Seven years after being paralyzed from the waist down in a dirt bike crash, a California man is able to ride a recumbent under his own power after receiving an electronic spinal implant.

Only eight tickets have been written in the entire state of California for violating three-foot passing law since it went into effect in September 2014; out of 10 drivers asked about the law by a San Francisco TV reporter, not one knew it even existed.

A mountain biker had a close encounter of the scary kind when he was confronted by a mountain lion while riding in Foothill Ranch; a bike rider was killed by a mountain lion on the same trail in 2004.

Laguna Beach plans to deal with safety problems on PCH by somehow moving cyclists off the deadly roadway instead of building the bike lane recommended in a recent safety study; as always, the real reason appears to a preference for parking spaces over human lives.

Sad news from Santa Maria, where a bike rider was killed when he allegedly turned left in front of a car.

Palo Alto approves plans for a Dutch-style protected intersection to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.

 

National

Cosmo recommends riding to work, and offers solutions for five excuses not to.

Bicycling explains what goes on with your body when you crash.

Nikon introduces a new $500 action cam, while GoPro unveils a new $800 drone.

A Virginia cyclist outruns a road raging tractor driver who tried to cut him off in a bike lane.

North Carolina approves a four-foot passing law, while allowing drivers to briefly cross a center line to pass cyclists when they can see far enough to do it safely.

A New Orleans chef turns to Uber after her bicycle is stolen and someone steals the seat off her other bike.

 

International

The Ottawa trucking official who caused a stir by saying cyclists should have to stop half a block back from intersections so they don’t interfere with turning trucks doubles down, complaining about the complaints he received, while noting we all just want to get home safely. Never mind that in any crash with a bicyclist, the truck driver probably will, while the bike rider, not so much.

Halifax drivers complain that new protected bike lanes meant the loss of 49 parking spaces, even though the city installed 79 new spaces just a few blocks away to more than mitigate the loss. Meanwhile, someone keeps moving a Halifax bike corral out of the street and onto the sidewalk.

A writer for the Guardian says we need to kick our addiction to driving.

A London man describes a fist fight between a road raging cyclist and his equally road raging Uber driver, while getting billed for the driver’s trip to the hospital.

Iranian women continue to ride their bicycles, despite a religious edict from the country’s supreme leader banning the practice because it “exposes society to corruption” and “contravenes women’s chastity.” Because we all know bike riding makes you a slut, right? And that goes for men, too.

Caught on video: A Chinese ebike rider was badly injured after being kicked off her bike by someone on a passing scooter.

 

Finally…

Don’t leave home without your reflective clothing. Once again, using your bicycle to whack the driver you just collided with is just not what it’s designed for.

And evidently, riding a bicycle will remove all your skin and strip you naked.

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Morning Links: Torrance tri canceled, Riverside carnage continues, and bike advocate ponders if it’s time to quit

If you haven’t read it yet, don’t miss yesterday’s guest post Letter From St. Louis, from CyclingSavvy’s Karen Karabell.

Go ahead. We’ll wait.

Then buckle in. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover today.

………

Don’t bother showing up for this weekend’s triathlon in Torrance.

Word comes from Todd Munson that the race has been called on account of apparent greed and billing irregularities from the cities involved, and not involved.

This is what the organizers had to say.

Yesterday, the city of Torrance canceled the 2016 LA Triathlon at Torrance Beach.  With much regret, we are forced to announce this cancellation to our participants and sponsors only 4 days prior to race day.  We understand that the cancellation will come with great disappointment to those of you who have worked hard and prepared for months toward this year’s triathlon.  We are disappointed by the unexpected and unprecedented circumstances and demands that have unfolded to cause this cancellation.

We have listed the key points that led to the city’s cancellation of our event in an effort to offer some immediate transparency to all participants:

  1. On August 31st, the City of Torrance sent to Pacific Sports an email demanding advanced payment, in full, to the city, prior to the event, for city services.  There was no detail of the charges, simply amounts in total and the requirement to bring two cashier’s checks by 5pm.   This is not standard practice in other municipalities and certainly not in those where all previous invoices had been paid in a timely fashion.
  2. In the same email on August  31st, we were informed that a significant separate payment was also required to be paid to the neighboring City of Palos Verdes, a city in which we have no footprint, no permit, no participants enter their city as part of our course, no liability coverage, and no relationship of any kind.  This demand is unprecedented in our 36 year history as an event production company, and to our knowledge unprecedented in the event industry in the United States.    This payment is demanded by Torrance (to be paid to Palos Verdes) although we have never been made aware of the apparent business relationship (although it has been requested) between Torrance (where we do have permits) and the city of Palos Verdes.
  3. Also in this email, it was finally revealed by the City of Torrance, after an audit requested by Pacific Sports, the city had significantly overbilled us by an amount in excess of 30% to the total in 2015 for city services.   We have strong evidence that the 2014 invoice may have been overbilled as well.   Importantly, we have no reliability that the advance payment demanded for 2016 (without detail of its calculation) is backed up by verifiable charges which will only be available after the event has occurred.
  4. Since August 31st, we have worked tirelessly with all levels of the city government including the city council and Mayor’s office in an attempt to bring resolution.  We offered a structured and fair written compromise on these issues in attempt to  insure the event went on as planned on September 11th.  Ultimately, the city offered no compromise or proposed solution and informed us they had unilaterally canceled the event.

We are upset and deeply disappointed by the cancellation, but the requirements were unreasonable and excessive.  Accepting the terms would have compromised the entire event and were untenable for us to continue at the current site for the LA Triathlon.

………

Yet another teenager has been injured riding her bicycle in Riverside, where it’s apparently open season on bike-riding school kids.

A 14-year old girl is in stable condition after being hit by a pickup while riding in a crosswalk just 100 feet from her school Wednesday morning. The driver fled the scene after stopping briefly; she was taken into custody on a nearby highway about 10 minutes later.

Although despite what the story says, it’s hard to imagine the driver was “fully cooperative” with police when she tried to make a getaway before being caught.

………

Lucas James Guidroz pled not guilty to in the hit-and-run death of math and music teacher, musician and cyclist Rod Bennett as he was riding on Placerita Canyon Road last May. Guidroz faces felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run driving resulting in death or serious injury.

Note to Santa Clarita Valley Signal: Show a little respect, and get the victim’s name right in the caption.

………

In the wake of yesterday’s blog post from Surly’s Skip Bernet, in which he said he’s done riding on streets due to the dangers posed by cars, long-time LA bike advocate Examined Spoke questions whether he wants to keep riding his bike.

Is cycling in traffic safe? I can find statistical support for any answer I want: yes, no, who knows. My own experiences suggest the answer should be no, not safe. In 2009 I was rear-ended while riding on Los Feliz Boulevard; last year I was brushed (side-swiped) on Fountain Avenue. I can recount several other close passes, terrifying moments — the usual stuff that you will hear from almost any cyclist. I shrugged off these experiences when they happened, but they still haunt me. They’ve also made me into a poor advocate; I cannot argue for cycling’s essential safety, I am a personal testament to its dangers. As much as I want to believe the opposite, little by little I’ve had to admit to myself that I don’t feel safe on the road. I never feel safe out there.

It’s a very well-written and challenging piece, and one that poses some very difficult questions.

If anyone wants to respond to it, let me know. I’ll be happy to share your thoughts here.

………

The bus carrying Britain’s Team Sky pro cycling team nearly made mince pie out of a cyclist on a narrow country road.

The team contacted him a few hours after the video went online to apologize.

They should give him an autographed team bike, at the very least. And a new pair of shorts, since he probably needs them after that.

Meanwhile, Lance’s doping ban has been partially lifted, so he is now free to compete in non-bike related Olympic sports, like ski jumping, pole vaulting and synchronized swimming.

………

Local

Props to CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo for beginning work to create a pedestrian plaza, including bike racks, on the Hoover Triangle in University Park. Now if he could just do something to make it safer to bike or walk there.

More honorees at the LACBC’s upcoming Firefly Ball include Culver City Council Member Meghan Sahli-Wells and The Walt Disney Company.

CiclaValley shares video of the new Spring Street bike lane between 1st and 2nd Streets in DTLA.

Damien Newton talks with Marisa Creter of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments about plans for a 200 mile bike superhighway crisscrossing the entire valley.

WeHoVille examines the 18-month timeline to reconstruct Santa Monica Blvd through Beverly Hills; the street will be widened, providing enough room for the bike lanes that won’t be installed. Increased costs and the objections of residents to widening one narrow section of the street was given as the reason not to install much-needed bike lanes on the boulevard. So why won’t they commit to adding them now that the street is being widened anyway?

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson reports on Wednesday’s meeting of the Palos Verdes Estates Traffic Safety Committee as only he can.

 

State

A Canadian man is riding over 1,500 miles to attend next month’s Desert Trip music festival in Indio on his Pedego ebike.

Pismo Beach votes to move a bike path into a busy parking lot to keep it from besmirching a coastal subdivision for wealthy homeowners.

Fresno jurors find an accused career criminal not guilty of attempted murder of a police officer in a struggle that began when the cops tried to stop him for riding without a light.

 

National

Streetsblog says the US has the worst per capita traffic fatality rate in the developed world because we drive too damn much. Not to mention too damn fast, too damn drunk and too damn distracted.

Zocolo Public Square says modern roads resulted from a coalition of early bicyclists and rural farmers banding together to demand better streets, only to see cyclists squeezed out with the advent of the automobile.

Build your own DIY ebike that looks like it would probably alert the bomb squad.

Bicycling offers advice on how to ride through your pregnancy.

Exploring Hawaii’s Lanai island by bicycle, where only 3,200 people live and there are no traffic lights.

The Tacoma teenager tackled by police as she rode her bicycle through a mall parking lot is suing the police department, as well as the officer in question, the mall and its security company.

American Denise Mueller hopes to set a new motor-paced bicycle land speed record of over 168 mph at Utah’s famed Bonneville Salt Flats this weekend.

A Chicago area writer can’t seem to figure out if he’s pro or anti bike, saying allowing bicycles in wilderness areas is a bad idea, but giving bicyclists the same rights as drivers is a good one — especially if it means more riders get tickets.

An Op-Ed writer in the Chicago Tribune complains about a parking protected bike lane, and insists that bike riders can’t be ticketed — or pay fees — because they don’t have operators licenses. Never mind that most bicyclists have driver’s licenses, like most other human beings in this country, and can be ticketed even without them.

Cleveland officials say the bike lane that was removed to provide parking for the Hilton hotel wasn’t really removed because it was never really a bike lane to begin with.

A retired Boston doctor encourages drivers to open their doors with their right hands to avoid dooring cyclists.

New York protected the security of the presidential candidates from bike riders by forcing the riders onto a busy highway at rush hour.

A Pennsylvania website says bicyclists face a life and death struggle for space on the state’s roads.

 

International

Ottawa officials say it’s okay that bike lanes on a newly opened bridge are too narrow to meet official guidelines, because they’re not really bike lanes. Evidently, they’ve been talking with the people in Cleveland.

It only took 120 years to get a bike lane on one Toronto street.

The Guardian looks at the Rails to Trails movement in the UK, where abandoned rail lines are being turned into world class biking and walking trails.

Curbed introduces Amsterdam’s first Bike Mayor, elected as an unofficial representative for the city’s bicyclists.

Apparently Belgrade, Serbia fails to make the grade when it comes to being bike friendly.

A new report says Adelaide, Australia isn’t ready for bikeshare because of its immature bikeway network, mandatory helmet law and crushing car culture. Los Angeles can cop to two out of three.

An Aussie writer calls for a network of segregated cycle routes to replace painted bike lanes, augmented by a network of shared quietways where cars don’t own the roads. Which sounds a lot like the apparently forgotten Bicycle Friendly Streets called for in LA’s Mobility Plan.

 

Finally…

Bicycling may be good for your health, but good sex may kill you. Seriously, if you’re already on probation for drug charges and carrying an “unknown white substance” on your bike, don’t ride on the damn sidewalk.

And just in time to beat the Halloween rush, a bicycle on a kickstand pedals itself, both forward and back, with no one but the camera around.

Morning Links: One year for killing OC cyclist, new video of LAPD beating bike rider, and bike hating sportswriters

We have way too much news for one day. So grab yourself a cuppa Joe and buckle in, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

………

Just one year for the hit-and-run death of a Laguna Beach bicyclist.

Twenty-one-year old Dylan Thomas Rand-Luby plead guilty Monday to one count of felony hit-and-run with injury and one count of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence in the death of John Colvin over two years ago.

Sure, you could call death an injury.

Rand-Luby swerved his car out of his lane and into the bike lane where Colvin was riding, striking him from behind, then continued on for another mile with a windshield too shattered to see through before finally pulling over.

He had faced up to four years in prison, but accepted a plea deal calling for just one year behind bars, with three years formal probation upon his release.

You can read the OC District Attorney’s full press release here, including the very moving impact statements from Colvin’s family.

Thanks to Edward M. Rubinstein for the heads-up.

………

The LA Times released security camera video of the beating of South LA bike rider Clinton Alford, Jr. by an LAPD officer following a brief chase on bike and foot.

Yet despite what you see, the LA District Attorney’s office inexplicably let the officer who kicked Alford in the head, beat him for several seconds, then kneeled heavily on his back for a couple minutes — even though Alford was in handcuffs and laying face down on the street the whole time — off with community service and a $500 fine.

And he could have his felony conviction changed to a misdemeanor once he completes the terms of his plea deal.

This is the third time DA Jackie Lacey has let a cop off with a slap on the wrist — or less — in a case involving a bike rider, following her refusal to charge the sheriff’s deputy who killed Milt Olin, and the three Gardena cops who fatally shot the unarmed brother of a bike theft victim.

Clearly, the DA has someone’s back.

But it’s not ours.

………

Where to even begin with this one?

The online bike world blew up over the weekend when not one, not two, but three sportswriters felt a need to display their ignorance, anti-bike bias or just plan willingness to risk the lives and safety of those on two wheels.

Starting with a tweet from Sports Illustrated’s Peter King showing his co-worker driving in the bike lane in order to get to San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium for an interview. A move that did not sit well with a number of people, including the San Diego Police Department.

Properly chastised, King apologized on Monday. Although generally, if someone is truly repentant, they don’t bury the apology at the bottom on an exceptionally long column.

Then there’s Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune, who felt compelled to chime in, saying it’s hard not to drive in a bike lane down there since it’s all they have, claiming there’s 10,000 miles of bike lanes for just ten bicyclists.

Never mind that San Diego ranks third nationally for bike commuting among cities over one million population.

This is what San Diegan Frank Lehnerz had to say in an email to Canepa’s colleagues at the U-T.

No, it’s not okay to violate CVC 21209 as Mr. King bragged on social media last weekend. There are plenty of normal traffic lanes for motorists to use. Bike lanes are far from “all we have.” Nearly every mile of freeway in the city prohibits cyclists and the infrastructure is only usable to only the most competent and attentive cyclists.  If your colleague can’t learn, respect, and follow the laws, he should do the public a favor and surrender his driving license. In addition to the few dangerous drivers, bicyclists here in San Diego have to deal with potholes, train tracks, cracks, non-functioning signals, and bikes lanes which end all the sudden at intersections and where roads cross over freeways. Personally I’ve dealt with several close calls of people driving motor vehicle swerving into the bike lane in order to pass stopped traffic or get a head start on making a right hand turn. These drivers often do this with no turn signal or with a cell phone in hand. It’s not a joke when a cyclist is struck and injured or killed. In some cases it’s a hit and run, in others the cyclists is either dead or unable to recall the actions and thus his or her side of the story is never told.

Motorists should not be in the bicycle lanes unless it’s for one of the exemptions given under CVC 21209 and after they’ve ensured the lane is clear of cyclists.

And last, and certainly least, there’s former footballer and current NFL Network analyst Heath Evans, who may have absorbed one hit too many before hanging up the cleats.

Because it was Evans who took it a step further by expressing his desire to run down people on bikes, apparently because he was briefly delayed by a couple cyclists in Venice.

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Funny how no one ever says they want to kill motorists because they were stuck on the 405 for hours, but a few seconds behind someone on a bike is enough to bring out murderous rage.

Like King, but apparently, not Canepa, Evans apologized after debating the matter with rightfully enraged members of the Twitterati, even as he expressed bewilderment that bikes don’t actually belong on the sidewalk.

It’s worth a few minutes out of your day to read what Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has to say on the subject. And even New York’s famed Bike Snob couldn’t resist adding his two cents to the West Coast blow-up.

Because, as ignorant as these comments and actions were, these are the people we share the streets with.

And as much as we might like to think they’re extreme examples, the attitudes they express are a lot more common than any of us would like to believe.

Thanks to Cuong T. for the tip.

………

Good luck to Mark Friis, formerly the Executive Director of the Inland Empire Bicycle Alliance.

Friis recently stepped down from his position, and yesterday the reason became clear. He’s about to embark on an around-the-world bike tour.

You can follow his journey on his new website. And contribute to his efforts online, if you’re so inclined.

………

Still more kindhearted people.

Pomona police dig into their own pockets replace the bike a 12-year old boy was rebuilding after it was stolen; it only took 20 minutes for eight cops to step up after the call went out looking for officers willing to pitch in.

Clovis police recovered a boy’s stolen bicycle after it had been dismantled, so they rebuilt it themselves before returning it to him.

Bighearted volunteers in Calgary are refurbishing donated bicycles to provide reliable transportation for Syrian refugees.

………

Local

CiclaValley takes a late night ride with Walk Bike Burbank’s Midnight Ramble.

Pasadena is taking steps to become more bike friendly in the next 10 to 15 years — apparently not five as the headline suggests — by conducting road diets and installing buffered and protected bike lanes.

Damien Newton’s latest podcast talks with Claremont Mayor Sam Pedroza and Jose Jimenez, Education Director for Bike SGV.

 

State

Cyclelicious says thank you, but he did not coin the term Idaho Stop, although he was among the first to popularize it.

San Diego’s CicloSDias open streets event returns on October 30th after a two year hiatus. Meanwhile, San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood will get a new bike co-op, including a weekly bike valet.

The San Diego Union-Tribune looks at the state of protected bike lanes in the US, and around the world.

Sunday marks the ninth annual Bike the Bay in San Diego, offering riders a once-a-year opportunity to ride across the arching San Diego – Coronado Bridge. Although you’ll find yourself among the bizarrely anti-bike Coronado denizens once you get to the other side.

A law firm is offering a $25,000 reward for information in the hit-and-run death of Moreno Valley resident Duane Darling as he rode his bike in Mead Valley last month.

The Redlands cycling community mourns Randy Stephenson, who was killed by a driver fleeing sheriff’s deputies in Loma Linda last week; the long-time member of the Redlands Water Bottle Transit Co bike club had just left Don’s Bike Shop in Redlands when he was run down.

 

National

The Bike League looks at how cycling can help solve global warming.

A Chicago website reports on the booming, spandex-free underground bike scene that roams the city every Monday night.

Eleven cities in the US and Canada are now using the sonar system developed by the Chattanooga Police Department to measure whether drivers give bicyclists the three-foot passing distance required by law. Sadly, Los Angeles isn’t one of them.

The New Yorker looks at the challenges of transforming the Motor City into a bike making center.

A Rochester NY minister is offering a $1,000 reward for his stunt BMX bicycle that apparently fell off his car on the way back to his church — after using it to jump over a helicopter into a burning wall.

New York needs a better system for removing abandoned bicycles clogging up the city’s bike parking.

Tragic irony, as a Florida man who served time for killing a man in a road rage incident was himself the victim of a road raging driver.

 

International

Bike Radar says the formula for how many bikes you need is N+1 = CX, offering five reasons why your next bike should be a cross bike.

New cars should be able to see you by 2018, even if their drivers don’t.

A Columbian startup is rewarding riders in Bogotá and Mexico City with points for each kilometer they ride, which can be exchanged for discounts at participating merchants; they will expand into Vancouver next.

A Toronto sportswriter tries riding the new Rio bikeways without luck, including the rebuilt cliff-side trail that collapsed earlier this year, killing two people.

Winnipeg bike riders are advised to use two locks when they lock up, as bike thefts jump nearly 75%.

A Brit bike rider claims to have set a new world record for the longest distance traveled on a bikeshare bike in a single hour, at just over 20 miles.

A British woman wants signs posted in a park warning pedestrians about bikes after she was knocked down by a bike rider. Seriously, anytime there are pedestrians around, slow the hell down.

Apparently not satisfied with winning most of the cycling medals in the Rio Olympics, British Cycling looks to build on its success.

 

Finally…

Everything you need to know about getting back on your bike after a vasectomy. No, those aren’t bike shorts.

And if you’re going to use an axe to try to hack through a bike lock in broad daylight, try not to whack the bike.

 

Morning Links: A human speed bump at Sunday’s CicLAvia, and a miscarriage of justice in Ventura County

Sunday marked yet another successful CicLAvia, as thousands turned out for the shortened course on Wilshire Blvd despite the heat.

However, some aspects left something to be desired, as dangerd explains.

Vision Zero L.A Style at CicLAvia

Do you want to know how much the LAPD cares about your safety and “Vision Zero”?

At the Wilshire CicLAvia this Sunday my girlfriend and I were making our way back to where we parked mid-route at our hotel near MacArthur Park when at 3:30pm a LAPD motorcycle cop escorting the DOT truck reopening Wilshire Blvd. pulled up behind us an announced over his loudspeaker “Get over to the right, the street is re-opening, this is L.A. You are just a speed bump.”

I pulled aside the cop on my bicycle and said, “I am not a speed bump I am a road user and I would appreciate it if you enforced the traffic law. If someone runs me off the road I expect that you will give them a ticket.”

To which he answered, “How can I give them a ticket after they run you over, you will already be dead?”

In my opinion we will not achieve “Vision Zero” by 2035, IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN, Not with a police force who is unwilling to enforce traffic law even at a CicLAvia event, and makes jokes about cars running over pedestrians and bicyclists.

Are you listening Eric Garcetti?

………

I got to CicLAvia late myself, but still managed to grab a few photos along the way, presented in no particular order.

Church-&-Bikes

Bike-Rodeo-Course-smallCicLAvia-Van-small

Nice to see the City Attorney's office represented

Nice to see the City Attorney’s office represented

Indodnesian-Band-small

An Indonesian band performed, drawing a large crowd

Gen. Otis, founder of the LA Times, not the namesake of MacArthur Park

Gen. Otis, founder of the LA Times, not the namesake of MacArthur Park

A very moving memorial to Robert Kennedy, steps from where he was assassinated

A very moving memorial to Robert Kennedy, steps from where he was assassinated

The LA Public Library book bike

The LA Public Library book bike

CicLAvia-Van-small

As usual, businesses that catered to CicLAvia participants were richly rewarded

As usual, businesses that catered to CicLAvia participants were richly rewarded

Soon to be the Left Coast's tallest building

Soon to be the Left Coast’s tallest building

KCBS-2 anchor Jeff Vaughn is one of us, as he rode the full route with his charming family

KCBS-2 anchor Jeff Vaughn is one of us, as he rode the full route with his charming family

……….

In a truly bizarre miscarriage of justice, a 27-year old Camarillo woman who killed two people while allegedly texting is allowed to plead out to misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charges.

The CHP concluded that Rachel Hill was “distracted by a portable electronic device” when she ran down Emmy Award-winner Maciek Malish as he rode his bike on the shoulder of Moorpark Road, then overcorrected and hit Jesse Cushman as his motorcycle came from the opposite direction.

Yet somehow, the Ventura County DA concluded that the death of two innocent people at the hands of a distracted driver really wasn’t that big a deal, and didn’t merit felony charges.

And can’t seem to explain why, other than to respond in an unsigned form letter to say the decision was not made lightly.

Which really makes you wonder just who Hill knows in the DA’s office.

She’ll be sentenced to a slap on the wrist on September 20th.

………

BMX rider Kevin Robinson came out of retirement to set a world record with an 84” power-assisted backflip, after crashing hard on his first attempt.

Or maybe you’d be more impressed by a mountain biker leaping over a train gap — aka a railroad track running through a ravine —  in British Columbia; although that’s still not as impressive as doing it over an actual train.

………

A Dutch cyclist rode on the wall — vertically — in an attempt to avoid a crash in the women’s keirin.

The Australian cycling team is going bust at the Rio Olympics.

A Detroit artist’s work was along for the ride when Kristin Armstrong won her third consecutive gold in the time trial. Although it does have some rather operatic competition.

The British women’s pursuit team pens a note of congratulations to their medal-winning countrymen, with a friendly reminder not to drunkenly stumble into the wrong room. And apparently, it worked.

Temecula’s Sarah Hammer was part of the silver medal winning US pursuit team.

A Brazilian cyclist was suspended for failing a drug test. Meanwhile, a columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune, looking oddly like Rodney Dangerfield, says Americans shouldn’t throw stones when it comes to doping at the Olympics.

And no, a Canadian parliament member did not win cycling gold in Rio.

………

Local

Metro’s $22 million underpass connecting the Red and Orange Lines in North Hollywood is set to open today.

A San Marino man plans to ride 17,500 miles from Alaska to Argentina to honor his friend, who was paralyzed from the neck down in a Las Vegas traffic collision.

The Santa Monica Spoke will host an August “Go Public” Ice Cream Ride visiting three gourmet ice cream shops in the Santa Monica area on the 27th.

 

State

An Encinitas bike rider was hurt in a hit-and-run Sunday morning; fortunately, his injuries were not life threatening.

A Carlsbad dog escaped from its home and attacked a bike rider, then lunged at police, who had to use pepper spray and a beanbag gun to subdue him. Bad dog!

The madness continues in Coronado, where a candidate for city council says no to a proposed bike and pedestrian bridge under the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, because transients, homeless people, drug addicts and alcoholics would use it along with the bike riders and tourists. “I’m going to build a wall, a beautiful wall, across the bay. And I’ll make the homeless drug addicts pay for it.”

A bike rider was airlifted to a local hospital following a collision on PCH in Ventura County. Which seems unusual since she was listed as suffering just minor injuries.

A San Francisco bicyclist says it’s time to require bike riders to register their bikes, obtain a license and carry a minimum amount of liability insurance, using the money to design and build safer roads. In other words, the people most at risk, who do the least harm to the roads, should pay prohibitively to protect themselves from those who do the most damage and pose the greatest danger. Got it.

 

National

After a recording proves a Utah councilmember said bike riders should be run off the road, a woman writes that’s exactly what happened to her husband, and she wouldn’t wish that pain and sorrow on anyone.

Denver business owners are worried about how a new six mile, two-way cycle track will affect their businesses, even though studies show it could actually help.

Colorado authorities are investigating after someone spray painted messages on the roadway suggesting bike riders should be killed in advance of a Gran Fondo.

 

International

A Toronto driver complains that she was left with a $500 deductible payment after a careless bike rider scratched her car while she was stopped at a red light, and wants the law changed to hold bicyclists accountable. Which it already does, but she chose not to file a case in small claims court.

An Irish cyclist is nearing the finish of a 14 month bike tour from New Zealand to Ireland, through 23 countries on three continents.

An Aussie cyclist has his bike stolen three months into a one year, 12,000 mile charity ride around the continent.

A Wellington, New Zealand columnist pens a piece that could have been written here, saying that local leaders are reluctant to make the hard choices to improve bike safety, in a city where cars form the top of the transportation pyramid and everything else is on the bottom.

Philippine police are surprised when no admitted drug users show up for a bike ride with drug enforcement cops. The only real surprise is that the cops were surprised.

Bikeshare comes to Shanghai, even if some riders are hording the orange-wheeled bikes for their own use.

 

Finally…

Don’t buy meat from skinny Brits in hi-viz. If you’re going to wrestle a bike away from its owner, don’t hang around and watch when the police come to investigate.

And seriously, when you’re riding with outstanding felony warrants, don’t weave in and out of traffic.

 

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