Tag Archive for bicycling deaths

Biking in America’s most dangerous city, LA bike and pedestrian deaths down, and longtime bike advocate dies

Congratulations, Angelenos.

You now officially live and ride in the most dangerous place in the United States.

And that’s not even counting Covid cases.

Let alone LA drivers.

Photo by Danne from Pexels.

………

Oddly enough, though, LA County streets were a little less dangerous last year.

Crosstown says while LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s efforts have failed, the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a steep drop in pedestrian deaths, succeeding where he couldn’t.

We’ve seen a similar drop in bicycling fatalities, with just 16 deaths in all of LA County last year, compared to 34 in 2019.

Never mind the mind-blowing decline in bicycle collisions we mentioned last month, dropping 90% in September compared to the year before, and 70% for the year as a whole.

The question remains why, since motor vehicle traffic has returned to pre-pandemic levels, while bicycle ridership is up.

Maybe it’s safety in numbers. Or maybe there’s something else going on.

………

More sad news.

………

Mitt Romney is one of us. Or was, anyway.

………

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

Once again, someone has sabotaged a British bike trail, planting upright nails in the dirt to puncture the tires of unsuspecting riders, with the potential for serious injuries.

………

Local

It looks like Adams Blvd could get a new bike lane on a two-mile stretch between Fairfax and Crenshaw. As always though, what if anything ends up on the streets depends on how loudly the drivers and NIMBYs complain.

A Santa Clarita radio station picks up tips on how to ride in the snow, which apparently first appeared on a Virginia website. Even if most SoCal bicyclists are unlikely to encounter snow unless they go looking for it.

 

State

San Diego is opening a new $135 million bridge over Mission Bay to replace an aging span that will be demolished and recycled; a 12-foot wide bike and pedestrian lane should be finished sometime next year.

 

National

Now we’re starting to get somewhere. A new clip-on, throttle controlled motor promises to convert your bicycle to an ebike in just minutes, for around four hundred bucks.

Self picks their favorite bike helmets for women.

New above-the-ear earbuds from Bose promise to keep you safe on the road by allowing you to hear the sounds around you; these headphones from AfterShokz make the same promise. But just try explaining that to the cop who’s writing you up for having one in each ear.

The owner of Phoenix, Arizona’s Bicycle Nomad Cafe completed his second 2,200 mile bike journey to retrace the route of escaped slaves along the Underground Railroad, riding with a reluctant partner from New Orleans to Niagara Falls.

Los Angeles didn’t get a single bike lane on PeopleForBike’s ranking of the top ten bikeways in the US; Austin Texas — with just a quarter of the population — got two.

A Milwaukee man went from fixing bikes for his neighbors to opening a new bike shop, thanks to the increased demand from the pandemic-induced bike boom.

A new study shows New York has consistently failed to follow through on plans to install bike parking, resulting in just one space for every 116 bicycles; that compares with 1.5 spaces for every registered motor vehicle. Then again, drivers aren’t exactly happy with the situation, either.

Horrible news from Jacksonville, Florida, where a pair of bike crashes just ten minutes apart left one woman dead, and another man fighting for his life.

Florida residents have rallied round a new local bike shop, after a Good Samaritan stopped a burglar from breaking in and held him for the police.

 

International

British bike shops have been given the okay to remain open, despite the country’s slide into its third pandemic lockdown.

A former mountain biker who competed for the UK says ebikes helped him get his life back, despite a serious heart condition that means never raising his heart rate above sedentary levels.

Named “low carbon heroes” by the Welsh Government, a British couple are helping get more people on bikes during the lockdown by refurbishing old bicycles and converting them to ebikes.

Dutch bike cops will now have flashing blue lights on their bikes to identify themselves as the police. No word on whether they will also make siren noises with their mouths.

I like it. South Africa’s Stay Wider of the Rider campaign reminds drivers to give bike riders more space on the roads.

A pair of Malaysian cities plan to improve safety for bike riders by converting under-used motorcycle lanes into bike lanes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips talks with American cycling legend Connie Carpenter-Phinney, road cycling Gold Medal winner in the ’84 Olympics and one of the era’s top women’s pros; she’s also the wife of fellow Olympic cyclist David Phinney, and the mother of recently retired pro Taylor Phinney.

Apparently, British women’s cycling great Beryl Burton doesn’t get any respect these days.

 

Finally…

Maybe you should put bicycling under job skills on your resume. Bribing firefighters with a bike to take their Covid-19 vaccine.

And that feeling when you go out for potatoes and come home with a new bicycle.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

Hard-hitting look at race in cycling, South LA teen killed in drive-by while riding bike, and a deep dive into SoCal bike deaths

Let’s start with a very hard-hitting essay from self-described Afro-Latino pro cyclist Ama Nsek, newly signed to the Los Angeles-based L39ION of LA cycling team.

It starts out rough, and doesn’t get any easier.

Note: I’m not censoring his language, even though it includes a word I would never use. 

I’ve had several people – even a “teammate” – call me nigger. I’ve had racists shout it from their cars as they pass me on my bike. I sat there as a white man criticized my Mom, who looks white, but is Hispanic, for being with a monkey, my father – a Black man. I had a woman tell me at the Redlands Classic she would never even think about dating a black man because “they’re too much trouble.” A girl I was dating told me she had racist grandparents. This came up only as they were potentially going to be joining us on a trip, a problem I’m sure many Black folks have run into.

After quoting LA’s former national crit champ Rahsaan Bahati saying he feels like a raisin in a bowl of milk in the overwhelmingly white world of pro cycling, he finishes this way.

If you’ve gotten to the end of the article and you haven’t clicked any of the links, shared this message, or taken it upon yourself to educate yourself more, then the problem is lack of self-education in society and dismissal of stories like this. It’s the continued silence and lack of discussion from common people that supports racism and still propagates the idea that silence is safe.

Well, safe for whom? Clearly, not for people like me. If this struck a chord, please share this and begin the talks. It starts at the table with friends and family.

Seriously, take a few minutes and read it.

And if it makes you uncomfortable, that’s the point.

………

Tragedy strikes again in South LA, where a 15-year old boy was killed in a drive-by shooting, for no apparent reason.

Carl Jackson, Jr. was an honor student, with no gang affiliations, who was just riding his bike back home.

The shooting helped push Los Angeles over 300 murders this year, a tragic figure the city hasn’t seen since 2009.

Meanwhile, a crowdfunding account to pay for Carl Jackson Jr’s funeral expenses has raised over $3,500 of the $8,000 goal.

More proof that cars aren’t the only reason the streets aren’t safe for everyone.

And equity remains a pipe dream for many people of color.

Excuse my language, but there’s no fucking justification for this crap. Ever.

Period.

………

The Southern California News Group’s Steve Scauzillo takes a deep dive into SoCal bicycling deaths during the pandemic, and why lighter traffic has made the roads even more dangerous.

And yes, he has the excellent taste to quote c’est moi, as well as several leading SoCal advocates.

………

Good question.

………

This pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?

………

A pair of researchers at San Jose State University are want your help with a survey to gauge attitudes towards mandatory bike helmet laws, and how they affect rider behavior.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

………

Santa Monica has replaced the painted bike lanes on Ocean Ave with new parking protected bike lanes.

………

This classic comic pretty much nails it.

………

Yes, there was a time not the long ago when kids in Los Angeles actually rode bikes.

Even if it feels like ancient history now.

………

This is what governments do when they’re actually concerned about safety.

………

Yes, please. We should have this on every residential street.

Or maybe just every street.

………

The latest video from GCN explains the difference between ‘cross and gravel bikes.

………

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

Oxford, England bike riders recount their complaints about motorists, including one rider who was knocked off their bike by a driver who then demanded money for the damage to his car.

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A Spanish woman faces a maximum of just four years behind bars — and could walk free — despite killing three bike riders and maiming two others while driving high on coke and at four times the legal alcohol limit in a 2017 crash.

Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly. 

Police in New York are looking for a bike-riding gunman who robbed and groped a woman outside her Bronx apartment.

It takes a real schmuck to mug a woman while she’s holding a baby, like this English bike rider and his walking partner.

Mountain bikers are blamed for causing irreparable damage to an ancient woodland in the UK. Seriously, don’t do that.

………

Local

LA’s Slow Streets program is criticized for serving mostly wealthy communities on the Westside, where residents have the luxury of working from home.

Long Beach is moving forward with a Complete Streets remake of dangerous, car-choked Artesia Blvd, including bike paths, better sidewalks and improved traffic signals.

Usually when a bike rider is involved in a collision with a motor vehicle, it’s the person on the bicycle who bears the brunt of the crash; this time, it was a Danville motorcyclist who was tragically killed when a bike rider somehow fell into the traffic lane and the victim crashed into the bicycle lying in the roadway.

 

State

This is who we share the road with. Police in Anaheim are looking for the driver who used his car as a weapon by intentionally backing into a pair of people outside the Anaheim Lodge hotel, seriously injuring them as well as a clerk working on the other side of the wall.

The Orange County Bicycle Coalition warns that road work has reduced lanes on already dangerous Santiago Canyon Road, greatly increasing the risk on the popular riding route — as fallen bicyclist Hanna Tran apparently learned the hard way last week. Thanks to Bill Sellin and Victor Bale for the heads-up.

An Encinitas man has published a new book recounting his 5,000-mile cross-country bike ride back in the ’70s, when it was a much rarer achievement.

Santa Barbara officials aren’t happy to learn their newly approved e-bikeshare system will come with three nine-foot tall solar-powered enrollment kiosks that nobody bothered to mention before.

A judge rules a Goleta driver will stand trial for the alleged drunken hit-and-run that took the lives of a married couple as they were walking on an offroad bike path.

A San Francisco writer tries taking an ebike up the city’s steepest hill, and fails. Twice.

 

National

No, wearing a mask does not impair oxygen intake during workouts such as riding a bike.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss concludes that 20 miles is the ideal length for a bike ride. That used to be when I felt like I was just warming up; these days, I’d be happy just to get that far.

A new study concludes gravel riding makes you feel more tired and hungry because it takes more effort to ride rough surfaces. Which explains why LA bike riders feel worn out and starving after riding the city’s broken streets; as usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out.

A Maui motorcyclist discovers what it’s like when the hit-and-run driver who wrecked his Harley turns out to be the chief of police.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a trailer from a Minneapolis nonprofit containing 30 bicycles they used to teach children how to ride a bike.

Bighearted coworkers bought a new bike for an Indianapolis man after the bicycle he rode to work to support his three kids was stolen; kindhearted security guards at the courthouse where he works replaced it the first time.

Boston offers a network of new protected bike lanes in the downtown area.

Streetsblog calls on New York to begin building bike boulevards. We were promised those in Los Angeles in the 2010 bike plan. Promises made, promises broken.

‘Tis the season. Florida volunteers pitch in to build bikes to ensure every kid in need can have one.

 

International

For people on a budget, Road.cc lists the best bikes for less than the equivalent of $665 — and starting for just half that.

A Road.cc reader recounts his journey from a self-professed petrolhead to a committed bicyclist.

A writer for Toronto’s Globe and Mail considers how the pandemic is propelling an urban biking and walking revolution, including the shift to a 15-minute city.

Speaking of Toronto, a family of five ditches their SUV and goes carfree, taking to their bikes even in the cold Canadian winter. And wishes they’d known about cargo bikes years ago.

We’re not quite ready to leave Canada’s largest city, where bike riders are demanding that flimsy new Toronto bike racks be removed because they’re too easy to unscrew from the sidewalk, rendering them useless.

Bike thieves will take anything. Even a broken-down bike that was part of Banksy’s latest artwork.

A London woman makes the unusual transition from stage manager to bicycle mechanic to survive the pandemic.

They get it. A leading Scottish newspaper calls bicycling “a life-saving form of transport we must invest in.”

A British study shows that most people support bike lanes, but the public usually overestimates opposition to them. Just LA’s mayor and councilmembers.

The UK’s Sun newspaper recommends gear you need if you want to use your bike to avoid public transit. None of which you actually need.

Former Game of Thrones star Kit Harrington is one of us, as he rides the streets of Dublin on his way to work on the second season of Amazon Prime’s Modern Love.

Who needs an ebike? An Irish company has developed a ped-assist wheel that’s powered mechanically by your own weight. Evidently, the Design Boom website doesn’t think sentences need capital letters, either.

Bikeshare is booming in Zagreb, Croatia, as the system more than triples in size.

A Philippine broadcaster celebrated her 50th birthday by donating 50 bicycles to a program to help people who need a bike to get to work to keep their jobs during the pandemic.

 

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling introduces the new Olympic Development Academy to help young cyclists develop Gold Medal skills. Thanks to David Huntsman for the tip, who calls it a sea change in their approach to Junior/U23 racer development.

Now you can own the bike Italian great Marco Pantani rode to victory on Mont Ventoux in 2000, beating the previously referenced ex-winner of that year’s Tour de France in the process.

The local newspaper remembers famed cycling coach and longtime Ramona resident Edward “Eddie B” Borysewicz, the man behind the top American cyclists in recent decades. Including one who won the most Tour de France titles ever, until he didn’t.

 

Finally…

This year, Santa rides a bike. You may never be a pro cyclist, but you can pretend with…Monopoly.

And that feeling when a wild boar eats your lunch.

No, literally.

 

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

LA bike crashes plummet during pandemic while deaths don’t, and fight for safe streets on your neighborhood council

Yes, collisions involving bike riders really are down in Los Angeles.

According to a Crosstown analysis of LAPD crash data, the lighter traffic resulting from the coronavirus lockdown led to a nearly 71% drop during the 11-week period starting March 15th.

That’s just four days before the shutdown orders in Los Angeles and California.

Surprisingly, despite the return of motor vehicle traffic and the recent jump in SoCal bicycling fatalities, bicycle crashes remained significantly below last year as of the middle of last month.

More surprising is that LADOT is actually moving forward with bike projects outside the Downtown area.

It seems LADOT is paying attention. Despite facing a shortfall of nearly $31 million due to the coronavirus pandemic, the department has expedited multiple bike lanes and safety projects since the “Safer at Home” order was issued on March 19. According to Colin Sweeney, LADOT’s public information director, there have been nearly 28 miles of bike lanes installed or upgraded, and an additional 5.5 lane miles are under construction in the city…

In addition to Downtown, Sweeney said LADOT also implemented more than 12 miles of new bike lanes to Avalon Boulevard in South Los Angeles since May.

“In South Los Angeles, the Manchester-Broadway, Our Way project has just begun construction and will add new parking-protected bike lanes from Manchester to Century on Broadway,” he said.

So maybe there’s hope, after all.

At least if you live or ride in those areas, because there are large swaths of LA where the city doesn’t appear to be doing anything.

Thanks to Ethan Ward for the heads-up.

Illustration by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

………

On a related subject, the dramatic drop in SoCal bicycling deaths in March, April and May during the coronavirus shutdown, followed by a big jump in June and July as people started back to work, is a reminder that bikes aren’t dangerous.

Cars — and the people in them — are.

And streets are safer with fewer cars on them.

………

Maybe the most effective way to counter LA’s legendary NIMBYs and fight for safer streets is on the neighborhood level.

And the best way to do that is by serving on your local neighborhood council, with openings available right now throughout the LA area.

………

Maybe with more bike riders on LA’s neighborhood councils, we might see less of this crap.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1290348082681401344

………

Ted Faber says Culver City’s efforts to provide social distancing for diners is good for people on bicycles, too.

………

GCN examines whether you’re better off riding solo or as part of a group.

………

Most mountain bikers have enough sense to stay the hell away from forest fires.

………

Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Police in Orange, California are looking for a man riding a bike who sexually assaulted three women on the Santiago Creek bike path.

British authorities are looking for a mountain bike-riding man who attempted to solicit a sex act from a woman, before performing a lewd act in front of her.

……..

Local

Pasadena police will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operation this Friday. The usual protocol applies — be sure to ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits. Or just avoid riding in the Rose City until Saturday.

Sierra Madre and Arcadia are moving forward with bike lanes as part of an actual bicycle network in the San Gabriel Valley.

 

State

Costs Mesa is asking local residents, bike riders and pedestrians to reimagine what busy 19th Street can be. Although the latter two are often residents, too.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 96-year old Santa Maria man is rapidly approaching 100,000 lifetime miles on his bike, despite not taking up riding until he a relative spring chicken of 67.

A new study confirms the effectiveness of Oakland’s low-cost, quick-build protected intersections.

 

National

Streetsblog says the Covid-19 pandemic could take 14 million cars off American roads, and keep them off — but only if we move quickly to provide valid alternatives to driving.

The founding president of the American Planning Association says planners must actively confront structural racism embedded in the design of our cities.

Bike Portland asks what the city plans to do with a thousand high-mileage analog bikes from the city’s bikeshare program, which is replacing them with ebikes.

Waterloo, Wisconsin-based Trek is gearing up to meet the booming demand for bicycles, after initially preparing for the bike industry to implode as a result of Covid-19. Although one of the best ways to bankrupt any business is by chasing boom and bust cycles.

A new Chicago group is getting more Black people out on bikes while supporting Black-owned businesses.

An Indiana hit-and-run driver was sentenced to a whopping 48 years behind bars for killing a local a local coach and teacher who was riding his bike; the sentence included an additional 20 years for being an habitual offender. Even I think that might be just a tad extreme; the judge could have ordered the sentences to run concurrently, rather than consecutively.

Heartbreaking news from Massachusetts, where a 94-year old man faces a homicide charge for running down a 67-year old bike rider. Yet another example of allowing an older driver to remain behind the wheel until it’s too late.

There’s a special place in hell for the woman who drove off after running down a couple nine and twelve year old boys riding their bikes on a Long Island service road; the 31-year old driver was busted ten hours later, which could have given her plenty of time to sober up if she was under the influence.

Good point. A New York writer wants to know why the mayor is cracking down on Revel after the Vespa-style scooter-share service suffered two deaths, but not motor vehicles, which cause far more.

 

International

Road.cc gets it, recommending the best road bikes under the equivalent of $650. And yes, there are good bikes in that range these days. Although whether you’ll be able to find any at your local bike shop after the coronavirus bike boom is another matter.

Speaking of Road.cc, the bike site Investigates an “innovative new risk-management philosophy” that says it’s time to drop the “us vs them” attitude, and build a road system that accommodates people’s errors.

Cycling Weekly explains what you should look for in a commuting bike.

Treehugger offers tips on what you’ll need to bike with small kids, while The Guardian covers the same topic.

North American bike riders need more than just white lines on the street to stay safe.

A pair of British Columbia bicyclists are lucky to be alive after they were struck by a load of lumber a truck driver carelessly left overhanging his pickup bed.

One in five British residents say they’d consider riding a bike as part of their commute, but fears of bike theft and dangerous streets hold them back; meanwhile, only ten percent of Brits think the country takes road safety seriously.

An English ambulance driver, who should know better, tells a bicyclist to get off the road and ride on a parallel cycle track, even though the rider is traveling at up to 30 mph. Maybe he’s just trying to boost his business if there are any slow bike riders or pedestrians on the path.

An English blues musician was killed when he crashed his bike into a bollard that was placed on a bike and pedestrian bridge after an elderly couple drove onto it by mistake — and even though another bike rider had already been injured in the same spot.

Nice story from the UK, where an 83-year old man is looking for the racing cyclist who crashed into him, ripping off his lip, which had to be reattached — not to hold him responsible, but to thank him for staying with him and holding his hand all the way to the hospital.

A British woman says the country’s new bike-focused anti-obesity campaign will fail because it ignores the complex causes of obesity, insisting she’s neither lazy or lacking self-discipline.

German grocery chain Aldi is selling a full-featured folding bike for the equivalent of just under $400; no word on whether this offer is only available in the UK, or if they’ll ship to the US, though. Although if I had an extra four hundred bucks lying around, I’d find out.

 

Competitive Cycling

The next pro cycling star may be Remco Evenepoel, as defending Tour de France champ Egan Bernal says he’s astounded by the 20-year old Belgian rider’s “massive” talent.

After winning the Strade Bianche, Belgian cyclist Wout van Aert held onto his jersey and the winning bike for a planned museum after he retires.

USA Cycling pulled the plug on this year’s Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Finally…

Who needs a washing machine when you can ride a bike? We may have to deal with distracted LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about careless sheep violating the right-of-way.

And don’t hang your face mask from your car mirror.

Or anything else, for that matter.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

%d bloggers like this: