Tag Archive for bicycling fatalities

AZ driver plows into club ride killing 2 and injuring 11, a successful CicLAvia, and a more walkable bikeable Eagle Rock

It’s happened again.

Just 18 months after a driver plowed through a master’s bike race in Show Low, Arizona, killing one man and injuring seven others, another driver has done virtually the same thing just 200 miles away.

According to multiple sources, a pickup driver towing a trailer plowed through a group of bicyclists with the West Valley Cycling club in the Phoenix suburb of Goodyear, Arizona Saturday morning, killing two people and leaving eleven others with “very serious injuries.”

One woman died at the scene, the other victim died after being taken to a local hospital. At least one of the injured bike riders was still in critical condition a day later.

The driver, 26-year old Pedro Quintana-Lujan, was booked on charges including two counts of manslaughter, three counts of aggravated assault, 18 counts of endangerment, and two counts of causing serious injury or death by a moving violation.

CNN reports that Maricopa County jail records show Quintana-Lujan was being held on $250,000 bond.

The owner of a Phoenix Trek bike shop said one his employees was among the injured, saying it will be a long time the 65-year old man will be able to work again.

Another bike shop owner said a recently retired friend and customer had already undergone two surgeries to stabilize his cerebral spine, with more in his future.

No word yet on whether Quintana-Lujan was distracted or under the influence. Or why he was apparently unable to see a couple dozen people on bicycles directly ahead of his truck.

Thanks to Victor Bale and Phillip Young for the heads-up.

Photo by Artyom Kulakov from Pexels.

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By all accounts, the year’s first CicLAvia was a success, even if the cold and cloudy weather may have dampened turnout.

Spirits clearly weren’t dampened, however.

Even one of California’s newly elected state senators was among the people enjoying the carfree street.

And for one day, at least, the San Fernando Valley looked a lot like Paris and Guadalajara.

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You have just two more weeks to voice your support for a bikeable, walkable and livable Colorado Blvd through Eagle Rock.

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The bizarre 15-minute city conspiracy theory continues to gain ground, as proponents argue that the benign urban planning philosophy is somehow “a plot by ‘tyrannical bureaucrats’ to take our cars and control our lives, which could lead to a real-life Hunger Games scenario.”

Um, okay.

Meanwhile, CNN reports an Oxford, England politician received death threats — many from outside the country — for proposing a plan to filter traffic using traffic cams to limit drivers from cutting through a neighborhood at peak times.

As we’ve discussed before, nothing in the 15-minute city concept prevents motorists from leaving their own neighborhoods, or driving through the city. It merely means that everything you need for daily life should be found within 15 minutes of your home.

According to CNN, the conspiracy theory originally gained traction among Q-Anon theorists and climate change deniers. And Fox News and other conservative media were only happy to fan the flames.

Which led to this —

In December, Canadian clinical psychologist and climate skeptic Jordan Peterson posted a tweet attacking 15-minute cities: “The idea that neighborhoods should be walkable is lovely. The idea that idiot tyrannical bureaucrats can decide by fiat where you’re ‘allowed’ to drive is perhaps the worst imaginable perversion of that idea.”

In early February, UK politician Nick Fletcher raised the conspiracy in Parliament, calling 15-minute cities an “international socialist concept” and claimed they “will cost us our personal freedom.”

And last weekend, online theories spilled into real life protests, as thousands of people, many from outside the area, took to the streets of Oxford to protest the traffic filtering and 15-minute city proposals.

Let’s hope the world regains its sanity. Because walkable, bikeable 15-minute cities are the solution.

Not the problem.

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Legendary jazz saxophonist Dexter Gordon was one of us.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1630070221812944896

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A young Elizabeth Taylor was one of us, too.

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A backwards Penny Farthing was apparently the BMX of its day.

More proof you can carry anything on two wheels.

Or one, even.

And nothing actually says your unicycle has to have a wheel.

Click on the photo to see the full image. Trust me, it’s worth it. 

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

A Cleveland website says an Ohio legislator needs to explain his overreach on bike lanes, which would have banned a planned center lane cycle track in Cleveland.

Apparently having no grasp of physics, and little on reality, nearly two-thirds of British drivers believe aggressive bicyclists are a threat to their safety, and a bigger danger than they were just three years earlier.

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

An Ontario, Canada man faces charges for getting off his bicycle, and using it to assault a woman pedestrian after demanding money from her.

A lawsuit by a Taipei ebike rider backfired after a judge ruled he was at fault for riding into the back of a double parked car, saying he had plenty of room to go around it.

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Local 

He gets it. Paul Thornton, the Letters Editor for the Los Angeles Times, asks if LA drivers have suddenly become more okay with endangering lives, arguing that “sitting behind a steering wheel can turn a reasonable person into a borderline psychopath, willing to threaten the life of anyone in the way.” Which was one of the many reasons I quit driving, because I didn’t like who I became behind the wheel.

A letter writer in the Times argues that the best way to protect yourself is to ride with a camera facing in every direction, and get a good lawyer.

Pomona has received a $11.3 million grant to build a 3.5-mile trail along the San Jose Creek that will take pedestrians and cyclists from Cal Poly Pomona to the LA County Fairplex.

 

State

California Walks and UC Berkeley’s Safe Transportation Research and Education Center, aka SafeTREC, are offering free training on how to assess current conditions and identify ways to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Costa Mesa quietly revoked its bike licensing requirement last week, after similar licensing laws were banned as part of last year’s Omnibus Bike Bill passed by the state legislature; two Costa Mesa safe streets advocates were instrumental in getting the ban included in the bill, after discovering the city’s licensing requirement had been used primarily to target the homeless and people of color.

Ebike collisions continue to rise in San Diego’s coastal North County area. Although a rise in injuries could simply be attributable to an increase in ebike ridership.

Melissa Gonzalez, the San Diego driver facing a slap on the wrist for killing Matthew Keenan in a wrong way, head-on crash as he rode his bike in Mission Valley two years ago, defied expectations by pleading not guilty, and will face trial in May, as his widow demands more accountability for the crash.

That’s more like it. A 35-year old man was sentenced to 16 years and 4 months to life behind bars for the drunken Palm Springs motor vehicle crash that killed a 56-year old man. Although as Victor Bale suggested in forwarding this, if the victim had been on a bicycle, he probably would have gotten a slap on the wrist, too.

Troubled pop star Britney Spears received a warning from Ventura County animal control after her two-year old doberman escaped her Thousand Oaks compound, and bit a 71-year old man riding his bicycle nearby.

Up to a thousand people are expected to turn out for Saturday’s Solvang Century Bike Ride through Santa Barbara County

Berkeley is inviting low-income residents to apply for a lottery to get an ebike for long-term use as part of a city-funded program. Although they define low-income a lot differently than I do, with incomes up to $74,000 for an individual, or $106,000 for a family of four. 

 

National

A writer for the Competitive Enterprise Institute says we won’t need more lithium and other rare minerals for EV batteries if we just ban cars and suburbs. Except he somehow seems to think that’s a bad thing.

The president of a Colorado trucking association calls on Denver to rethink its Vision Zero program, arguing that deaths will continue to soar without an increased emphasis on enforcement of traffic laws.

A Texas driver accepted a plea for seven-years behind bars for killing a well-known 67-year old Galveston physician as she was riding her bike last March.

An “activist” bicycling group in Rochester, New York is riding to protest police violence and fight for a more inclusive society.

That’s more like it. After a Manhattan taxi driver jumped the curbed after hitting a bike rider, trapping two people under the cab, New York’s mayor announced that a three block section of Broadway where the crash occurred will be closed to motor vehicles between 8 am and 11 pm. Then again, the street was already a bicyclist’s paradise in the 1890s.

Life is cheap in New York, where a US Postal Service driver faces just one month behind bars and a lousy $250 fine after being convicted of misdemeanor failure to yield for killing a 71-year old man riding a bicycle in a right hook crash; his attorney tried to blame the victim for his own death, insisting he could have braked to avoid the impact. Spoken like someone who has never been right hooked on a bike. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

A quick-thinking Atlanta cop is credited with saving the life of a bike-riding man, who collapsed unexpectedly moments after the officer waved him through an intersection.

The Tampa Bay Times says a 40-year old woman riding a bike has been killed by Florida Highway Patrol car. Which was apparently driving itself, since the story doesn’t mention a human being, let alone a sworn officer, having anything to do with the crash.

 

International

Move Electric examines how common ebike theft is, and what you can do to prevent it.

They get it, too. A Canadian website says Toronto’s Vision Zero plan is all that stands between bike riders and total road anarchy, with “lot more fear, anger and impatience on the roads, and the veneer of civil behavior badly eroded.”

An American woman was left with a nearly $17,000 hospital bill after hitting a pothole while riding her bike on a Scottish roadway.

A day after we mentioned a British woman on trial for pushing a 77-year old woman off her bike, she was convicted of manslaughter, and will be sentenced on Thursday; she claimed she was just gesturing wildly as she complained about the woman riding on the sidewalk, and may have inadvertently hit her. The jury clearly didn’t believe her, either.

Road.cc considers why former BBC host Dan Walker’s call to wear a helmet is controversial, after he credited his with saving his life.

Stockholm, Sweden is getting its first bicycle street, where bicycles will receive priority over other forms of traffic. Which has no known equivalent in Southern California, let alone Los Angeles. 

They get it. A South African website says bicycling could solve transportation problems in Cape Town, calling for an integrated transportation network with bicycling at its heart.

A new documentary looks at the two decade old case of a disabled Japanese man who died in custody, after fleeing from police on his bicycle when they tried to stop him for “acting suspiciously.”

Bicycling Australia chooses their gear of the year, noting the bicycling products that captured their attention. Many, if not most, of which should be available here in the US. 

 

Competitive Cycling

The New York Times offers a deep dive profile on 33-year old individual pursuit world champ and record holder Ashton Lambie, who was working at a bike shop and randonneuring before he took his first ride on a grass velodrome in Kansas, on a borrowed bike, less than seven years ago. And won, of course.

Twenty-three-year old world champ Remco Evenepoel added another notch on his belt with a victory in the UAE Tour.

Colombian Egan Bernal will not be racing in this week’s Paris-Nice after being sidelined by a knee injury, as he returns to racing after last year’s near fatal training crash.

USA Cycling could be looking for you, as the national cycling body set off a “new talent-identification program aimed at underrepresented and more diverse communities” for its track cycling program. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with feral LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to use our ebike’s turbo boost to outrun a pack of hungry wolves; thanks again to Phillip Young. Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about being trampled to death by elephants, either.

And unlike most bike-riding dogs, cats don’t need a basket.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

California ebike rebate plan takes shape, sentencing for killer San Diego driver, and 15-minute city conspiracy theories

This is who we share the road with.

A nice three day weekend with my wife was, if not ruined, at least darkened by a road raging woman who nearly ran us down making a left turn as we crossed the street, less than a block from our home.

She somehow took offense when I objected to the way my wife, dog and I nearly became roadkill, screaming that it was our fault because we hadn’t been paying attention.

Which was true for the dog, anyway.

Never mind that a) we had the right-of-way, b) she started her turn after we were already crossing the street, and c) she neglected to use her turn signal, which might have tipped us off.

But in her mind, we were 100% at fault.

Just another reminder that cars can turn people into monsters.

And that we’ll never have safe streets until our elected leaders have the courage and political will to actually do something about it. 

Ebike photo by Alex from Pexels.

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Calbike updated the latest outlines of California’s long-delayed ebike rebate program, which is currently slated to begin sometime in the second quarter of this year.

Which means no sooner than April.

  • To qualify, participants can make no more than 300% of the federal poverty level (FPL).
  • The base incentive will be $1,000.
  • Participants can get an additional $750 toward the purchase of a cargo bike or adaptive bike.
  • People whose income is below 225% of FPL or who live in a disadvantaged community can qualify for an additional $250, so the maximum incentive amount is $2,000.
  • Incentives can be applied toward sales tax, as well as the purchase price.
  • Incentives will be applied at the point of sale.
  • All three classes of e-bikes can qualify for incentives.
  • Used bikes will not be eligible.
  • Incentives can be used to buy e-bikes from local bike shops or online retailers with a business location in California.
  • Adaptive bikes can include tricycles. CARB plans to keep the definition of adaptive e-bikes as broad as possible.

As far as I can tell, it looks like the Federal Poverty Limits are calculated using the adjusted gross income on your latest tax return, with certain items added back in.

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The San Diego Bike Coalition is calling for bike riders to turn out for Friday’s sentencing of the wrong-way driver who killed Matt Keenan in September, 2021.

Keenan was riding his bike to the movies in Mission Valley when the driver, who hasn’t been publicly named, let alone shamed, rounded a corner on the wrong side of the road and hit him head-on.

His confessed killer is copping a plea to misdemeanor Vehicular Manslaughter with Gross Negligence, with a three-year license suspension and not one day behind bars.

Let me repeat.

A lousy license suspension — not even revocation — and no jail time at all. For needlessly killing another human being, while likely driving distracted.

According to the organization, Keenan’s wife Laura has become one of the leading voices for safer streets in the nearly year and a half since his death, and deserves the support of the entire bicycling community in calling for the judge to add additional penalties, like community service and probation, at the sentencing hearing.

If you can’t attend the hearing, they recommend emailing the judge.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

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Thousands of apparently very confused yet virulent protesters turned out in Oxford, England to protest Low Traffic Neighborhoods, aka LTNs, as well as plans for 15-minute cities.

According to the BBC, the protestors based their LTN complaints on the difficulties they could pose for motorists who could be unable to drive directly through the city. Not to mention some major climate change denial, as well as baseless claims that it would result in a “climate lockdown,” with residents required to stay at home to protect the environment.

Meanwhile, 15-minute city proposals were bizarrely accused of being a front for a dystopian concentration camp-like lockdown, with gates locking residents inside their zone, allowed to leave just 100 days a year. Along with the creation of an Orwellian surveillance state to enforce climate goals.

Not to mention that Neo-Nazis turned out in support of the protests. Or maybe were behind it.

Consider, for instance, this speech by a 12-year old anti-Greta Thuneburg, which has been circulating in rightwing circles for the past few days. Even if it, like the rest of the opposition, is based almost entirely on baseless conspiracy theories.

https://twitter.com/ChildrensHD/status/1627050833706905600

And none of which actually have a damn thing to do with it, of course.

A 15-minute city simply means that everything you need for daily life should be located within 15 minutes of your home — preferably by walking, biking or taking transit.

Meanwhile, LTNs are simply designed to discourage driving through a neighborhood, to increase the safety and livability of the community.

Neither one is intended to force anyone out of their cars. And they certainly have nothing to do with a dystopian surveillance state.

Here’s how British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid debunks the conspiracies in under a minute.

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Call this ad the anti-anti-15-minute city ad, asking if we can put a man on the moon, why can’t a kid safely ride a bike?

Then again, we haven’t set foot on the moon in over 50 years, either.

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A new French traffic safety campaign calls out the dangers of toxic masculinity behind the wheel.

Unfortunately for us monolingual types, though, it’s in French.

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The legendary Nina Simone was one of us.

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

No bias here. A 79-year old Missouri man is dead because a driver’s van struck the victim’s bike. Not, say, the driver. Because apparently, the van somehow did it all on its own. 

No bias here, either. A Florida letter writer says bicyclists are a danger to themselves and others on the road because it’s a fact that we can’t keep up with traffic flow, and it’s our fault drivers get mad about it because we shouldn’t be there into first place. Then again, it’s also a fact that people on bikes are often faster than congested traffic. And we’re not responsible for how drivers, or anyone else, reacts. 

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

Life is cheap in the UK, where the courts let a 25-year old man walk with a 12-month sentence for wanton and furious biking, with all 12 months suspended; he was skitching and popping wheelies just moments before running down a 13-year old kid while blowing through a red light. Thanks to Marcello Calicchio for the link.

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Local 

Streets For All is asking for your support for a motion at today’s City Council PLUM Committee meeting to end automatic street widening when new construction takes place, which results in those odd mid-block wide spots that too often get blamed on us.

Speaking of Streets For All, the street safety PAC is participating in the annual Climate Ride for the first time, and is looking for volunteers to ride with them, as well as sponsors for the riders.

SoCal Cycling discusses how to get back into bicycling after a long layoff. Kind of like the one I’ve gone through with one diabetes-related health problem after another, which has resulted in a bike that’s virtually unrideable at this point. And a rider who can’t either.

Unbelievable. Metro’s board Planning and Programming Committee rejected calls for pedestrian crosswalk improvements in Pasadena, as part of a package of multimodal projects using leftover funds from the cancelled 710 Freeway extension; advocates hope the full board will overturn the decision this week. Apparently they’ve forgotten the urgent need to improve walkability and bikeability in the face of a climate emergency.

This is who we share the road with. A group of pedestrians waiting for lunch outside a Sawtelle Blvd restaurant became collateral damage when two drivers collided and one careened into the crowd, sending four people to the hospital, including a 23-year old woman in critical condition.

 

State

Streets For All calls out Caltrans for misrepresenting 1,600 miles of Complete Streets, most of which are anything but. And asks you to comment on it.

San Diego’s Park Blvd will be getting dedicated bus lanes and buffered bike lanes through Balboa Park, which has proven deadly for bike and e-scooter riders in recent years. Thanks again to Phillip Young.

Woodland Hills Magazine highlights the area’s best bike riding views.

A San Francisco TV station reports East Bay bike riders are showing solidarity in the face of violent dooring attacks by teenagers in an apparent stolen car; shamefully, Oakland cops say they’re too busy to do anything about it.

Apparently having nothing better to do, the CHP is investigating several instances of juvenile bike riders on the Bay Bridge.

 

National

A Utah man pled guilty to reduced charges for killing one man and injuring another when he crashed into their bikes last July; he was on parole for multiple felonies and had amphetamine, meth, codeine and morphine in his system at the time of the crash. Not to mention belonging to a Nazi criminal gang.

Life is cheap in Texas, where a bus driver walked without a day behind bars for killing a bike rider on the UT campus in 2019; the 44-year old woman got seven years probation and 250 hours of community service, while her victim got death.

Minneapolis is staring down a more than a quarter of a million settlement for the forcible arrest of a man riding a bicycle during the 2020 protests over the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, even though the bike rider “was peacefully and lawfully exercising his constitutional right to protest.”

No bias here, either. The Ohio legislature is proposing a ban on center lane bike lanes in cities of 300,000 population, after Cleveland business owners complained they wouldn’t be able to make left turns or unload their trucks.

Tragic news from Pennsylvania, where a 75-year old man was killed when a cop responding to a traffic call rammed his bicycle from behind, while traveling without his lights or siren on; meanwhile, a woman standing in a New York bike lane was killed when she was collateral damage in a crash between a cop and another driver.

Bizarre story from South Carolina, where a John Doe was finally identified as a South Carolina man after his family reported him missing, three months after he was killed riding his bike without ID. Yet another reminder to always carry ID with you when you ride. 

A New Orleans TV station says the city’s bikeshare system is the best way to get around during today’s Mardi Gras celebrations.

 

International

National Geographic says gravel cycling is the next big trend.

CNN highlights ten of the world’s best cities to explore by bicycle; unfortunately, San Francisco is the only US city on the list. And needless to say, Los Angeles isn’t. Thanks to Steve Fujinaka for the tip. 

Canadian F1 driver Lance Stoll is one of us; the driver for Aston Martin will miss next month’s Bahrain Grand Prix after suffering an injury in a “minor” bike crash.

You’ve got to be kidding. Bath, England NIMBYs argue that new green bike parking hangers will threaten the city’s Unesco World Heritage status. Because evidently, all those cars and their parking lots must have been there since Roman times.

Police in the UK are facing justified criticism for advising a pair of bike riders  “be aware,” “keep space” and “expect to wait” after they were struck by drivers, with no suggestions for drivers to not hit people, on bikes or otherwise.

British Channel 5 news anchor Dan Walker is one of us, after he had to miss his broadcast after he was struck by a driver while riding his bike to the strain station.

Hit-and-run drivers in the UK could soon face of fines up to the equivalent of $1,200 for not stopping after hitting a cat. Which is more than many drivers get for killing someone on a bicycle.

Cycling Weekly says bicycling is growing in some parts of the Middle East, despite poor infrastructure and police harassment, while being banned in other places.

Things are looking up for bike shops in Vietnam, as more Vietnamese commuters are opting for riding a bicycle.

He gets it. A Philippine professor says riding a bike is a basic human right, and he intends to keep doing it for the rest of his life.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclist looks at the hard road ridden by newly crowned Esteban Chaves, who became Colombia’s national champ for the first time at the ripe old age of 33.

A 20-year old British bike rider says forget hi-viz, after his back and bike were both broken when he was struck by a driver, despite wearing a kit he says couldn’t have been brighter.

British cyclist Tom Pidcock shows off his bike handling skills at the Volta ao Algarve’s time trial on Sunday.

https://twitter.com/writebikerepeat/status/1627332215435657216

Sad news from the Netherlands, where Dutch cyclist Amy Pieters suffered a setback in her recovery from a near fatal 2021 bike crash, although she continues to ride an adaptive bike, despite suffering epileptic seizures.

Hear, hear! Kenyan-born Chris Froome says he has high hopes for African cycling.

 

Finally…

Foster a pet, get a discount on your next bike. Probably not the best idea to hit a cop who stops you for riding without a light.

And no more free bikes for Indian school kids.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

BikeLA releases report on LA County bike deaths, more on Bay Area dooring attacks, and no more roadbuilding in Wales

Let’s start with a couple of well-deserved thank yous.

First up, thanks to Kurt G for his generous donation to help keep all the best bike news coming your way every day. Donations of any amount are always welcome and deeply appreciated.

Next, let’s all give Pocrass & De Los Reyes a round of thanks for renewing their title sponsorship of this site for another year.

The Century City law firm was our first sponsor, and  their support for the past ten years has made this site possible.

Photo of deadly East Anaheim Street from advocacy group BikeLA; the Long Beach street is one of several cited by the group as areas of concern in the report on LA County bicycling deaths below.

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Maybe LA area safety organizations are finally getting serious about fighting the effects of traffic violence.

Just weeks after the die-in at Los Angeles City Hall, and the release of a report from Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, detailing LA’s record rate of traffic deaths in 2022, BikeLA released their own report on the 26 bicyclists killed on LA County streets last year.

A press release from the group, formerly known as the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, or LACBC, describes the findings of the report this way.

Most notably, the report identifies four factors that were prevalent in the vast majority of collisions. These design elements include high speed limits, excessive travel lanes, missing bike lane infrastructure, and poor street lighting. With 81% of collisions involving two or more of these factors, it suggests that infrastructure deficiencies are the main culprit behind the dangerous conditions on the county’s roads. 

The report also considers the geographic distribution of each collision and found that 61% of last year’s bicycle fatalities took place in heavily concentrated low-income, Black and Latinx neighborhoods. Tragically, many crashes were also concentrated along heavily-traveled corridors without quality bike infrastructure including Anaheim Street in Long Beach and Figueroa Street in Los Angeles.

As an organization committed to creating safe, enjoyable, and vibrant communities for cyclists, BikeLA recommends several solutions including reducing speed limits, embracing road diets, and expanding cyclist education programs. Taken together, these solutions can help governments across the county recommit to their vision for zero traffic fatalities.

A chart complied by the group demonstrates the distribution of traffic deaths in LA County; Los Angeles is responsible for over half of the deaths, despite having less than half of the county’s population.

It’s also worth noting the report’s conclusion that 85% of LA County’s bicycling deaths occurred where there are no bike lanes or other bicycling infrastructure.

Although that could have a lot to do with LA’s failure to build out the bike plan, and the slow pace of bike lane construction everywhere but Long Beach and Santa Monica.

It’s worth investing the time to take a deep dive into the report, to gain an understanding of how and why people continue to die on our streets.

You can learn more about each of the bicycling deaths in LA County, and the rest of Southern California, by clicking here.

Full disclosure: I was a board member of what was then the LACBC for over five years, and continue to be a member of the organization. 

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

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Bay Area media coverage of the spate of dooring attacks is snowballing.

A Berkeley site says at least two people riding bicycles were targeted in the the city in recent days, as the count rises to 20 attempts to intentionally door victims in three Bay Area cities, with nine victims struck.

According to the East Bay Bike Party, the assailants used four different cars, including one that was confirmed to have been stolen.

“In several attacks,” the group said in a statement, “a driver sped alongside people riding bikes and a passenger on the right side of the car opened their door to hit the bike riders at speed. In at least two incidents the driver also drove directly into a bike rider rather than using the side door.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pl0EdZtnY1M

An Oakland website adds more to the story, citing work by a team of volunteers to scour social media looking for more information on the attacks.

First, the group says that the four cars the suspects were driving were likely either Hyundai or Kia models, which have been recently targeted for theft due to a security loophole that has gone viral on TikTok. The EB Bike Party found that Ta’Liyah Hands, an Oakland resident, had her 2018 Silver Hyundai Elantra stolen in the Laurel Districtaround noon Friday. The car, confirmed by its license plate, was seen later that day in a video attempting to collide with bicyclists headed to the Bike East Bay Party. Several witnesses told the Oaklandside the cars the drivers used to attack them matched these models.

The group was also able to determine that the suspects were young, possibly teenagers. Several of the victims the Oaklandside spoke to for this story agreed, saying they heard laughter from the car’s occupants as they swerved at bicyclists. Most or all of the suspects were also male.

Meanwhile, the Oakland police department was unable to comment due to an ongoing cyber attack that prevented officials from accessing police files, and kept bicyclists from filing police reports.

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That’s more like it.

The Welsh government has canceled all roadbuilding projects over environmental and safety concerns.

Any future road projects must pass strict criteria requiring that they don’t increase carbon emissions, can’t increase the number of cars on the road or lead to higher speeds and emissions, and can’t have a negative impact on the environment.

Which pretty much means no new roads will be built in the country.

Period.

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No surprise here.

The accused killer of Dr. Michael Mammone in Dana Point two weeks ago had the criminal proceedings against him temporarily suspended Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Daily News is reporting that the case against Vanroy Evan Smith will be delayed until he has a competency hearing next week.

Smith told a reporter for the Orange County Register that he was both God and Jesus Christ. Which somehow seems unlikely, raising doubts about his competency to stand trial.

He could be committed to a psychiatric facility for treatment until he is competent to face trial, which could come in a few months, or may never happen.

Meanwhile, a memorial for Dr. Mammone will be held at the Festival of Arts grounds tomorrow at 11 am; mourners were asked to make donations to Wounded Warrior Project, the Laguna Beach Food Pantry or The LA Mission in lieu of flowers.

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The candidates in the special election to replace former LA City Councilmember Nury Martinez in CD6 will take part in a candidate forum tonight.

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British broadcast personality Jeremy Vine demonstrates a driver performing a left hook across a bikeway, the UK’s equivalent of our right hook.

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

A Virginia public radio station asks if bicycles should be required to stop at intersections. Which is not the same as asking whether bike riders should be allowed to treat stop signs as yields, as new bill in the state legislature proposes.

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Local 

LA city officials broke ground on two new mini-parks along the existing Chandler walk/bike path in North Hollywood, as well as adding new trees and lighting along the pathway, and improving two access points.

LAist offers a primer on how LA’s neighborhood councils work, and how you can join one.

BikeLA, formerly the Los Angeles County Bicycle County Bicycle Coalition, will host its first bike ride of the year in Griffith Park on Saturday, February 25th. Thanks to Ravener for the link.

 

State

A new bill in the state legislature would direct the state’s Mineta Transportation Institute to study ebikes, although it’s unclear just what information legislators are looking for.

 

National

It should come as a surprise to absolutely no one that American motor vehicles are getting too big for their parking spaces.

Yahoo asks if ebikes are the unsung secret to curbing climate change. Short answer, probably.

Outside considers what kind of mountain bike you should buy this year. Which somehow assumes that you can, should, and want to buy one at all.

A new Utah state legislator is proposing a bill that would require drivers to change lanes to pass a bike rider, if there’s room to do so; the bill is personal for him, after he lost his own father when he was run down by a careless teenage driver while riding his bike. The bill is similar to a new California law that took effect this year.

Sad news from my Colorado hometown, where the county coroner’s office has identified the first of two bike riders killed there this week as an 81-year old man; police investigators are blaming him for running a stop sign, which seems unlikely at his age.

The Adventure Cycling Association calls out a five-mile section of US Highway 93 directly west of Whitefish, Montana as a particular area of safety concern due to crumbling shoulders and heavy traffic moving at high speeds.

Advocacy group BikeTexas is angling for a stop as yelled bill in the state legislature, as well as allowing ebikes in state parks.

A Streetsblog op-ed says the new and improved bike and pedestrian pathways on New York’s George Washington Bridge still aren’t good enough; a 1933 design called for cantilevered, 15-foot wide paths on both sides of the bridge.

The New York Times says bicycle delivery workers bore the brunt of Monday’s vehicular attack on Brooklyn sidewalks; a Chinese immigrant delivering food by bike was killed, and another man is lingering in a medically induced coma.  Meanwhile, the New York Post says the accused killer suffered a mental health crisis set off by “seeing” an invisible objet coming directly at him.

No surprise here, as a majority of residents in Charlottesville, Virginia say they’d like to walk, bike or take transit more often, if they just felt safe on the roads. Which is pretty much what the residents of virtually every American city would say.

A New Orleans bike club uses a fleet of eight tandem bikes to allow blind bike riders to experience the city in a new way.

The man accused of stabbing a bicycle-riding Florida couple to death during last year’s Daytona Bike Week has been found incompetent to stand trial; Jean Macean will be committed to a state facility until he understands the legal process and the case against him.

 

International

Porsche appears to be diving head-first into the ebike market by acquiring all of e-bikemaker Greyp, a subsidiary of Croatian supercar maker Rimac.

Mirroring the Aussie case we mentioned yesterday, an Ottawa, Canada man is on trial for killing his neighbor in a dispute over an alleged stolen bicycle. As we’ve said many times before, no bike is worth taking a life, let alone sacrificing your own. 

A Montreal driver was caught on video traveling an entire block in a protected bike lane.

The CEO of foldie maker Brompton blames Brexit for the problem besetting British bikemakers.

The rich get richer. Paris plans to build another 30 miles of bike lanes connecting the city center to Olympic venues in time for next year’s Summer Olympics.

A Philippine community is delaying plans to convert a protected bike lane into sharrows, in response to a massive protest by bike riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly profiles 22-year old British cyclist Harrison Wood, who’s set to make his WorldTour debut for French team Cofidis, after overcoming a brain bleed and broken collarbone suffered in a crash at the Course de la Paix.

Sad news from the UK, where record-setting bicyclist Eileen Sheridan has died at the age of 99. She rode the full nearly 900-mile length of Britain in less than two and a half days, a record that stood for 36 years.

Cyclist remembers how Fausto Coppi became the first rider to win the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in the same year, in his rookie year of 1949.

 

Finally…

Your next car could be an e-trike. Now you, too, can move your entire household by bike.

And that feeling when your new bike parking looks artistic, but pretty damn useless.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Vanroy Evan Smith admits random killing of bike-riding doctor, claims to be God; San Fernando Bike Path takes shape

The reason behind Dr. Michael Mammone’s murder may have been the worst one on all.

Because apparently, there was no reason.

The Orange County Register conducted a jailhouse interview with the accused killer of the respected Laguna Beach ER doctor, who was run down from behind in a violent collision as he waited at a PCH red light in Dana Point on February 1st, then repeatedly stabbed by the driver after he exited the car.

The paper talked Friday with Vanroy Evan Smith, who’s being held on $1 million bond after being charged with murder in Mammone’s death.

Smith confessed to the killing in the chilling interview, relating that he apparently picked Mammone at random as he drove around looking for a victim, after buying the machete allegedly used in the attack at a gun shop earlier that day.

Yet he expects to be set free, because he is “entitled to commit murder because he is both God and Jesus Christ.”

Oh. Okay then.

In a rambling, hourlong interview with a Southern California News Group reporter, Vanroy Evan Smith cited end-of-world scriptures from the Bible’s Book of Revelation and said that if the public knew he was the Messiah and the “king of kings,” they would think differently about him and his crime.

“I have killed,” Smith, 39, said during the interview at Orange County’s Intake Release Center in Santa Ana. “If they knew who I was, they would let me walk out of here. They would fulfill all my desires.”

Nope. Nothing crazy there.

Yet Smith, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder following a 2020 episode, denied being mentally ill.

And despite his diagnosis, he was allowed to continue driving a multi-ton vehicle that can be weaponized on a whim, even through he wouldn’t be allowed to purchase or carry a gun.

Smith also denied using racial slurs or uttering comments about white privilege, despite sometimes racist reports that continue to circulate on conservative media sites.

He chose Mammone as his victim, in part, because he would not kill a woman.

According to the paper, Smith awoke that day fully expecting to kill someone before the day was over, “adding that he has long been plagued by troubling ‘communications’ from others and conflict because of his mixed-race heritage.”

After purchasing the knife, Smith recounted that he began driving around and felt compelled to run over Mammone and stab him. “It was my right,” he said, rubbing his hand against his eyes while adding that he feels no remorse for the killing. “He was in the crosswalk and presented himself.”

Smith cited the story of the Last Supper in Gospel of Luke as justification for purchasing the knife.

35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”“Nothing,” they answered.

36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.

37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’ ; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”

He also said he had a BB gun he intended as a distraction, confirming some reports that he had a gun, though not that he used it.

Smith told the Register he had no regrets about the killing.

Smith, meanwhile, said he has found peace after 10 days in jail, placing at bay some of his demons typically exacerbated by heavy drinking, marijuana use and consorting with prostitutes.

He said he hopes to eventually meet with Mammone’s family. “I didn’t want to cause anyone pain,” he said.

No, he just wanted to kill someone. Because in his mind, he was God, and apparently, that’s what gods do.

I can think of nothing more chilling than a driver who decides to deliberately kill another human being, for no more reason than the person was there, exposed and vulnerable.

And he just, you know, felt like it.

Nothing personal.

Photo of ghost bike for Dr. Michael Mammones by Walt Arrrrr.

………

Vanroy Smith wasn’t the only one who decided to use his car as a weapon recently.

………

It looks like the city is making real progress on the San Fernando Road Bike Path.

Proving, as the following tweets make clear, that advocacy works.

https://twitter.com/Ravener85/status/1624862238749372416

………

This is the future I want to see.

………

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

A group of drivers attempted to terrorize Oakland bike riders by deliberately dooring 14 people riding their bikes, hitting eight and seriously injuring two people; at least four separate vehicles were involved over a three-day period.

No bias here. A letter writer in Victoria, British Columbia complains that bike lanes and a car-hating mayor are responsible for all the traffic congestion in the city of 92,000 people.

But sometimes, its the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Advocates for the blind complained about riders on a London bikeway repeatedly ignoring pedestrians in a crosswalk. Even though none of the people crossing appeared to be visually impaired.

Seven years after a woman in the UK was killed by a man riding an illegal bicycle, a British government minister suggested more people would have to die before the country would do anything making the laws tougher.

………

Local 

West Hollywood’s city council voted 3-2 to convert the existing painted bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd to protected bike lanes, while extending the lanes east from the current terminus at Kings Road; the city will also consider how to connect them to planned bike lanes on Fountain Ave, and the existing sharrows on Willoughby.

LAist looks at LA’s renegade Crosswalk Collective, whose outlaw DIY crosswalks are forcing the city to improve its pedestrian infrastructure.

Streets For All is calling for everyone to complete Metro’s survey to support a heavy rail line through the Sepulveda Pass, with a station on the UCLA campus.

 

State

No bias here, either. Opinion was evenly split for and against a planned Carlsbad roundabout at a recent public meeting, but the San Diego Union-Tribune makes it sound like residents are against the “drastic change.”

An op-ed from the leaders of San Diego’s BikeSD says the city can end its over-reliance on cars with bike, mass transit and pedestrian infrastructure.

Sad news from San Luis Obispo, where a 23-year old man riding a bicycle was killed when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver, then hit by a second motorist as he lay in the street; police arrested the 19-year old driver on charged of felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter.

A San Jose op-ed asks whether America’s 10th largest and “most forgettable” city is building a national model for the metropolis of the future.

Sad news from Half Moon Bay, too, where a 75-year old man was killed when he was struck by an 18-year old driver while riding his bicycle.

 

National

Retailers says bloated inventories and a dip in demand will make this a year of bike bargains.

A man riding a bicycle was killed in my platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Colorado hometown, after allegedly running a stop sign, just two days after the city’s Winter Bike to Work Day. Although the location where he was struck didn’t even exist when I lived there. 

The growing population of San Antonio, Texas is making the streets more dangerous for people on bicycles.

A nonprofit group has donated a mobility trike to an eight-year old boy paralyzed in last year’s mass shooting at a 4th of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois.

An Arkansas youth center worker uses his mountain bike to deliver much-needed supplies to homeless people in his community.

Jurors will consider whether convicted Manhattan bike path terrorist Sayfullo Saipo will receive the death penalty for killing eight people as they walked or rode their bikes.

Life is cheap in Pennsylvania, where a hit-and-run driver got just under one to two years for killing a local homeless advocate as he rode his bike in 2020.

The Idaho Stop, allowing bike riders to treat stops as yields, could come to Virginia before it does California, where it has been vetoed twice. Or was it three times?

Once again, a bike rider was a hero, as someone riding by on a bicycle managed to wrestle a gun away from a would-be robber, who was sticking up a couple on New Orleans’ Bourbon Street.

Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen is one of us, as she takes her kids on a Tom Brady-less bike ride through the streets of Miami.

 

International

Momentum Magazine says Valentines Day is the perfect excuse to get a tandem.

A London commuter copes with the rail strike by trying a bikeshare ebike, totally transforming his commute.

Cycling Tips considers why pioneering London bike shop Look Mum No Hands! was more than just a café and workshop.

Having apparently learned his lesson about electric motorbikes, America’s Got Talent judge Simon Cowell rides his ebike through the streets of Manchester, England, in his $1,500 Armani cargo pants.

A kindhearted seven-year old Scottish boy raised the equivalent of over $880 for charity by riding his bike a total of 20 miles this month, and plans to keep it going for the rest of the month.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 90-year old man in the Netherlands rides his bike ten and a half miles a day to see his wife of 63 years, who now lives in a hospice facility. Except for that part about the dying wife, of course.

Berlin plans to ban all parking in the city’s Gräfekiez neighborhood for three months this summer, as a test for plans to make the city center carfree within a few years.

The Tehran Times recommends the ten best bike rides for your next visit to the Islamic Republic.

Tragic news, as two members of the Qatar Cycling Federation were killed when they were run down by a texting driver.

Hundreds of bicycle and e-scooter riders turned out to protest plans to remove protected bike lanes in a Philippine city, which bizarrely concluded that the need for the lanes would decrease as commuters increased.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tragic news from Spain, where rising 19-year old cyclist Estela Dominguez was killed by a hit-and-run driver as she was on the verge of her professional career, while on a training ride in Salamanca.

VeloNews says the rigors of junior cycling set reigning world and Vuelta champ Remco Evenepoel on the path to stardom.

Los Angeles-based L39ION of Los Angeles says its a hard pass on participating in the National Cycling League’s new four-race crit series.

Six people were injured when 15 bicyclists competing in a monthly bike race collided in Sydney, Australia.

 

Finally…

When you’re carrying a couple meth-filled baggies on your bike, stop for the damn stop sign, already. Don’t ride your bike through an intermediate school without permission.

And a comedian celebrates the need to drive.

Not.

Thanks to GlennC1 for the link.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Unproven “white privilege” claim in Dr. Michael Mammone murder, and 13 years for meth-fueled death of Laura Shinn

Fox News is repeating unproven claims the Dana Point killer muttered “white privilege” while fatally stabbing Dr. Michael Mammone last Wednesday.

The network had apparently removed references to the statement from their earlier stories, but resumed claims Tuesday that 39-year old Vanroy Evan Smith had made the racist comments after brutally running Mammone down from behind as he waited at a red light on his mountain bike, then getting out of his car and stabbing the Laguna Beach emergency physician to death.

Fox based their story on a report from a Chicago ABC affiliate, which cited a “neighbor” who declined to be interviewed on camera, but who claimed to have heard the comment after running outside, following what sounded like a gunshot.

However, there is no mention of the allegation in the story from Los Angeles-based ABC affiliate KABC-7.

The Orange County DA’s office also said they were unaware of the allegations. And those closer to the incident, such as the witnesses who disarmed Smith following the stabbing, have apparently said nothing to support the allegations of racial bias in the attack.

Photo of Dr. Mammone ghost bike by Photo by Walt Arrrrr.

………

That’s more like it.

Thirty-nine-year old Adam David Milavetz was sentenced to a well-earned 13 years behind bars for the meth-fueled death of noted architect Laura Shinn as she rode her bike to work in San Diego’s Balboa Park in 2021.

Milavetz was sentenced to spend three years in county jail for an assortment of misdemeanor counts, including drug possession charges. He will then be transferred to state prison to serve another ten years for manslaughter and other felonies.

He pled guilty to running Shinn down from behind while she was riding in the painted bike lanes on Pershing Drive.

After the crash, witnesses saw Milavetz run across the street to toss a bag over a fence, which was later determined to contain several smaller bags of meth. Police also found meth, fentanyl and hypodermic needles in his car following his arrest.

Pershing Drive was slated to receive a two-way protected bike lane and pedestrian pathway before Shinn’s death; the project is expected to finally be completed in 2024.

Just a tad too late to save Shinn’s life.

And if that doesn’t piss you off, it sure as hell does me.

………

CicLAvia is partnering with Los Angeles Ale Works in Hawthorne and Culver City to kick off the 2023 season this Friday, with the launch of their new seek-la-VEE-a West Coast IPA.

The free event will be held in conjunction with the Culver City Arts District Night Market.

It serves as the prologue to eight CicLAvias this year, including two CicLAminis, starting with the curiously straight The Valley CicLAvia on Sherman Way February 26th.

But seriously, with do we really need another West Coast IPA? How about a nice dunkel, doppelbock or black lager for a change?

………

Allow me to offer a correction from yesterday’s post.

The tweet below portrays new bike lanes on Central Ave in South LA, not Alameda in DTLA as I somehow insisted, even though it says Central Ave right there in the tweet.

To further complicate matters, I thought I was writing about was this community bike ride celebrating the new bike improvements on Anaheim Street in Wilmington.

And even then I still got it all wrong.

………

Good question.

………

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

No bias here. A Santa Barbara writer complains about bicyclists “hurtling” along the State Street promenade, claiming it’s only a matter of time before someone hits “one or more unsuspecting people out for a leisurely stroll.” Never mind that a green bike lane had to be removed from the street because people wouldn’t stop walking in it. 

A Victoria, British Columbia columnist says it seems like open season on bicyclists, as drivers go out of their way to make riding more difficult. And dangerous.

No bias here, either. London’s Telegraph insists injuries have surged on a new protected bike lane, based on just three — yes, three — bicycling injuries. Which is 300% more than before, when no one rode there.

………

Local 

Streets Are For Everyone’s Damian Kevitt recaps the recent die-in at Los Angeles City Hall.

Urbanize says a decade-old Complete Streets proposal for South LA’s Broadway-Manchester corridor is still alive and kicking; the $46 million makeover would include a four-mile Class IV cycle track, pedestrian and bicyclist amenities, and hundreds of new trees. Both streets are on the city’s High Injury Network for the sadly neglected Vision Zero program.

Streetsblog reports the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies will host a Biking While Black film screening and panel discussion tonight at the James Bridges Theater.

Longtime LA-area civic leader Rick Cole calls for making Pasadena a 15-minute city by bringing back the streetcar.

Tiny South El Monte will invest a $1.6 million state grant in implementing Safe Routes to Schools, with pedestrian improvements planned for 23 sites across the city; however, it doesn’t seem to include plans for any bike infrastructure.

The Los Angeles Business Journal looks at Swiss ebike maker Thömus SA’s new Santa Monica HQ and flagship retail boutique on Montana Ave. And no, I still haven’t heard from them. 

 

State

In an apparent attempt to increase deaths and injuries among bike riders and pedestrians, while fanning the flames of the climate crisis, a San Diego state legislator has introduced a bill to legalize cruising everywhere in the state, and prevent police from enforcing local ordinances banning the practice.

A Los Olives bike rider suffered major injuries when they were struck by a driver Monday afternoon; the fire department notes the victim was wearing a helmet, which may or may not have had anything to do with the outcome.

 

National

Ebike sales have slowed for the first time in five years, as prices have climbed 25% since the start of the pandemic.

An outdoor site recommends five national parks for beginning bike riders.

Burglars targeted a Portland bike shop for the fourth time in less than a year.

A Bellingham, Washington writer makes the case for lowering the state’s DUI blood alcohol limit to .05.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a Denver woman’s bike after she had ridden across four continents and 35 countries, while raising thousands of dollars for charities along the way.

A pair of bills in the Virginia legislature would allow bike riders to legally proceed on leading pedestrian intervals, as well as legalizing the Idaho Stop for stop signs and traffic signals.

Atlanta is receiving $30 million in federal funds to improve access and safety for bike riders and pedestrians, which will be matched with $10 million in funding approved by local voters.

 

International

New data shows London’s congestion pricing plan has been an unqualified success; the plan — which has outlasted two mayors, six prime ministers and one queen — has resulted in a nearly 50% drop in motor vehicle traffic since 2002.

Interesting idea. A London-based startup plans to retrofit existing freestanding bike racks with heavy-duty chains that lock and unlock with a smartphone app. Although the question would be who is responsible if your bike gets stolen anyway.

They get it. The UK’s Department for Transport says plans to boost bicycling and walking must take women’s safety into account.

France’s bicycling federation calls for urgent action to improve safety after bicycling injuries and fatalities jumped 30% last year over 2019; they blamed much of the increase on “increasingly aggressive” drivers, particularly in rural areas.

A new Dutch study shows that people who buy ebikes more than double the amount they ride — and the results are the same when people are provided one as part of a trial program.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italian pro Marta Cavalli says she’s ready to go, after a 2022 campaign that was cut short by a concussion in the Tour de France Femmes.

Organizers have cancelled Turkey’s four-stage Tour of Antalya in the wake of the devastating earthquakes that have killed thousands of people in Turkey and Syria.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you announce a new road diet to your constituents, even if you don’t know what a road diet is. Or when you need a “cute li’l mascot” just to remind drivers not to be jerks and run people over.

And sometimes the old “pull my finger” gag means something entirely different.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Dana Point murder victim ID’d as OC ER doc, why an OC ghost bike needs to stay, and $800 million for safe streets

Let’s start with a quick update on the horrific events in Dana Point Wednesday afternoon.

The victim of the incident has been identified as 58-year old Michael John Mammone, an emergency physician with Providence Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach.

Mammone was reportedly stopped in the bike lane at the red light on PCH at Crown Valley Parkway, when a Lexus driven by 39-year old Long Beach resident Vanroy Evan Smith slammed into him from behind.

Smith then got out of his car and stabbed Mammone as he lay on the ground; Mammone died at a nearby hospital approximately three hours later.

After stabbing Mammone at least once in the back, Smith pulled out a gun and began shooting, apparently at random. Adding to the bizarre nature of the incident, there are reports that the weapon may have been a BB gun.

So far, investigators have found no link between Smith and Mammone, suggesting that it may have been a road rage attack, or possibly a case of mistaken identity.

Or it may have been completely random, which is even more frightening.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at 714/288-6740.

You can read more about Smith’s murder of Dr. Mammone here.

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels.

………

Yesterday, longtime Orange County bike advocate Bill Sellin included me in his email response to someone asking about an Irvine ghost bike.

I found his response so moving and insightful, I asked for his permission to share it with you here.

Thanks for reaching out.

I know it was placed shortly after the killing of Barbora Kabatova, 26 years old (July 11 2020) by her close friend(s).

I offered, but did not help place it, and I understand it is actually one of Barbora’s own bicycles.

Kabatova ghost bike photo taken from Facebook page

 

I do not know what Caltrans policy is, but I would be happy to see it in kept in place until Caltrans applies their own ‘Complete Streets’ best practices to call out the Jeffrey Class II bikeway where it is merged across by their freeway entrance, or better yet removes the free-right acceleration lane across the bikeway and makes a 90° intersection to ’square off’ this old style dangerous condition.

Since that fatality nothing has been done to deal with this hazardous condition, where the bike lane turns into a shoulder of the entrance, and even a pedestrian or sidewalk cyclist can be killed by high speed accelerating motorists.

Not even an on-demand warning light for those trying to use the crosswalk, much less a curb bulb-out.

Irvine has not reduced posted or actual speeds on Jeffrey either.

Every time I ride past it I think of Barbora and her death. It’s a good reminder. I am grateful that Caltrans has not removed it for the last 2 1/2 years.

Your resident is correct – it has been out there, motionless, day and night, rain or shine, silent, for over 2 years.

If it were her friend or daughter killed, she might understand it’s value.

If there was a ghost bike located at the site of the other 16 Orange County cyclist who died in 2020, and the 7 in 2021, the 19 in 2022 and 2 already in 2023, the motorists and traffic engineers might take greater steps to slow down and make our roads safer.

We can only hope.

………

After so much bad news, we have a little good news to share.

The US Department of Transportation announced the first $800 million of the five year, $5 billion — yes, with a B — Safe Streets and Roads for All Program that was established in the new federal budget.

Fast Company reports that’s just a down payment, with another $1.1 billion to be released later this spring.

California is set to receive $133 million of that, including six large “transformative” projects which will receive a combined $100 million, three of which are in Southern California.

  • Los Angeles County will receive $21 million for Florence-Firestone for All, a Vision Zero plan along corridors with high collision rates.
  • The City of Los Angeles will get $9 million for the La Brea Avenue Complete Streets Project. Or maybe only sort of complete, since it doesn’t include any bicycling infrastructure or improvements.
  • And as we mentioned yesterday, Wildomar is set to receive $2 million for the Sedco Blvd Improvements.

………

Somehow I missed the announcement that California Assembly Transportation Chair Laura Friedman is running to replace Adam Schiff in the United States House of Representatives 30th District, as Schiff runs for Diane Feinstein’s US Senate seat.

While we’ll miss her strong advocacy in Sacramento for active transportation, she’ll offer an even stronger voice in DC.

Thanks to Blake Dellinger and Ravener for the heads-up.

………

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

No bias here. An “avid bicyclist” says a hit-and-run Jersey City councilwoman may have been wrong, but the bike rider she hit doesn’t deserve a $1 million settlement because he’s “everything that serious bikers, like myself, detest.” Like riding in flip flops, for instance.

………

Local 

Rides will be free on LA Metro, Metrolink, LADOT and San Bernardino County Transportation Authority buses and trains this Saturday to mark the 6th Annual Transit Equity Day celebrating the birthday of Rosa Park.

Metro is planning to start construction later this year on a “multimodal” widening project on the 605 Freeway, which somehow fails to include any actual multimodal elements.

Registration is now open for the 45th LA Chinatown Firecracker Run/Walk, including 2 and 40-mile bike rides.

 

State

A San Francisco bike messenger worker’s collective strives to straddle the fine line between competing with large businesses, and relying on them for business.

 

National

Apparently, justice delayed isn’t always justice denied. A Las Vegas driver was arrested for DUI ten months after he killed a bike rider while driving 80 mph in a 45 mph zone; he wasn’t arrested at the scene after passing field sobriety tests, but a blood test showed THC, oxycodone and oxymorphone.

Bad enough when Denver drivers run down bike riders, but they don’t have to kill their ghost bikes, too.

NPR looks at efforts to remove a bike lane on Kansas City’s Truman Road, as business owners complain about the loss of parking spaces, as usual. Even though multiple studies show bike lanes are good for business

Four Pittsburgh cops will fight their suspensions in an effort to regain their jobs, 16 months after a man was killed when he was tased ten times in a matter of minutes, for the crime of test-riding an abandoned bicycle that had been left on the sidewalk; no charges have been filed, and prosecutors have still not released video of the incident.

According to Streetsblog, entitled New York drivers have been whining about a lack of parking for over a century. Los Angeles drivers have been whining at least as long, even though DTLA has more parking per acre than any other site on Earth, according to UCLA parking meister Dr. Donald Shoup.

Momentum talks with New York City cargo-biker Michael Palacios, who was intentionally run down by a hit-and-run driver while riding with his massive dog; he was also the person who allegedly went on a axe-wielding rampage at a New York McDonald’s.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a 12-year old Menlo Park NJ boy’s bicycle in a strong-arm robbery.

She gets it. A Philadelphia student says for her low-income, immigrant family, bicycling wasn’t recreation, it was a question of survival. And helped her get a full-ride college scholarship.

This is who we share the road with. After a severed human penis was discovered in the parking lot of an Alabama gas station, investigators said it belonged to a motorcyclist who was killed in a collision with multiple vehicles on a nearby highway, and carried to the station on the grill of a truck; it fell off when the driver parked at the station.

 

International

A professional driver played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming he killed a Welsh bike rider because the sun was in his eyes; however, it didn’t work this time, because he was found guilty anyway.

Three people, a man and two women, have been arrested in the death of a father and his teenage son who were killed when they were struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding their bikes in the UK last month; another man was arrested when the abandoned car was discovered shorty after the crash. At least one man faces a possible murder charge.

Bicyclists in Cyprus called for the immediate repeal of a new mandatory bike helmet law just hours after it went into effect, as critics called it a step backwards that will make safety worse, not better.

 

Competitive Cycling

France’s first major bike race of the year came to a sudden halt, when a major pile-up forced organizers to cancel stage 2 of the Etoile de Bessèges with less than 15 miles to go.

Cyclist rates the year’s best pro cycling kits.

 

Finally…

Forget the sports drinks, and quaff an alcohol-free beer instead. Why ride out in the hot sun when you can ride a 57-mile long climate-controlled bike path?

And that feeling when you insist your rust-ridden tetanus express just needs a tune-up.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Bike rider murdered in Dana Point crash & stabbing, and unidentified woman in Mission Hills hospital after bike crash

Let’s get the worst news out of the way first.

If you missed it last night, someone riding a mountain bike in Dana Point was murdered in one worst cases of traffic violence in memory.

The victim was was riding north in the bike lane on PCH when a driver rammed them from behind, then came back around, got out of his car and stabbed the bike rider as they lay helpless on the ground.

The victim died a few hours later at a nearby hospital; the driver was arrested after being detained by witnesses.

You can read the full story here.

But be forewarned, it contains contains security cam video that clearly shows the crash, though not the stabbing. So you may want to think twice before hitting play.

………

Hospital staffers are asking for the public’s help identifying two unknown and unconscious patients in LA County hospitals, including a woman who was injured riding her bike in Mission Hills.

The woman is described being in her late 20s to early 30s, 5 feet 6 inches tall and 153 pounds, with medium-length dark brown hair, brown eyes and a medium skin tone.

She has a tattoo on her right forearm with a red and green heart outlined in black, and the words “One love.”

It’s possible that she may be homeless.

Anyone with information is urged to call Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills at 818/365-8051.

Just one more tragic reminder to always carry some form of ID with you when you ride.

Thanks to Marcello Calicchio for the heads-up. 

………

The LA Times looks at California’s plan to boost ebike sales through an equity-based point-of-sale incentive — not a rebate, as we’ve been told.

The paper also notes that many of lower-income residents who could benefit most from the program live in areas with the most dangerous streets.

Yet projects in the city’s mobility plan to alleviate the problems remain on hold, perhaps permanently, with just 3% of the plan build out, over seven years into the 25-year plan.

Meanwhile, San Diego’s KPBS says that city’s bike shops are abuzz about the program. As they should be, since our neighbor to the south is actually doing something to encourage bicycling and protect people on two wheels.

Personally, I’ll get excited when and if they actually roll it out, and without such stringent qualifications that virtually no one actually qualifies.

And if they don’t manage to fuck it up some other way. Which I wouldn’t bet on, given the long delay in rolling it out.

………

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

More proof you can carry anything on a bicycle, as a British burglar makes off on his bike with a homeowner’s purloined TV.

………

Local 

Los Angeles-based women’s all-sizes bikewear brand Machines For Freedom has come to an ignominious end, shut down by parent company Specialized just five years after it was purchased from the brand’s founders; the shutdown leaves a sizable hole in the market for women who don’t fit the bike industry’s usual petite stereotype.

Bike riders participating in this month’s 45th Annual L.A. Chinatown Firecracker Run will have the opportunity to ride through the Pasadena area on a 40-mile ride beginning and ending in Chinatown.

Manhattan Beach will receive a $1 million grant to improve a bike path and close gaps in a bike lane connecting to the beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail, one of five South Bay grants contained in December’s federal appropriations bill.

 

State

San Diego will receive a $680,000 US Department of Transportation grant as part of the federal appropriations bill; the funds will help add a “comprehensive speed management plan, a historically disadvantaged community quick build program and slow streets program to the city’s existing Vision Zero Strategy.”

Wildomar received a $2.2 million grant to improve Sedco Blvd by adding bike lanes, improving sidewalks, and installing three roundabouts along a short 0.19-mile segment connecting two planned bicycle corridors.

Santa Maria cops conducted a bait bike operation by hiding a bicycle under a tarp in the back of a pickup parked in a hotel lot; one man is in custody after two men took the bait, then ran away to avoid arrest. Yet that’s something that the LAPD still refuses to do, despite the city’s unacceptable rate of bike thefts, over fears of entrapment accusations. Even though dozens of other California police agencies don’t seem to have a problem with that.

The San Francisco Examiner looks at new California laws that affect bike riders, pedestrians and motorists, including the requirement to change lanes to pass someone on a bicycle when possible.

Tragic news in Tracy, where police shot and wounded a 17-year old Afghan refugee when the boy failed to comply with orders to get off his bicycle; local groups working with the Muslim community questioned why less lethal methods weren’t used, suggesting a likely language barrier kept the boy from understanding the cop’s commands. He’s reportedly recovering in the hospital after undergoing two surgeries.

No bias here. A Marin bike advocate complains about “fighting for scraps to fund bike/ped projects” while the county spends $7.5 million to repave a parking lot.

 

National

Seattle-based Rad Power’s RadWagon 4 e-cargo bike is back on the market, following a recall that affected nearly 30,000 of the company’s bikes.

Separated bike lanes in Flagstaff, Arizona are posing a problem this winter, blocked by snow piled by plowing traffic lanes, and forcing riders to mix it up with drivers in icy streets — even though the city purchased smaller plows just to keep them clear.

No surprise here. Denver’s latest round of 860 ebike rebates were all claimed within 20 minutes of when they became available. Now let’s hope more people actually use them

A Kansas City councilmember calls for a compromise on a contested bike lane, calling for returning one side to parking, while installing a two-way bike lane on the other.

An Iowa paper talks with a then-18-year old man who was one of the few bicyclists to complete the first RAGBRAI 50 years ago.

They get it. An editorial that originally appeared in the paywalled Des Moines Register calls on the legislature to celebrate bicycling in Iowa by committing to safety, starting with passing a ban on distracted driving.

Chicago bike advocates are split on the city’s plan to ticket drivers who block bike lanes, with some calling it a good first step and others saying it doesn’t go far enough. One of the rare cases when both sides are right.

In a very confusing story, a man from Mexico was sentenced to 18-months behind bars for killing a 68-year old bike rider from Paris. Although it makes more sense once you realize they’re both towns in Maine.

A brother from a Louisiana Christian order is planning a 6,000-mile ride to benefit a charity supporting the special needs community, in honor of his nephew with Down Syndrome; he intends to ride up the East Coast from Florida to DC, then across the country to San Francisco.

 

International

Five Canadian mounties face charges for the 2017 death of an Indigenous man who died after he was pepper sprayed while trying to flee on his bicycle.

Over 1,000 people have signed a petition urging officials to rip out a nearly one-year old bike lane on an English road, accusing it of causing congestion. No, too many cars cause congestion; bike lanes help alleviate it by providing a safe alternative to driving.

A British fan site examines how Steven Spielberg pulled off the iconic flying bike scene in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, despite the limited special effects available over 40 years ago.

Aussie TV star Grant Denyer is one of us, crashing into another bicyclist while trying to pop wheelie, just minutes after posting an on-bike selfie.

 

Competitive Cycling

British pro Lizzie Deignan continues to ride through her pregnancy, while planning to return to racing in May following the birth of her second child.

Italian pro Davide Formolo says the streets are no longer safe, following the death of longtime friend and mentor Davide Rebellin, who was killed by a truck driver in November.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to take a leak in front of bike cops on the Las Vegas Strip when you’re also wanted for murder.

And that feeling when a month off alcohol leaves you wondering whether to stay dry or down every drop in the fridge, and what either choice means for your bicycling.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Reseda bike rider dies of apparent natural causes; and eligibility reduced for CA ebike rebates, still no start date set

Sad news from Reseda, where someone died of an apparent medical crisis while riding a bike on the sidewalk on the 7000 block of Tampa Ave Tuesday night.

Despite initial reports of a traffic collision, authorities believe the victim collapsed on their own, and was beyond medical help by the time paramedics arrived.

There’s no word on the identity of the victim.

Photo by Tucă Bianca from Pexels.

………

Calbike tells Governor Gavin Newsom that California needs more active transportation funding, not less, as he attempts to claw back half of the already approved funding in the coming budget.

And there’s still no date set for the start of California’s long-delayed ebike rebate program, though eligibility has been reduced from 400% of the federal poverty level to just 300%.

………

Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, calls for volunteers for Saturday’s big die-in at LA City Hall to protest traffic violence and deaths in the City of Angels.

………

But it there was a bike path there, it would be closed.

Right?

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1615436151309078528

………

LADOT invites you to a family friendly ride on newly improved Anaheim Street in Wilmington next month.

https://twitter.com/LADOTofficial/status/1615832535912652806

………

The East Side Riders are hosting their annual Ride 4 Love on February 11th, just three days before Valentines Day.

………

More proof that bike people are the best people.

Although that looks like a pants suit, to me.

………

We’re always told no one will ride a bike in LA’s 60° winters.

So how do you explain Londoners riding to work at 26°?

………

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

An Indiana woman faces charges for intentionally running down a man riding a bicycle, after they had allegedly had a physical confrontation at her home.

A Scottish driver was fined for throwing a tub of hair gel at a pair of bike riders, after becoming angry because they weren’t moving fast enough. Either that, or he was kindly assisting them with the inevitable helmet hair at the end of their ride. 

Well, that’s a new one. Residents of an oceanfront British town formed a conga line to protest a new segregated bike lane.

https://twitter.com/LiamFox/status/1487409022600945665

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

A dozen or so teenaged bike riders stormed the San Francisco Bay Bridge, popping wheelies and swerving through traffic on the roadway where bikes are banned, before being escorted off the bridge by the CHP.

The US Marshall’s Service pats themselves on the back for capturing their Fugitive of the Week for November 30th, after arresting a repeat flasher who failed to register as a sex offender, and attempted to escape from authorities on his bicycle. And failed.

………

Local 

Orlando Bloom and Katy Perry took their two-year old daughter on a cold weather bike ride to the Los Angeles Zoo.

WeHoVille encouraged “residents and renters who’ve voiced their dismay” over proposed bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd and Fountain Ave to make themselves heard at last night’s meeting to present a feasibility study on the bike lanes. Because evidently, their belief that the bike lanes are infeasible should outweigh whatever the study shows.

LA County has ordered a safety study of two Altadena roads after a pair pf pedestrian deaths; reports on Holliston and Fair Oaks avenues are due back in 45 days.

The annual San Francisco to Los Angeles AIDS/Lifecycle fundraising ride will end near the Santa Monica Pier this year. Although I wonder how much that has to do with the death of Glen Brown in a solo fall at the end of last year’s ride in LA’s Fairfax district. 

Cycling Tips profiles Compton’s own Rahsaan Bahati, after the Black former national cycling champ founded his Bahati Foundation to get more people on bikes who look like him.

 

State

A Bay Area TV station says Marin County bike thieves are using sophisticated tools to steal bike from garages with glass windows, cutting a small hole in the glass, then inserting a long hook to defeat the lock. Doesn’t sound that sophisticated to me, but what do I know?

A Bay Area man will face a murder charge for intentionally crashing into a 52-year old man riding a bike three years ago; the passenger in his car testified that 40-year old Ric Acosta announced he was going to run the victim down; he had to wrestle the wheel from Acosta to keep him from running over the victim a second time.

Heartbreaking story from Oakland, where a local website examines the 35 lives lost to traffic violence last year. Maybe if every city did that, we might have fewer of them. 

 

National

Momentum offers a “quick and easy” guide to bike fenders, while a writer for CyclingNews provides lessons learned while traveling with a bike.

A Portland artist says he didn’t mean to offend anyone with his installations of all-white children’s bicycles as part of an anti-violence campaign, not realizing the significance ghost bike-like white bikes have for the bicycling community.

Seattle’s Rad Power Bikes is introducing a three-wheeled e-cargo bike for stability-challenged riders.

Tempe, Arizona’s new Culdesac development is intended to provide a walkable, bikeable, transit-oriented community of 761 apartments with blissfully carfree streets.

A Las Vegas nurse says she was just in the right place at the right time to save the life of a 61-year old man who suffered a massive heart attack while riding his bike.

Another Las Vegas bike rider wasn’t so lucky, the victim of a DUI driver who was on her way to the methadone clinic when she smashed into him at 4 am, before flipping her car.

A San Antonio, Texas man credits his Apple Watch with saving his life when he broke his femur failing to make a corner on his bike in the rain; his watch automatically called paramedics, and gave his exact location when he didn’t know where he was.

The parents of a three-year old girl killed riding her bike in a Chicago bike lane last year have filed a lawsuit against the city alleging “willful and wanton misconduct” for failing to maintain the bike lane, as well as against the power company whose driver parked in the bike lane, forcing the family into the traffic lane where the girl was killed by the driver of a semi-truck.

Speaking of Chicago, the city will begin a pilot program using city-owned cameras to ticket drivers who park in bus and bike lanes.

They get it. The Houston Chronicle says it may seem counterintuitive to slow traffic and remove lanes on a major Houston street, but it makes perfect sense when you consider the purpose is to save lives. Hint: Try stopping the page as soon as it loads to get around the paper’s paywall.

Contemporary Christian singer Amy Grant says she’s still suffering from memory loss following her July bike crash in Nashville, forgetting the lyrics to her songs and even the death of a longtime friend’s husband.

Video show the admitted killer of eight people in an ISIS-inspired attack running with what turned out to be fake guns at the end of his 14-block rampage on a New York bike path; Sayfullo Saipov is on trial to determine whether he will be executed for his crimes.

 

International

Road.cc recommends their picks for the best winter road bikes. Because evidently, N+1 dictates different bikes for fair and foul weather.

Bike Radar offers eight tips they wish they knew before they started mountain biking. Here’s one more — make sure your health insurance is up to date. Because sooner or later, you’ll need it. 

Talk about a silver lining. More Europeans are turning to bicycles and e-scooters to combat rising energy prices, with 69% of motorists now using their cars less than before.

The next time you can’t find a safe place to lockup your bike, try not to think about Amsterdam’s new 7,000 space underwater bike parking garage

A bicycling group slammed plans for an elevated bike and pedestrian pathway through Brussel’s European Quarter, calling it an unneeded vanity project.

A new Japanese study shows that traveling farther distances by walking or cycling may help older adults prevent early functional disability and mortality.

This is why you don’t try to stop a bike thief yourself. A 16-year old Australian boy is on trial for fatally stabbing a man who was trying to stop him from stealing a kids bike; he was reportedly overheard confessing the crime to his best friend by the other boy’s mother.

 

Competitive Cycling

Australia’s Grace Brown beat Amanda Spratt in a sprint to win the final stage of the women’s Tour Down Under, topping the podium for the three-stage race.

Rain put a damper on the men’s Tour Down Under prologue won by Italy’s Alberto Bettiol; Australia’s Rohan Dennis won stage 2.

Bicycling reports competitors in the Tour Down Under’s individual time trial went out of their way to bend the rules prohibiting time trial bikes. Read it on AOL, which somehow still exists, if the magazine blocks you.

British pro James Knox was kicked off the Tour Down Under for drafting on a team car after he crashed; needless to say, he was not pleased.

Mark Cavendish will get one more chance to set the record for most stage wins at the Tour de France after signing with Astana-Qazaqstan; the 37-year old pro from the Isle of Man is currently tied with the legendary Eddy Merckx at 34 stage wins. As it turns out, I have something in common with Cav, since the Isle of Man is my family’s ancestral home, as well. 

 

Finally…

That feeling when authorities attempt to thin the herd by placing a power pole in the middle of a cycle track. Or when you’re driving drunk on three wheels, when you should have four.

And more proof you can haul ass on your bike.

Or a donkey, anyway.

https://twitter.com/MazaCiclismo/status/1615380185171349506

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

US traffic deaths down slightly, bike deaths up; CA not worst for bike riders; curb protected lanes coming to 7th Street

My apologies. 

I inadvertently posted this post and emailed it to subscribers before I had a chance to finish editing it.

So if you received a mistake-filled draft, I’m sorry for the mistake.

………

The Washington Post is reporting that traffic deaths fell slightly in the US in the first nine months of last year.

According to the paper, traffic fatalities were down 0.2 percent compared to the same period last year, a welcome if modest drop after record increases during the pandemic.

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aka NHTSA, showed nearly 31,800 people were killed in crashes from January through September. That follows increases of 7 percent in 2020 and 10.5 percent in 2021.

However, the news isn’t as good for bike riders and pedestrians. Deaths continued to climb two percent for pedestrians and eight percent for people on bicycles in the first six months of 2022; nine month figures aren’t currently available.

………

Hats off to Nebraska, which was named the nation’s safest state for people on bicycles, where just 15 people died in bicycle-related crashes over the past decade, even as the Bike League ranks it the second-least bike friendly state.

Neighboring South Dakota came in second in the NHTSA’s bike safety ranking, while placing fifth from the bottom in the Bike League’s assessment.

Not surprisingly, Florida and Louisiana ranked first and second from the bottom as the nation’s most dangerous states for bike riders.

California was apparently somewhere in the middle, since it doesn’t show up in the top ten states, or the bottom five.

………

Work is proceeding on the long-promised curb protected bike lane on 7th Street between Figueroa and San Pedro streets in DTLA, which was one of the conditions for approving construction of the 62-story Wilshire Grand Center.

………

LADWP is funding a half-million dollar program to rent out ebikes for up to nine months with a single $20 donation; however, the former Jump bikes used in the Pacoima program can’t be charged at home, and have to be taken to taken in to have the battery swapped.

………

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

No bias here. A Staten Island columnist complains about efforts to expand Vision Zero and speed cams throughout the state, taking away his God-given right to a) speed, and b) kill people with his car, apparently.

No bias here, either. North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is proposing a daytime ban on bikes at the beach this summer, with bikes prohibited from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. Because apparently, beaches are only for people in cars.

After a German bike rider slammed into the trunk of a turning car after being right hooked, The Sun newspaper tries to stir up controversy by asking who was in the wrong.

………

Local 

Let’s give a grateful thank you to Pasadena’s Lin Realty, whose staff built 150 bikes to donate to the city’s Boys and Girls Club.

The recently passed federal budget bill includes $22.6 million in earmarks for coastal cities, with $1 million of that budgeted to the Manhattan Beach Safe Cycling Project, which is intended to provide a safe bike route to the beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail by way of Highland and 45th Street.

 

State

The nationwide Black Girls Do Bike organization is celebrating its first ten years with a meetup in San Diego at the end of August, coinciding with the annual Bike the Bay ride. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A Folsom man is suing the city over dangerous road conditions after he was struck by a turning driver while riding in a bike lane.

 

National

NPR talks with Cycling Savvy bicycle safety instructor John Schubert about how to safely ride a bike in the city.

Momentum Magazine examines three more American cities that have embraced bicycling. And no, Los Angeles is not one of them.

Bike Portland compares advisory lanes in the Oregon city with the ones in Utrecht, the Netherlands, where they originated.

Last year was a bad one for Las Vegas area bike riders and pedestrians, with 14 bicyclists and 72 pedestrians killed in Clark County.

This is what Los Angeles bike riders have to look forward to. An Austin, Texas bike rider recorded a self-driving General Motors’ Cruise robotaxi veering dangerously into a bike lane; fortunately, no one was riding in the bike lane at the time. Waymo is testing its autonomous vehicles in LA in anticipation of rolling out its robotaxi service; no word on whether they’re programed to respond to an extended middle finger. 

Tragic news from Houston, where a man riding in a bike lane with his wife was struck by a motorcyclist traveling at highway speeds on the surface street, killing both men in what a police spokesperson termed a “very avoidable’ crash.

That’s more like it. The Texas Department of Transportation announced plans to invest $250 million in bike and pedestrian projects.

The accused terrorist who killed eight people with a speeding pickup on a Manhattan bike path five years ago reportedly smiled to an FBI agent as he proudly confessed to his murderous rampage.

A Chattanooga, Tennessee woman is suing the local bikeshare provider for nearly $900,000 after she was knocked unconscious when she was thrown from what she says was a defective or poorly maintained bike.

Horrible news from Georgia, where an 11-year old boy was hospitalized after he was attacked by dogs while riding with a friend.

 

International

Good idea. Alberta mounties are using billboards in an effort to find the hit-and-run driver who killed a 45-year old woman riding a bike last July.

English actor Mark Williams is one of us, as the star of the popular Father Brown murder mystery series fell off his bike while filming; fortunately, he only hurt his pride.

Britain’s anti-bike lawyer who calls himself Mr. Loophole shocked visitors to his website by suggesting that drivers make it their New Years resolution to give bike riders more space when passing.

Dublin artists are concerned that plans for a separated bike lane could destroy a 40-year old tradition of an open-air art gallery, since the bikeway would mean they couldn’t park right next to the park fence they use to display their works. Because apparently, it’s impossible to park further away and use a dolly or some other device to transport their paintings another few feet.

An Irish court heard a 54-year old father riding a bicycle was killed by a semi truck driver who attempted to pass him just 20 inches from the victim’s handlebars — or the length of three or four soup spoons, as the prosecutor described it.

Hanoi will mark this month’s Tet lunar new year celebration by rolling out the city’s first bikeshare system.

Chinese bikeshare company Mobike’s Australian branch has gone into liquidation following a second failed attempt to crack the Aussie market, leaving over 1600 bikes worth about $1.3 million abandoned on the streets and in warehouses.

 

Competitive Cycling

The trial continues for two men accused of the masked home invasion robbery of British cycling great Mark Cavendish and his family, as Cavendish describes getting punched by a robber and having a knife held to his throat.

Forty-seven-year old Cat 3 cyclist Noslen Ruiz-Gutierrez received a four-year doping ban (scroll down) after a urine test revealed six — count ’em, 6 — banned substances; Ruiz-Gutierrez argued that his doping didn’t matter because he races for recreation, not competition. Sure, try telling that to the other racers he’s not competing against.

 

Finally…

At last, an ebike designed to move your anvils. And repeat after me — when you’re carrying meth on your bike at 2 am, put a damn light on it, already.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Study shows bike injuries down, CicLAvia comes to Sherman Way, and NYC safety advocate killed by uninsurable driver

Before we start, I need to correct yesterday’s story. 

A comment from Dawn made it clear that I had miscategorized a story about her father’s August death in Irvine. 

After correcting it and adding it back into the totals for OC, that made 17 people killed riding their bikes in the county last year, and 82 in Southern California. 

Here are the corrected totals for Orange County. 

Orange County

  • 2022 – 17
  • 2021 – 7
  • 2020 – 14
  • 2019 – 13

My apologies for the mistake. 

………

A new study from the Medical University of South Carolina mixes apples and oranges to conclude that bicycling injuries are decreasing, despite an increase in ridership.

Except the study period, which showed a 1/3 drop in bicycling injuries, ran from 2012 to 2021, while the jump in ridership they cited came from 2000 to 2014 — including a dozen years before the study period.

Never mind that the increase in ridership stemmed from “public bicycle utilization,” which sounds suspiciously like they may be referring to bikeshare use, which exploded because of the exponential growth of bikeshare programs as they spread across the US.

Not necessarily because more people were riding bicycles.

However, they at least have to wisdom to conclude that the reason for the decrease is outside the scope of the current study. But then shoot themselves in the foot by speculating that at least part of the reason could be due to the increase in indoor cycling.

And yes, that could have something to do with it. But only because indoor cycling and outdoor bicycling are two entirely different things, with one presenting far less risk of falling off your bike or getting struck by a carless or distracted driver.

Unless maybe you live on the 405.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

………

CicLAvia announced LA’s first open streets event of 2025, unveiling a map for a five-mile route along Sherman Way in the San Fernando Valley on the last Sunday in February.

It’s just the first of what’s planned to be eight CicLAvias throughout the Los Angeles area this year.

………

Heartbreaking news from New York, where 85-year old author and safety advocate Norman Fruchter was killed by a reckless driver who backed over him at high speed, then hit him a second time going forward.

His death came 25 years after his wife, renowned health researcher and practitioner Rachel Fruchter, was killed riding a bike in New York’s Prospect Park.

Fruchter had responded to his wife’s needless death by becoming one of the city’s leading bike and pedestrian safety advocates, and was a driving force behind the eventual ban on cars in the park.

In a tragic irony, both Norman and Rachel Fruchter were killed by drivers considered uninsurable due to their bad driving records. And both killers were allowed to walk without charges by the NYPD.

Just two more examples of authorities keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late.

And even then, letting them off to kill again.

………

Streets For All is hosting a family friendly Westside bike meetup in Culver City on the 22nd.

………

I followed the years long fight over this road diet. So it’s nice to see the NIMBYs were wrong.

Again.

https://twitter.com/WarrenJWells/status/1610859560268632064

………

An Indian boy was caught on video carefully tying his little sister’s legs to his bike frame to keep her from falling off.

………

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

No bias here. A San Luis Obispo writer whines that it’s just too hard to drive if you have to safely change lanes to avoid killing someone on a bicycle, let alone watch out for people crossing the street so you don’t kill them, either.

A corner-cutting driver nearly hit a Welsh bicyclist head on as he patiently waited to make a left turn. So naturally, the car’s passenger gets out to yell at the bike rider that he was going to cause a crash.

No bias here, either. Bike riders in Malta will now be required to wear a helmet in an effort to reduce head injuries, while e-scooter riders will be required to wear a helmet and hi-viz. Never mind that at least some of the reduction in injuries from mandatory helmet laws has been shown to stem from reducing  bicycling rates. And don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer in wearing a helmet, and never ride without one. But mandating helmet use is counterproductive, reducing bicycling rates while leading to over-policing of low income residents and people of color.

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

More on the Kiwi ebike-riding man who repeatedly kicked a paralyzed handcyclist in the face, apparently simply for the crime of overtaking him. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough.

………

Local 

Streets For All founder Michael Schneider urges Los Angeles to stop wasting space and money by imposing parking minimums, calling it counterproductive to building desperately needed housing and fighting climate change.

Go SGV is offering ebikes for longterm rental, with prices starting at just $49 a month for students and $69 monthly for other renters, and e-cargo bikes starting at $129 a month.

 

State

Brea-based Aventon announced permanent price cuts up to 20% off its entire current ebike line, in anticipation of new 2023 models.

Encinitas will host the city’s Cyclovia open streets event on South Coast Highway 101 from 10 am to 2 pm this Sunday; the rain predicted for Los Angeles isn’t expected to extend that far south, so you should be in for good riding.

A Santa Rosa paper explains California’s new law requiring drivers to change lanes when possible to pass a bike rider. Which the SLO writer above seems to think is just too darn hard. 

 

National

A higher education website questions whether college e-scooter bans is an over-reaction, blaming infrastructure built for cars for at least part of the problem. And yes, it is. 

The Consumer Products Safety Commission announced a recall of 9,000 Salsa and Whisky carbon handlebars, which can crack near the brake/shift levers.

Someone who apparently doesn’t understand the meaning of ghost bikes is placing white-painted kids bikes with plastic doves on the handlebars at intersections throughout Portland, making the city’s bicycling community mistakenly fear there’s been a rash of children killed riding their bikes in recent weeks.

He gets it. A Kansas City op-ed writer says the city’s new bike lanes aren’t just for “serious” bicyclists. In fact, it’s the so-called serious bicyclists who need them least; bike lanes serve to encourage reluctant riders to feel safer and give bicycling a try. 

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, if a wounded one this time, as a Chicago man riding a bicycle was shot in the elbow when he tried to stop a thief from breaking into a car. No word on whether he was successful at stopping the thief, or if he sacrificed his elbow in vain.

A Michigan state agency has ruled a pair of Black Detroit judges were in the wrong when they blamed racism for a dispute with a bike rental shop, and says they shouldn’t have identified themselves as judges to the shop workers and the police. Needless to say, the judges disagree, even though they ended up with a 100% discount.

In a truly bizarre case, a Michigan sheriff is asking a killer hit-and-run driver who confessed in an anonymous letter to come forward, 31-years after killing a 24-year old man whose body and bicycle were found in a flooded ditch a full month after the crash.

Life is cheap in Indiana, where a driver will spend just two years behind bars for killing a bike rider last April, followed by three years of work release.

New York advocates are pushing the governor to expand New York City’s Vision Zero program statewide, even though NYC’s program has only resulted in an 18% drop over ten years. But at least that’s better than traffic death rates going up, like they have in LA’s Vision Zero program

A DC letter writer says bike lanes are “for the potential benefit of the few to the detriment of the many;” insisting the city will never be Amsterdam. Then again, Amsterdam wasn’t Amsterdam until people had the will to encourage bike use and discourage driving. Which any city, anywhere can do.

Florida’s famous one-legged Black bicyclist suffered a broken neck and partial paralysis when he was struck by an SUV driver while riding to work the week before Christmas; fortunately, Leo Rodgers — aka The Black Flamingo — has started to regain feeling below the waist. A crowdfunding campaign has raised nearly $74,000 of the $130,000 goal for his recovery and medical care.

 

International

A Banff, Alberta city councilor is proposing speed limits for ebikes on city trails.

A new Dutch study shows half of likely ebike buyers would question their purchase if they were faced with a mandatory bike helmet requirement, and nearly a quarter would stop riding altogether. And yes, that’s in the Netherlands, which is arguably the world’s most bicycling obsessed country. Or maybe normalized is a better word. 

An Indian bicyclist describes his attempt to set a new Guinness record for riding between two towns 300 miles apart, with 23,000 feet of elevation gain in between.

A half-dozen dockless bikeshare operators are betting on success in Sydney, Australia, despite the country’s reputation as a sometimes watery graveyard for bikeshare.

 

Competitive Cycling

Trial continues for the men accused of robbing British cycling champ Mark Cavendish, as the court heard testimony about the late-night home invasion at knifepoint.

American pro cyclist Gavin Mannion unwillingly called it a career after 12 years, after failing to receive a contract to ride this year.

The popular Belgian Waffle Rides are taking over North America, with new rides expanding to Mexico and Canada.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your new e-cargo bike for working professionals is priced out of the reach of much of your target market. Or when you’re riding from Maine to Florida on one wheel — in the middle of winter.

And this is the kind of parking minimums we like to see.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

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