Tag Archive for Boyle Heights

Morning Links: Arrest made in Boyle Heights hit-and-run, Jeff Jones ghost bike tonight, and bike tourism for a cause

The LAPD made fast work of its search for the hit-and-run driver who critically injured a bike-riding father of five in Boyle Heights last week.

They got their man one day after announcing a $25,000 reward, arresting 23-year old Canoga Park resident Luis Raya-Flores for the crime.

Police said Raya-Flores knew why they were there as soon as they showed up at his door, telling them he fled because he panicked.

Which doesn’t excuse a damn thing.

Or shouldn’t, anyway.

Raya-Flores was booked on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and being held in custody on an $80,000 bond.

The victim, 53-year old Boyle Heights resident Gabriel Lopez, was riding his bike to his job as a construction worker when Raya-Flores lost control of his speeding truck and smashed into him.

Now it will be at least a month before Lopez can return to the job he needs to feed his family.

And a lot longer than that before he gets justice in the case.

Photo from LAPD website.

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A ghost bike will be placed tonight for fallen cyclist Jeff Jones.

The well-known and well-liked bicyclist was killed Saturday on Griffith Park Blvd when a van driver made a U-turn in front of him.

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Today’s common theme is bike tourism for a cause.

The annual Bike & Build program is rolling across the US to raise funds for affordable housing — and actually build it.

A Michigan man is riding 3,100 miles through the upper Midwest to call for an end to gun violence, and promote a hotline for people thinking about using a firearm to harm others.

And a man is riding from Maine to California, by way of West Virginia, to raise awareness of brain injuries after he suffered major brain damage when he was run down by a drunk driver several years ago.

Although sometimes, just a well-planned bike tour without a cause is good enough.

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Take a four-minute mental health break and explore California’s undiscovered country with mountain biker KC Deane.

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Sometimes, it’s the people on bicycles behaving badly.

A white DC bike rider learned the hard way that justice goes both ways, after he gets a well-deserved three years behind bars for a racially fueled U-lock attack on a black motorist.

After bicyclists ignore a bike ban on an Aussie walkway, officials installed barricades that everybody hates.

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Local

Streetsblog’s SGV Connect podcast catches up with Active SGV director David Diaz.

Santa Monica police credit a reduction in e-scooters and a state law removing the helmet requirement to ride them with a nearly 500% drop in tickets to scooter riders.

 

State

San Diego bicyclists had their annual chance to ride the city’s iconic Coronado Bay Bridge over the weekend.

Speaking of which, here’s your chance to take a relaxed bike tour of Coronado with Ken “Fat Woody” McNeil and his handcrafted artisan beach cruisers.

Bakersfield police book a killer driver on DUI charges with a 12% BAC. Yet still manage to blame the victim for turning her bike in front of his car. As always, the credibility of the accusations depends on whether there were any independent witnesses to the crash, since the driver has an inherent bias to blame the victim and see his actions in the best possible light.

If only cars had brakes. A San Jose driver is shocked when a jogger yelled at him for not giving him enough room as he passed a parked school bus, insisting he couldn’t give the runner any more space because there was a car in the lane next to him (last item). Because evidently, it’s impossible to slow down or wait until it’s safe to pass.

St. Helena residents are being urged to ride their bikes during next month’s Walk and Roll to School month.

 

National

The New York Times offers tips on tourism using dockless ebikes, scooters or motorbikes to get around a city.

Bicycling lends an ear to complaints about bike shops. So if you own, run or work for an LBS — aka local bike shop — pay close attention, because bad service is the best way to drive customers online. And you know they’re already looking there.

Your next Specialized bike seat could be the result of lattice-structured 3D printing, for a cooler, shock absorbing ride.

A Portland bike park was damaged in a brush fire, but all the staff was able to escape safely.

A bighearted Arizona special needs van builder bought a new adaptive bike for one of their young customers after learning his bike had been stolen.

Police in Fayetteville AR tell pedestrians, bike riders and motorists that the way to avoid crashes is just pay attention.

A Minnesota city approves a controversial mountain bike trail through a nature park, despite fears it could compromise the habitat for an endangered bumble bee. I gotta go with the environmentalists on this one; no use should be allowed that threatens any endangered species, because once they’re gone, they ain’t coming back.

A Detroit columnist complains about the city’s “tepid” response to the death of a nine-year old girl who was mauled by a neighbor’s dogs as she was riding her bike.

Cincinnati is the latest city to roll out a mountain bike-mounted EMS unit to get paramedics to emergency situations faster.

No shit. A Rhode Island legislator urges the state not to take $37 million earmarked to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians to fix roads and bridges for drivers.

No bias here. Yes, a Cape Cod bike rider may be at fault for a crash. But if he ended up on the hood and windshield of a car, he’s probably not the one who did the colliding.

The NYPD responds to a series of bike crashes in Central Park by turning out in force to slow riders down.

New York provides bike riders and pedestrians with a spacious, 20-foot wide path on a new bridge span. But neglects to give them a safe way to get there.

After kids in their early teens start a ride out group to keep away from drugs and gangs, Schenectady NY city leaders respond with an ordinance allowing police to impound the kid’s bikes, because they piss off drivers and are too young to ticket. Although one former cop would rather use an old Soviet tactic and just toss them in a psych ward.

South Philadelphia is one of the top bicycling neighborhoods in the US. But that doesn’t seem to matter to local residents, who refuse to sacrifice 24 parking spaces to protect human lives.

Sad news from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where a 14-year old boy was fatally shot as he rode his bicycle, just days after making the football team at his middle school. Seriously, this shit has got to stop.

Either a Florida supermarket employs costume makers, or a local TV station doesn’t know how to spell customer. And apparently, neither one knows bike riders don’t have to ride in the crosswalk.

A Miami weekly says you can survive in the city without a car, but you have to bike at your own risk.

 

International

Mexico’s biggest bikemaker is building a $25 million maquiladora plant with plans to begin exporting to the US. Which isn’t a bad idea in light of Trump’s tariffs on Chinese-made bicycles and parts.

Ottawa city councilors respond to a deadly year for bike riders by saying they want people on bikes to feel safe on the streets. Maybe Los Angeles city councilmembers could take the hint from them.

After getting back on his bike after breaking his leg in a major endo, a London writer finds drivers have gotten meaner. And hopes for a day when all city centers will be carfree.

Bike Biz takes a tour of Britain’s legendary Brooks saddle factory.

Time says the streets of Europe aren’t big enough for bicycle riders and e-scooterists.

 

Competitive Cycling

Watch two-time world mountain bike champ Danny Hart’s dream custom mountain bike build come together in 22 minutes.

Apparently, closing your eyes as you sprint for the finish in the fourth stage of the Vuelta makes you faster.

Evidently, Chloe Dygert Owen is doing a good job of overcoming her confidence issues, after demolishing the peloton to win all four stages of the Colorado Classic. Meanwhile, race organizers hope to add more European teams for next year’s edition of the women’s stage race.

 

Finally…

Who needs a bike path when you’ve got the Great Wall of China? Despite what the company says, Peloton is less than a bike because bikes have wheels.

And if you’re going to burglarize a store, don’t leave the keys in your truck where a bike-riding car thief can find them.

 

Morning Links: $25,000 reward for Boyle Heights hit-and-run, new candidate for LA CD8, and bike stolen every 15 seconds

LAPD Central Traffic detectives are looking for a hit-and-run driver who left a Boyle Heights man lying in the street with severe injuries.

And the city is offering a $25,000 reward to bring the heartless coward to justice.

The victim was riding his bike east on Whittier Boulevard near Calzona Street around 10:20 pm last Thursday, when a speeding pickup driver traveling in the opposite direction lost control and swerved onto the wrong side of the road, hitting him head-on.

The man, identified by KNBC-4 as Gabriel Lopez, a 53-year old father of five, was pulling a kid’s bike trailer behind his bike. Fortunately, no one was in it.

Lopez was released after just four days in the hospital, despite suffering a fractured back, blood clot and numerous scrapes and bruises. And can’t feed his family until he can get back to work as a construction worker.

Which is likely to take a very long time.

Police are looking for a distinctive white 2011-2018 Chevrolet/GMC full-size pickup with a red front bumper and lower valance air deflector, black rims and a black bed cover. The truck may have a custom white rear bumper, and possible aftermarket headlamps and tail lamps.

The crash was caught on security cameras from two separate angles. However, be sure you really want to see it before you click play, because they’re not easy to watch. And you can’t unsee it once you do.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD Central Traffic Division at 213/833-3713, or LAPD Detective Juan Campos at 213/486-0755; you can also email Det. Campos at 31480@lapd.online.

Let’s hope Lopez makes a full and fast recovery.

And the cops catch the jerk who did this to him.

Photo of suspect hit-and-run vehicle from LAPD. Thanks to John Damman and the LAPD Central Traffic Division for the heads-up. 

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As long as we’re talking hit-and-run, City News Service offers more details on the march to honor 15-year old hit-and-run victim Roberto Diaz and call for safe streets in South LA.

Remarkably, Diaz has forgiven the hit-and-run driver who nearly killed him as he rode his bike in a crosswalk.

Which doesn’t mean he should escape justice, as the heartless coward is still missing, with a $25,000 bounty on his or her head, as well.

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Which brings to someone who wants to help make those safer streets a reality.

Denise Francis Woods recently announced her campaign to represent South LA’s CD8 in the Los Angeles City Council, replacing Marqueece Harris-Dawson.

I offered her the chance to introduce herself to the bicycling community. Here’s what she had to say.

I am a life long resident of District 8 in Los Angeles, better known as South LA. I became aware of your site not along ago when Fredrick Woon Frazier was killed. I participated in a lot of the demands for change on several busy streets here, such as Manchester, to add efficient bike lanes. During those times I hadn’t even considered becoming a candidate, but over time, after not seeing any change in my community on many levels, I decided to take on the fight for social and economic justice for my fellow constituents.

I do not know a lot about the biking world. What I do know is that I’m an activist for doing the right things and fighting injustice for all. In regards to the biking world, I see a serious injustice in our local biking community here in South LA, where the bikers have not been given what is required in order to be safe while riding. As the councilwoman for the this district, I will make sure bike lanes are added to our major streets, in particular to Manchester, in honor of “Woon” and the other gentleman whom was also killed on Manchester recently.

Sounds like we could do a lot worse. Especially with someone who seems willing to listen and learn.

Then actually do something about it.

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A new study from the Project 529 bike registry shows a bicycle is stolen in North America every 15 seconds — which works out to two million to bikes every year.

It also shows only 20% of those thefts are reported to the police. One reason just 5% of stolen bikes are ever returned to their owners.

Meanwhile, fellow bike registry Bike Index says they’ve helped recover over $8 million in stolen bicycles since 2013. And now they’re promoting stolen bike alerts on Facebook to help get more people on the lookout, and more bikes back home where they belong.

You can get free lifetime registration with Bike Index’s nationwide database right here on this site; Project 529 also offers free registration, though I don’t know what, if any, restrictions apply.

Best advice is to register your bike with every service you can to maximize your chances of getting your it back.

Especially if it doesn’t cost you a cent.

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Be careful scanning those QR or bar codes for dockless bikes or scooters.

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CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew is looking for help fixing up a ghost bike and honoring 15-year old Sebastian Montero, who was killed by a speeding driver on Easter Sunday last year.

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

Company officials gave the “psychotic” driver of a Mr. Softee ice cream truck a stern talking to after he reportedly parked in a bridge bike lane and threatened riders who complained, telling him to “knock off the stupid stuff.” Yeah, that ought to do it. Sure.

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Local

Streetsblog says the new ultra-modern suspension bridge over the LA River is nearing completion.

A new map shows block-by-block and hour-by-hour how Los Angeles belches smog into the air — and into your lungs. But sure, let’s keep fighting bikeways and alternative transportation, and demanding our God-given right to drive until we all die and take the Earth with us.

Area residents call for protected bike lanes on Sunset Blvd from East Hollywood to Dodger Stadium; the Sunset4All proposal would replace painted lanes with protective devices, improving safety while creating a prime bicycling corridor — and keeping parked trucks out. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the tip.

 

State

It was a rough summer at Orange County’s Chapman University, as three students died during the break — including Pablo Valdez, who was killed by a pickup driver while riding on Oso Parkway in Las Flores last month.

This is why you shouldn’t try to intervene if you see someone stealing a bicycle. A woman is on trial for first-degree murder for shooting a Bakersfield man who tried to stop her from stealing a bike. Call the police and let them deal with it. And take pictures or video if you can do it safely.

Maybe Facebook isn’t entirely evil, after all. Robert Leone sends word that the massive Menlo Park company held a free bike repair clinic over the weekend to get kids and adults rolling again.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 73-year old bike rider successfully tackles a hill climb challenge on NorCal’s Old Priest Road, a road so steep even the Amgen Tour of California said no thanks — and boasting an elevation gain of 1,630 feet in 2.5 miles, with a grade of up to 15.4%.

 

National

Writing for Bicycling, Peter Flax turns fashion critic, concluding he was wrong about Primal’s bike jerseys being the Nickelback of cycling apparel. Although they have some new competition coming from Australia.

A new study shows spending time in urban green space — aka parks and trails — can make you as happy as Christmas Day. But is that Christmas as a kid when you got exactly what you wanted, or sad adult Christmas when your significant other dumps you and all you get is underwear from your folks?

Denver votes to boot e-scooters off the sidewalk and onto the streets, reversing the previous rules that required them to be ridden on sidewalks.

After officials posted notices urging bicyclists to use caution on a Denver-area trail, someone trolled them with their own — and better — signs.

A Kansas man was a one man crime wave, stealing a man’s car, cellphone and wallet, followed by making off with a woman’s bicycle, assaulting a police officer, and threatening to shoot up a bar.

In what may be the best video you see today, a 12-year old Oklahoma boy with cerebral palsy rides an adaptive bike for the first time, thanks to a Tulsa nonprofit.

Now that’s a good kid. A Northern Michigan girl is collecting cans to buy new bikes for less fortunate kids.

After a Columbus, Ohio boy’s bike was stolen from a friend’s porch after the first day of school, bighearted teachers at the school pitched in to buy him a new one.

A New York condo owner says a lawsuit from the building’s board intended to halt a Central Park West bike lane is out of order, because the board violated the building’s by-laws — and possibly state law — in not one, not two, but three distinct ways.

An ebike rider was critically injured in a collision with a 72-year old pedestrian  in New York’s Central Park; the pedestrian, who wasn’t seriously injured, was in a crosswalk, though it was unclear who had the right of way. Three other bike riders were injured within feet of the first crash site, suggesting the problem goes way beyond mere carelessness. Which didn’t stop a local TV station for blaming bike riders for an “alarming rise” in collisions with people on foot. Never mind who’s actually at fault. Thanks to Mike Cane for the tip.

A Lafayette, Louisiana man started a bike kitchen to keep fixable bikes out of landfills, after turning to one in Oakland when he was the victim of a home invasion and mugging.

 

International

Seriously? A Canadian driver insists there are no written rules for what bike riders are supposed to do when bike lanes end before intersections, apparently never having studied the rules of right-of-way. And that bicyclists put drivers in harms way by traumatizing them when we make them kill us.

He gets it. The founder and executive director of a Canadian transportation policy institute says “There is no war on cars. Everybody, including motorists, benefits from a more diverse and efficient transportation system.”

The Brits do have a way with words. An English bike rider calls new barriers blocking the entrance to a pathway a “potentially lethal abomination.”

Norway proposes spending $1 billion on bike highways through the hilly country.

Add this one to your coming bike bucket list. The European Union is helping to fund a 437-mile bike path though “the Amazon of Europe,” connecting Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Hungary and Serbia. Hopefully this one isn’t on fire, unlike its Brazilian counterpart.

As long as we’re in the Balkans, Slovenia is creating the country’s first e-mountain bike bikeshare network in the mountainous Upper Sava Valley. If it’s a pretty as the picture, why the hell aren’t we all there already?

A Taipei, Taiwan paper calls for educating bicyclists, noting that half of all crashes involving bicycles are the riders’ fault. Which means that half of them aren’t. But oddly, they don’t call for re-educating drivers, too.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Colombia, where a 16-year old junior cyclist was killed when she was hit by a truck driver while riding home from a training ride with six other cyclists.

A Boulder CO paper offers a trio of photos — and a few more photos — of the “iconic mountains and cityscapes” from the recent Colorado Classic, calling it the only standalone women’s pro cycling race in the Western Hemisphere.

Retired Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi received a two-year ban for his role in a doping ring run by a German doctor; Austrian cyclists Stefan Denifl and Georg Preidler both got four-year bans earlier this year for their involvement in the ring. But thank goodness the doping era is over, right?

American mountain bike world champ Kate Courtney looks back at her year in the rainbow jersey.

VeloNews says former elite runner Leigh Ann Ganzar has enjoyed a remarkable rise through the ranks of women’s pro cycling.

 

Finally…

Apparently, mediation is the ebike of the business world. No, you don’t have to lose your driver’s license to get an ebike, but it helps.

And forget Peter Sagan. It takes major skills to whack off while you’re riding.

Not to mention a callus indifference to going blind.

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Thanks to Denice H for her very generous donation to help defray the Corgi’s vet bills.

Your support is always welcome and appreciated, whether to help maintain this site, pay down massive corgi vet bills, or help get a new one…someday.

 

Update: Bike rider dies following wrong way collision in Boyle Heights last week

Word is just coming in that another bike rider has died after being hospitalized following a collision.

Last week EGP News reported that a bike rider had undergone surgery after suffering major injuries while riding in Boyle Heights.

The victim was riding against traffic on westbound Fourth Street near South Mission Road around 10:15 pm on Monday, October 12th when he was hit head-on; the driver remained at the scene.

An email from his niece identifies the victim as Adolfo “J.R.” Haro. The family just learned of the collision and his death because he was not carrying identification.

She also reports the driver was speeding.

A vigil will be held and a ghost bike installed at 6:30 tonight.

This is the 61st bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 23rd in Los Angeles County; it’s also the 10th bicycling death in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: An LAPD officer reports that Haro was walking his bike in the streets against traffic, rather than riding, even though there was a sidewalk he could have been using.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Adolfo “J.R.” Haro and his family.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the heads-up.

13-year old boy killed while walking his bike in Boyle Heights

Somehow, I missed this one.

La Opinion reports that a 13-year old boy was killed when he was hit by a car in Boyle Heights on Monday.

According to the Spanish language newspaper, the collision occurred near the intersection of Sheridan and Cummings Streets while he was walking his bike. KCBS-2 places the time of the collision around 7:50 pm; both sources say he died about four hours later.

The driver remained at the scene. No other details about the collision are available at this time, though KCBS says the car “slammed” into the boy, suggesting a relatively high-speed impact.

The victim was identified by La Opinion as Chris Rodriguez, described as a cheerful boy who frequently rode his bike around the neighborhood.

An altar with flowers and a helium balloon had appeared at the site by morning; the paper reports family members gathered around it, weeping inconsolably.

Adding to the tragedy, Rodriguez’ father had asked him not to go out that night, but the boy went out for what would be his last ride anyway.

Speeding cars make the intersection dangerous for children riding their bikes and skateboards, according to people in the neighborhood, who say a simple speed limit sign might have made a difference.

This is the eighth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in the County of Los Angeles; it’s also the first in the City of LA. That compares to 25 in the seven-county Southern California region this time last year, and 13 in the county.

As those numbers suggest, this has been one of the safest years in memory for SoCal cyclists so far.

But as this tragedy reminds us, even one death is one too many.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Chris Rodriguez and all his family. 

Thanks to LA Streetsblog‘s Joe Linton and Sahra Sulaiman for the heads-up.

Boyle Heights bike rider shot and killed by police; second in just three days

It’s happened again.

For the second time in just three days, an L.A.-area bike rider has been shot an killed by police, this time in Boyle Heights.

According to the L.A. Times, LAPD officers spotted a man described as known gang member carrying a gun while riding his bike near the intersection of South Gless and East 3rd streets. KTLA-5 says the rider, described only as between 18 and 28 years of age, threatened officers with his gun and was fatally shot following a brief foot pursuit.

No other details are available at this time.

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