Tag Archive for Costa Mesa

80-year old man riding bike killed by alleged stop sign-running DUI driver in Newport Beach Sunday afternoon

Sometimes the needless death of an innocent person doesn’t merit even a few inches in the local paper.

Let alone a passing comment on the nightly news.

On Monday, I started hearing reports of someone killed in a collision while riding a bicycle in Costa Mesa, based on posts from the notoriously unreliable Nextdoor app.

By Tuesday morning, the location had shifted to nearby Newport Beach, along with comments suggesting the driver had been arrested. But still no confirmation from the coroner’s office or any of the local news outlets.

Sadly, that changed with this cryptic press release from the OC Coroner.

The coroner reported that 80-year old Ernest Adams died at a Santa Ana medical center early Monday morning, following a collision somewhere in Newport Beach Sunday afternoon.

That was followed by a post on a Newport Beach news blog placing the 3:16 pm collision at 16th Street and Irvine Avenue in Newport Beach.

According to the site, multiple witnesses reported seeing the suspect blow through a stop sign before slamming into Adam’s bike; a street view shows a residential street controlled by a four-way stop, with bike lanes in three directions, next to Newport Harbor High School.

Twenty-year old Norwalk resident Alexis Garcialopez was reportedly arrested for DUI causing serious injury after failing a roadside sobriety test.

Hopefully, that will be upgraded to vehicular homicide in the wake of Adams’ death. Because after 80 years on this earth, he definitely deserved a better ending.

This is at least the 17th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ernest Adams and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Bill Sellin and Lois for the heads-up.

Update: 12-year boy killed riding with dad in Costa Mesa crash; driver arrested for murder and DUI, as well as parole violation

Some things are just too sad for words.

Like the death of a 12-year old boy who was just out for a bike ride with his dad.

And murdered by an intoxicated driver who was somehow entrusted to operate a deadly machine.

Okay, allegedly intoxicated.

According to the Daily Pilot, Noel Bascon was riding in a crosswalk with his father near the Costa Mesa skate park around 5:55 Sunday night, when he was run down by the driver of a rented pickup truck.

A witness began CPR before police officers responding to the crash took over until paramedics arrived. But despite their efforts, he was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

A news release from the Costa Mesa Police Department places the crash near Junipero and Arlington Drives.

Fifty-nine-year old Long Beach resident Richard Lavalle was driving east on Arlington when he reportedly ran a stop sign, throwing Baskin several feet through the air.

Despite being under the influence — again, allegedly — and on parole, Lavalle remained at the scene.

He was booked on charges of murder and DUI, as well as a parole violation.

The murder charge suggests that Lavalle has a previous conviction for driving under the influence, and signed a Watson Advisement warning that he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving drunk or stoned in the future.

His passenger, 56-year old Artesia resident Lee Anna Diaz Murphy, was booked on possession of controlled substances and possession of unlawful paraphernalia.

Anyone with information is urged to call Costa Mesa Traffic Investigator Kha Bao at 714/754-5264.

This is at least the 63rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 17th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

Update: Lavalle is being held without bail after he was charged with second-degree murder, and faces up to 30-years behind bars if he’s convicted.

My News LA confirms he was driving while stoned, and did receive a Watson Advisement following a 2013 conviction for driving under the influence in San Diego County; otherwise, he would have faced a manslaughter charge. 

He could also be charged with a third strike after robbery convictions in 2009 and 2018, which could mean a possible life sentence. 

His passenger, Lee Anna Murphy, has yet to be charged despite being found in possession of illegal drugs and paraphernalia. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Noel Bascom and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up. 

Breaking news: 68-year old Costa Mesa bike rider killed in collision with tow truck driver Friday night

It’s been a week for SoCal bike riders.

According to a release from the Costa Mesa Police Department, a Costa Mesa man was killed in a collision while riding his bike Friday night.

The victim, who was publicly identified only as a 68-year old man, was riding on the 2900 block of Harbor Blvd when he was struck by a tow truck driver around 11:30 pm.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver stayed after the crash, and was not suspected of being under the influence.

Unfortunately, no other information is available at this time.

A street view shows a six lane divided roadway with a wide sidewalk, lined with a number of car dealerships; it’s possible the driver was entering or leaving a car lot at the time of the crash.

Anyone with information is urged to contact to contact Costa Mesa PD Traffic Investigator Darren Wood at 714/754-5264.

The victim’s death comes two days after another Orange County man died in an apparent solo fall 15 miles away while riding in the bike lane on PCH in Seal Beach.

The same day, a 16-year old boy died a week after he was struck by a driver in Santa Paula.

This is at least the 47th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th that I’m aware of in Orange County, continuing a very bad year for bike riders in the county.

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

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Murder charge for killer of Costa Mesa fire captain, Mehta hit-and-run hearing, and racing with a feeding tube

Let’s catch up with a few court cases.

Starting with the allegedly stoned killer of Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza, courtesy of our anonymous courtroom correspondent.

Stephen Taylor Scarpa’s arraignment, scheduled for last Friday, was delayed again.

There are so many facets of this case that don’t look good for him: his status as an addict; his admission during interrogation that he should not have been driving; the amount and sheer number of drugs in his system; the presence in his vehicle of drugs obtained from an alleged overprescriber; his crash after “passing out” behind the wheel earlier in the year… etc.

He’s going down.

What perplexes me is the murder charge, because I can’t find any evidence of a prior DUI conviction — within LA or Orange County, at any rate. He could have priors elsewhere.

The Watson law is specific in its requirements: party has to be informed upon a DUI conviction of the possibility of a murder charge if said party kills someone while DUI.

So, this would mean, wouldn’t it, that Scarpa’s been convicted in some court at some point within the past 10 years?

A Watson advisement notwithstanding, PSA’s, American alcohol ads, and the DMV paperwork you sign before the state issues you a license all tell you that DUI is dangerous. But is that bombardment of facts enough to define malice, which is a required component of murder?

There’s one other thing that might convince a jury that Scarpa was aware of the dangers of DUI, enough so to convict of murder and not just manslaughter.

In 2011, as a student at Esperanza High, he participated in an Every Fifteen Minutes event, which is pretty comprehensive. In addition to pulling “dead” students out of classrooms every 15 minutes, a simulated collision is set up on campus, with the driver “arrested,” and moulaged “injured” & “dead” students extricated from the wreckage. These actors don’t go home that night; they’re sequestered overnight at a hotel, where they write a “Today I died” letter to their parents. (The parents also write to their dead kids.) The next day, these letters are read aloud at a school assembly.

Scarpa was one of the dead who was extricated from a mangled vehicle, who told his parents he died, who read this letter to his entire school.

I hope, every night before he falls asleep, he thinks of all the letters Mike Kreza never gets to write.

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Next up is yesterday’s hearing for the romance authorMedium contributor and Mercedes convertible driver convicted of a hit-and-run that left a Costa Mesa bike rider with a broken ankle.

Pratiti Renee Mehta is back from her vacation in Chowchilla Women’s Facility. She’s in custody in County, awaiting a court appearance this morning. I will be there, because I am a horrible person and will enjoy seeing her violent, unrepentant ass in saggy jail-issued fashion and shackles. The sentencing was in July, and I missed it. How it wasn’t  on my calendar, I dunno. (Busy week with the PAC on the 18th and the Caltrans D7 BAC on the 19th, but I wouldn’t have skipped the sentencing for anything.)

Due to a “clerical inadvertency,” Mehta had been sent up to state prison prior to a required sentencing assessment.

According to court records, on July 17th, the Defense’s request to reduce the felony hit-and-run count to a misdemeanor was denied, and then the judge sentenced Ms. Mehta to 3 years in state prison.

Two other things surprise me about the sentence: (1) The judge actually threw the book at her, wow. (2) The People didn’t request anything close.

That’s right, the People actually requested leniency: 90 days in County and an additional 200 hours of community service. For a woman who broke a guy’s bones, left him in the street, and then put in deliberate effort to lie to the cops about it. I remain furious that the ADW charge didn’t stick.

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Great piece about an 18-year old competitor in Saturday’s Hillclimb World Championships, who almost literally climbed out of her deathbed to become one of the top young American riders.

Hannah Jordan suffers from an unknown metabolic disorder that prevents her body from storing glucose; when she started on an intravenous formula from a Santa Barbara company, she began to thrive — and kick ass on her bicycle.

She’ll compete in Phil Gaimon’s hillclimb competition on Gibraltar Road with the feeding tube attached, then may train for international competition at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs CO.

And yes, her tube has been approved for competition.

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Four Boston kids were extremely lucky to avoid serious injury when someone drove directly into them as they stood with their bikes between two parked cars, then sped off with at least one of the bikes still stuck beneath the car; a man says the driver may have been his daughter.

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CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew nearly gets impaled by someone’s pool cleaner.

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LA’s People for Mobility Justice needs your support for this year’s fundraiser.

https://twitter.com/ElRandomHero/status/1184226060696604672

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

An English bicyclist warned other riders to stop if a car pulls up next to them traveling at the same speed, after he was pushed off his bike by a passenger in a passing car.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 70-year old driver got two and a half years behind bars for using his car as a weapon to intentionally run down a bike rider and flee the scene — then came back to take pictures of his victim lying broken and bleeding in the street.

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

English police are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider who injured a woman getting out of a car when they collided as he was riding illegally on the sidewalk.

There’s a special place in hell for a Japanese man who rode his bike up from behind a bike-riding 17-year old girl and groped her breast as he rode past, telling police he just couldn’t control his lust for her. Which should be read as a confession from a total asshole.

Police in New York are investigating an apparent hate crime, after a man on a bicycle allegedly slapped a pedestrian in the face and called him “a dirty Jew.”

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Local

South Central bike riders marked the seventh anniversary of the still-unsolved hit-and-run death of Benjamin Torres as he was riding his bike to work in Gardena. I hope whoever did it can live with the guilt of murdering another human being; I know I couldn’t.

Traditionally bike-unfriendly USC now has yellow-jacketed officers to encourage bike riders, skateboarders and scooter users to hop off before crossing the school’s Hahn Plaza, where they’re all banned.

Someone with a sense of humor offered a tongue-in-cheek response to traffic safety deniers Keep Pasadena Moving’s highly biased survey about streets and transportation in the Rose City. Thanks to Topher Mathers for forwarding today’s best laugh.

 

State

Republicans are complaining about funding from California’s recent gas tax increase going exactly where voters were told it would, with some funds going to transit and active transportation projects instead of being used strictly for road repairs.

Streetsblog says Gavin Newsom’s veto of the state’s Complete Streets bill stinks, and that Caltrans’ reasoning for fighting it is “hogwash.” Someone suggested that we should now call getting hit by driver on a Caltrans-controlled street “getting Newsomed,” just like we called a close pass “getting Jerry Browned” after he repeatedly vetoed the three-foot passing law.

Virgilio Lemus Garcia, the 60-year old victim in Sunday’s Santa Ana hit-and-run, remains in grave condition; police are looking for a dark blue mid-’90s, four-door Honda Civic with probable front end damage and a possible shattered windshield.

Caltrans unveiled plans for a bike lane paralleling I-5 through Encinitas; needless to say, some people — including one bike activist — weren’t pleased.

Apparently never having heard of induced demand, Caltrans will close San Diego’s Friars Road this weekend in preparation for adding a fourth lane in each direction, along with sidewalks and bike lanes. Hopefully, they’ll also consider how the hell pedestrians are supposed to cross that massive monstrosity.

Faux-Danish city Solvang has adopted a new bike plan; needless to say, some residents aren’t happy about it.

For once, bikes get an equal footing with cars. Even if it’s only a benefit show for a Los Gatos art museum. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man died nearly three months after he and another man were hit while riding their bikes by a woman pulling out of a parking lot; the other man died at the scene. Seriously, how fast do you have to be driving to kill two people — let alone while exiting a parking lot?

It was the driver who lost his this time, after a San Jose motorist clipped a bike rider and crashed into a pole; the man on the bike was uninjured.

A San Francisco bike shop put a robot in charge of inventory so salespeople can spend more time with customers.

San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Authority votes unanimously to ban cars from the city’s iconic Market Street. Proving that it can be done on this coast, too. Are you listening, Mayor Garcetti?

 

National

Apparently, it’s okay to be nuts for nuts. But don’t eat too many because they can cause kidney stones, as I learned the hard way.

A new survey from Lime says scooter users don’t want to ride on the sidewalks, but do it anyway because they don’t feel safe on the street. Which is exactly the same reason many bike riders do. And the answer isn’t threatening or ticketing them, it’s building more and better bike lanes.

Seriously? LifeHacker belatedly discovers CO2 cartridges and figures they’re some sort of tire-filling hack.

This is exactly what we need in Los Angeles. A Tucson bike mechanic has developed an interactive map of low-stress residential streets connected with signalized intersections. It’s easy to find relatively low-stress streets in LA; the hard part is putting together a route with traffic signals to get you across LA’s many multi-lane traffic sewers.

Denver is losing its combination cafe, bar and bike shop at the end of the month.

A Colorado woman is riding four days, 158 miles and 8,000 feet of climbing over a high mountain pass, with a man suffering from cerebral palsy in tow.

There’s a rift in Iowa’s long-running RAGBRAI ride, as the entire staff resigned to start a new, seven-day ride across the state, in anger over how the newspaper sponsoring RAGBRAI handled racist tweets by the beer sign guy who raised $3 million for a children’s hospital.

Kansas City’s mayor wants to rip out a new protected bike lane less than a month after it was installed, saying it’s made things very difficult for businesses and residents. Apparently, it must have been installed on a whim, without any studies, since he wants to remove it the same way; any change to a roadway requires time for people to adjust to it before you know how its going to work out.

That’s more like it. A Wisconsin man faces up to 15 years behind bars and another 10 years of extended supervision after accepting a plea in the DUI hit-and-run death of a bike rider.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 89-year old White Plains NY man is back on his bike and preparing for his 20th annual 30-mile charity ride, just two years after heart surgery.

Queens bike riders complain about a terrifying, treacherous but critical route across the borough, after a man becomes just the latest bicyclist to be killed in New York; Streetsblog says if the city can’t protect a veteran rider like the man killed on Sunday, it can’t protect anyone.

A New York public advocate calls for a single unified plan to address bike lanes, homeless shelters and affordable housing, rather than uncoordinated plans for each.

Blackish star Tracee Ellis Ross is one of us, as she takes a bikeshare ride on Gotham streets in a dress and high heels.

A Philadelphia bicycle delivery worker says he stabbed a racist, road-raging driver in self-defense, after the other man threatened to “beat the black off” him, tackled him and lifted him up in the air; he faces a charge of voluntary manslaughter, a big reductio from the original charge of first-degree murder.

It’s no surprise that bicyclists are riding on Orlando, Florida walkways when there’s no safe place to ride on the streets. And no surprise the city is the nation’s most dangerous place for bike riders and pedestrians.

 

International

Wired calls the new Van Moof the ultimate ebike. Although it seems like what they really liked was the extra power from the boost button.

The London terrorist who intentionally drove at multiple bike riders, police officers and a pedestrian outside the British Parliament has been jailed for life.

An English thief got four years and three months for seriously injuring a bike rider on his way to church, while fleeing police after bungling a burglary.

The wife of an American diplomat — or maybe a spy — who claimed diplomatic immunity to flee the UK after the hit-and-run death of a young motorcyclist admits she was driving on the wrong side of the road, and wants to meet the man’s parents in New York to take responsibility for his death. But not, apparently, return to Britain to face charges.

A new British study shows a cheap, widely available drug could save hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide if given in the first few hours after a head injury; the medication, called tranexamic acid, costs the equivalent of less than $8 in the UK. Which means it will probably sell for a couple thousand dollars a dose in the US.

A woman in the UK says she overcame her crippling anxiety by learning to ride brakeless in a velodrome.

My favorite Scottish bike blogger goes riding in the City of Lights.

A pair of Afghan men rode their bikes 225 miles to call for peace in the war-torn country.

Two Indian brothers rode a tandem nearly 400 miles from Kolkata to Darjeeling, despite one having a leg crippled by polio since childhood.

 

Competitive Cycling

Legendary cyclist Eddy Merckx was in a Belgian ICU with a serious head injury he suffered in a fall while riding with friends on Sunday; the 74-year old, five-time Tour de France winner and noted bikemaker is considered by many to be the greatest rider of all time.

CyclingTips examines the cancellation of a WorldTour bike race through the gleaming towers of Hong Kong due to the protests in the troubled city. Is that enough to get this site blocked by Chinese censors, or do I have to try harder?

Bicycling says gravel is the new American road racing, while Cyclist says ‘cross may be the way to get more women into racing.

Next year’s Tour de France will feature all five of the country’s mountain ranges, as well as the shortest longest stage in Tour history.

Chris Froome could follow Greg LeMond in bouncing back from a life-threatening injury to win another Tour, especially if this year’s winner, Egan Bernal, agrees to support him in the race.

A 22-year old Australian driver has pled guilty to killing 23-year old pro cyclist Jason Lowndes while he was on training ride, after prosecutors dropped a distracted driving charge, accepting that she may have been using her phone moments prior to the crash, but not when she hit him.

 

Finally…

Fifty miles short of the goal, but still a wheelie long record. You may need your next e-scooter more than it needs you.

And it’s not a record jump if you don’t stick the landing.

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Thanks to John Hall for his generous donation to support this site, and help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way (nearly) every day. 

I know I’ve said this before, but if everyone who visits this site today gave just $10, it would be enough to fund my work for a full year.

And maybe even get a new Corgi.

 

Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza died, 2 days after he was struck allegedly stoned driver in Mission Viejo

In the end, a man who spent 18 years saving others couldn’t be saved himself.

News broke this morning that Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue Captain Mike Kreza had died, two days after he was after he was run down by an allegedly stoned driver while riding in Mission Viejo.

Kreza was training for an Ironman Triathlon when his bike was struck by a car driven by 25-year old Stephen Taylor Scarp around 8 am Saturday on Alicia Parkway near Via Burgos.

He was reportedly hit from behind as he was riding in the bike lane on eastbound Alicia Parkway, suffering critical wounds to the head and body.

The Costa Mesa Fire Department had reported that he was unresponsive as a Sunday afternoon, and surrounded by family and friends.

Scarp remained at the scene. He was arrested on suspicion of DUI after police found multiple prescription medications in his car. At last report he was being held on $100,000 bond, pending a hearing scheduled for tomorrow.

Kreza leaves behind a wife and three young daughters.

This is made even more tragic, not just because of the families he leaves behind — both his own and the close-knit firefighter community — but because so many of us owe our lives to the men and women who devote theirs to saving others.

He died, sadly and needlessly, not in a courageous effort to rescue someone else, but as one of us.

A crowdfunding campaign for his family has raised over $126,000 in just two days, more than five times the original $25,000 goal.

This is at least the 43rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Mike Kreza and all his family and loved ones. 

Thanks to Megan Lynch, Steve S and Steven Bonadio for the heads-up.

 

 

Morning Links: OC fire captain critical after DUI crash, Claremont cyclist murdered, and hit-and-run driver ID’d

Tragic news from Costa Mesa, where an 18-year veteran of the fire department is fighting for his life after he was run down by an allegedly stoned driver.

Fire & Rescue Captain Mike Kreza was riding on Alicia Parkway in Mission Viejo around 8 am when he was struck by a car driven by 25-year old Stephen Taylor Scarp, who remained at the scene.

Scarp was being held on $100,000 bond after police found multiple prescription medications in his car.

Kreza remains unresponsive; the Costa Mesa Fire Department tweeted that the next several hours will be critical.

A crowdfunding campaign has raised over $70,000 in just 24 hours, nearly triple the original $25,000 goal.

Let’s all say a prayer, or whatever you’re comfortable with, for Mike Kreza’s full and fast recovery.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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In case you missed it over the weekend, there was more bad news from Claremont, where a bike rider was murdered by a driver who allegedly used her car as a weapon.

Police say that Leslie Pray, a 54-year old Claremont resident, was intentionally run down by 61-year old Sandra Wicksted, also from Claremont.

Wicksted reportedly had swerved in the direction of other bicyclists just moments before turning her wheel towards Pray, and swerving across the roadway to slam into her bike as Pray rode in the bike lane on North Mills Avenue near Radcliffe Drive.

Police found several empty liquor bottles in Wicksted’s car after the crash. She was arrested on suspicion of murder, and being held on a $2 million bond.

Tragically, Pray had only started riding a few months earlier.

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The combative hit-and-run driver who killed a Van Nuys bike rider hours after Halloween, then fought with police who tried to take him into custody, has been identified as 20-year old Santa Monica resident Alexander Daniel Furtado.

No word yet whether he was actually in the military, as he claimed, or if the camo fatigues he was wearing were just a Halloween costume.

Furtado is being held on $50,000 bond for suspicion of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

The victim still has not been publicly identified.

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The LACBC’s annual Operation Firefly campaign, which hands out free bike lights to riders who need them, kicks off in San Pedro tonight.

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Lest ye forget, tomorrow is Election Day. And your chance to Bike the Vote for awhile.

Speaking of which, Bike the Vote LA offers their indispensable voters guide for tomorrow’s election.

The LA Times provides their total list of 2018 election endorsements.

LAist has advice on how to pick a judge to vote for.

Los Angeles Magazine explains what all those confusing propositions actually mean. And has a list of businesses that will give you a deal if you come in with your I Voted sticker .

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Local

No surprise here. Bird has filed suit against Beverly Hills and their misguided total ban on dockless bikes and scooters. The only question is what took them so long?

The map has been released for next month’s CicLAvia as it returns to the Heart of LA.

California announced the latest round of Bicycle and Pedestrian Education Grants, including $550,000 to SCAG’s Go Human campaign, and a total of $375,000 to the City of LA; Pasadena and Long Beach received $175,000 and $150,00, respectively.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton digs into the lawsuit from self-appointed NIMBY activists Fix the City trying to halt desperately needed growth along the Expo Line. And apparently not grasping that more residential building means less traffic, not more.

 

State

Riverside has opened its first bikeshare system with 55 ped-assist ebikes.

Ride through the Anza Borrego Desert State Park on November 17th, and get rewarded with a cold beer.

Hundreds of bike riders rode through Ventura County in the annual fundraising ride in honor of Mike Nosco, 14 years to the day after he was killed when his truck collided with an unlighted farm vehicle.

A new $13 million bike and pedestrian bridge with provide Palo Alto residents with a crucial link over the massive Highway 101 for the first time in 60 years.

San Mateo County bicyclists now have a safer, green bike lane across a dangerous bridge. Even if the photo clearly shows an SUV driving in it.

Uber’s JUMP Bikes ped-assist dockless e-bikeshare system has expanded throughout the Sacramento area, including bike friendly Davis.

 

National

Good question. A drivers website asks why hit-and-runs are at an all-time high nationwide, but doesn’t really come up with an answer. Although someone should tell them hit-and-run is a crime, not an accident.

General Motors is getting into the ebike biz — and they want you to name it.

A Portland homeowner posted a huge sign in his or her window demanding that bike riders cut some slack when they try to access their own driveways.

The Houston Chronicle says walking and biking in the city can be way too dangerous. Meanwhile, a Houston bike advocacy group is increasing the frequency of their bike safety classes, including what to do in an emergency situation, in the wake of a deadly year for the city’s bicyclists.

Once again, Texas copies California — this time our hit-and-run drivers, and the low bail for the crime. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the heads-up.

A Cincinnati TV station reminds us of the dangers to bike riders and pedestrians after yesterday’s time change. Speaking of which, this is what you look like to drivers in the dark without lights.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Wisconsin driver smashed into a group of girl scouts at they were picking up trash along the shoulder of a highway before fleeing the scene; three girls were killed along with a parent, and another girl is in critical condition.

A 57-year old New Hampshire man rode 5,000 miles across the US, accompanied by his eight-year old dog following behind in a trailer.

A New York resident tries various ways of getting around the city, giving ebike riding an A+ rating — if you can tolerate universal loathing.

A DC website says Philadelphia is kicking the district’s butt on Vision Zero, while a Philly magazine says the city is making progress, but still has a long way to goNever mind that they’re both miles ahead of LA.

A year after Hurricane Irma, a beachfront Hollywood FL bike path is still covered in sand.

One of the four Florida bicyclists run down by a 91-year old driver last week has been released; two others remain in serious/critical condition, while a fourth is in stable condition.

 

International

Evidently, it’s open season on bike riders in Canada. The father of an Ottawa crash victim called the verdict a disgrace as a driver was acquitted in the speeding, hit-and-run death of his bike riding son; the driver claimed he fell asleep at the wheel and had no idea he hit anything, despite awakening to a loud bang.

An English bike rider is snatching phones from unsuspecting women as he rides by.

Shocking yes, but not surprising. Six out of seven drivers who kill bike riders in the UK get off without any jail time. And only a third lose their licenses. It’s probably no different on this side of the Atlantic.

Horrible story from Britain, where an injured bike rider froze to death waiting for help in a cemetery, after police drove off when they didn’t find her when they responded to a call.

Great idea. An Irish politician proposes offering financial incentives to encourage kids to bike to school, similar to the country’s bike to work program.

No bias here. An Irish columnist calls for detente and cooler heads in the conflict between bicyclists and drivers — while painting bicyclists are crazed maniacs willing to go to war with the poor motorists, who have no choice but to drive.

How to plan your fall culinary tour of Copenhagen.

Caught on video: A 24-year old German artistic cyclist performs stunts Peter Sagan could only dream of.

Your spare parts could help keep riders on the road in Kampala, Uganda.

Logging the way to better Kiwi mountain biking.

Melbourne, Australia’s Green Party proposes a 10-mile, multi-lane bike superhighway as the centerpiece of the city’s nascent bicycle network.

The Australian version of Lifehacker considers weather you should get an ebike; among the downsides, they say, is people will hate you and you might hate yourself.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins defends his defense of Lance Armstrong, saying he’s “sick of being told how to feel about the sport by people who have never ridden a bike.”

The Cannibal heads Rouleur’s inaugural Cycling Hall of Fame class, along with famed bike builder Ernesto Colnago and British icon Beryl Burton.

VeloNews debates the merits of next year’s Tour de France versus Giro d’Italia routes.

 

Finally…

Forget bike riders, golfers should be the ones wearing helmets. If you’ve wanted to see Lance suffer, you finally got your wish.

And Apple wants to copy cycling’s pelotons for their electric cars.

Hopefully they’ll avoid taking half of it down by crossing wheels.

 

32-year old bike rider killed riding on freeway in Costa Mesa Friday night

Once again, a bike rider has been killed on a Southern California Freeway.

According to the Orange County Register, 32-year old Lakewood resident Gilbert Gutierrez III was struck by a car while riding on the transition road between the southbound 55 Freeway and the southbound 405 Freeway Friday night. My News LA places the time at 10:51 pm.

He reportedly crossed over both lanes on the transition road and was struck by a car traveling at an estimated 70 mph. He was declared dead at the scene.

The driver, a 24-year old woman from Yorba Linda, remained at the scene. She was not cited or arrested.

No explanation was given for why Gutierrez was on the freeway; bicycles are banned from most urban freeways in the state.

This is the 66th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in Orange County. He is also the third person to be killed while riding a bicycling on a SoCal freeway in the last two and a half years.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Gilbert Gutierrez III and all his loved ones. 

Morning Links: New dismount gates on Expo Line bike path, and OC DUI driver hits cyclist hours after getting new car

Still no luck getting email notifications for new posts working again. But we’re working on it. Please keep coming back every day until we get it fixed.

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The Source reports that Santa Monica has installed a set of six staggered gates on the Expo Line bike path in order to slow bicyclists down before intersections.

Or maybe make them dismount entirely.

According to the press release, the locked gates are required by the California Public Utilities Commission to prevent conflicts with pedestrians at intersections at 19th, 20th and Stewart Streets.

However, while the stated purpose is to get riders to slow down, the signs on the gates clearly say “Cyclists Dismount” for no apparent reason.

Photo from City of Santa Monica

Photo from City of Santa Monica

Gates might make sense there if the purpose was to keep drivers from inadvertently turning onto the bike path, or if they were somehow intended to keep riders from straying onto the railroad tracks when trains were coming.

Instead, they almost seem designed to defeat the purpose of the path by discouraging bike riders from using it. Especially if the absurd dismount requirement is actually enforced, rather than allowing riders to slowly weave around the barriers.

There is no requirement under state law that bicyclists must walk across intersections, anymore than drivers are required to get out of their cars and push them to the other side.

So it would be interesting to know just what the justification is for telling cyclists to dismount.

And whether that comes from the CPUC, Santa Monica, or somewhere else.

Thanks to John Hanson for the heads up.

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A bike rider suffered a possible broken leg when he was struck by a driver who took off without stopping in Costa Mesa Tuesday night.

The Orange County Register reports that, based on the rider’s description, police stopped a gray Mercedes with damage consistent with the collision. After failing a roadside sobriety check, the 22-year old driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI and hit-and-run, both felonies.

It didn’t take long for Instagram users to put two and two together, and realize it was the same woman shown posing with pride next to a brand new Mercedes Benz, which has apparently been purchased just hours before the crash.

It also didn’t take long for the photo to be deleted after the negative comments started pouring in.

However, as we all know, once something appears online, it’s usually there forever.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-11-21-06-pm

Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling, Brent Bigler, and David Huntsman for the tips.

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Gabourey Sidibe is one of us, as she rides an adult tricycle between sets on Empire.

Liev Schreiber is one of us, as he rides his kids to their New York school on a Dutch bike, complete with a wine crate for a basket. Maybe he’s been taking notes from LA Bike Dad. Or maybe Brooks saddles.

J.K. Simmons is one of us as well, as he tells Jimmy Kimmel about bicycling home from his LA gym in 100 degree weather. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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Local

The LA city council approves a $3 million settlement for a bike-riding rabbi who suffered permanent brain injuries when he was struck by a car on Victory Blvd, just east of the 405 Freeway. The suit alleged that the posted bike route signs implied the dilapidated street was safe to ride, something most people who know the street would likely disagree with. Maybe it would be better if LA spent its money building the bikeways called for in the 2010 bike plan, instead of paying damages to injured bicyclists forced to ride on dangerous streets.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman pens a challenging essay asking readers to look beyond their own privilege and consider not just bikes, but the people on them.

Two men have been arrested in an Echo Park shooting believed to be gang related; at least one of the victims was on a bike.

 

State

A NorCal cyclist received minor injuries when he was hit head-on by the driver of a left-turning pickup; a CHP officer somehow sees that as a reason to remind people about the state’s three-foot passing law, which had nothing to do with it.

A writer recommends a serene 12-mile climb through spectacular scenery on your next bike vacation to Lake Tahoe.

 

National

PRI’s The World reports on the Dutch Reach — opening your car door with your right hand, instead of your left — which makes you look back for bike riders before you open the door.

The opening of a new Colorado bike path means cyclists can now ride a continuous 150 mile pathway along I-70 through the Rockies from Glenwood Springs to Denver.

The Chicago Tribune says the city’s evolution as a leading bike-friendly city is next to meaningless if it doesn’t become a bike-safe city, as well.

A Minnesota paper suggests banning cell phones from driving compartments of motor vehicles, and clarifying the definition of gross negligence after a judge acquits an accused distracted driver in the death of a cyclist.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. Just a month after a South Carolina man was arrested for killing a cyclist and fleeing the scene while under the influence, he was arrested once again for DUI. As soon as drivers are charged with drunk or stoned behind the wheel, their licenses should be suspended and their keys taken away pending trial; the right of others to be safe on the road outweighs their privilege to drive.

A New Orleans bike rider was doing everything right, yet still was the victim of a hit-and-run while riding in a bike lane.

 

International

Nice piece from the Guardian, as they look around the world to ask why people on bicycles are considered interlopers on the streets, and whether drivers will ever learn to share them with bicyclists.

An Edmonton, Canada paper recommends giving physically separated bike lanes a try, despite the city’s failed attempts at bike infrastructure; Calgary cyclists tell them they’ve been a tremendous success there.

A new European safety campaign uses Formula 1 drivers to tell kids to “Stay Bright” on their way to and from school.

A road raging British driver has been charged with chasing a bike rider and running him down, following an argument when she was reportedly driving distracted.

The mother of a fallen British bike rider is relieved that the truck driver who killed her daughter in a left hook was spared prison time, saying there are no winners when something like this happens.

A Paralympic champion had her specially adapted bike stolen just hours after she returned home to Great Britain.

Horrible story from the UK, as a road raging bicyclist is charged with manslaughter in the death of a retired man who was pushing his wife in a wheelchair; the victim somehow hit his head on the pavement as a result of the dispute. Once again, never resort to violence, no matter how justified you may feel at the time. This rider should face the same consequences we’d expect of a motorist under similar circumstances.

A DC website looks at how Barcelona gets bicycling right.

 

Finally…

Now you and your dog can both get a workout without ever leaving home. And there are no minor traffic collisions when you’re an assistant Ohio State football coach.

On the other hand, there are no major consequences, either.

 

Morning Links: Cyclist nearly rammed by Laguna Cyn driver; man buys bike with bad traveler’s checks in OC

An Orange County rider asks if he should report a horn-blaring driver who apparently tried to ram him while he was riding on Laguna Canyon Sunday afternoon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiHMT1jNGb4&feature=youtu.be

The short answer is yes.

What he caught on video is a case of assault with a deadly weapon, no different than if the road raging driver had threatened him with a gun.

But even if the authorities refuse to prosecute, it can lay the groundwork for future action against the driver if he or she does it again. It was the prior police reports of Dr. Christopher Thompson’s threatening behavior towards other riders that helped ensure a conviction and a four year prison sentence in the Mandeville Canyon case.

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Costa Mesa police are asking for the public’s help in finding a man who bought a $1,700 bike with fake traveler’s checks; anyone with information is urged to call 714/754-4873.

Wait. People still use traveler’s checks?

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The Malibu Gran Fondo is partnering with nonprofit organizations The Pablove Foundation and Network for Advancing Athletes for the March 5th and 6th event.

And wet your appetite for LA-based pro cyclist Phil Gaimon’s inaugural Malibu Gran Cookie Dough this November, combining “great bike riding” through the Malibu hills with the “classy fun of cookies” from celebrity chef Jeff Mahin.

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Legendary framebuilder Dave Moulton writes about the passing of San Marcos framebuilder Brian Baylis.

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It’s one thing for a rider to be attacked by one dog; surrounded by 25 or so is another matter.

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Local

Streetsblog reports Caltrans’ plans for a new toll flyover exit ramp off the 110 Freeway would dump freeway traffic onto South Figueroa, jeopardizing the long-planned MyFigueroa Complete Streets makeover, as well as a historic church. You have until March 21st to tell them where (else) they can stick it.

Metro is negotiating with Lyft to collect data on first mile/last mile trips that begin and end at transit stations, while looking forward to bikeshare to help solve some of that problem.

An LA model and former 30-mile a day cyclist returns to the runway after losing a leg, and nearly her life, due to toxic shock syndrome. Let’s hope she’s back on her bike, as well.

Santa Monica looks forward to a future offering real transportation choices, including the city’s Breeze bikeshare.

CiclaValley examines the hate some people spew towards cyclists on the Internet, usually, but not always, behind the mask of anonymity.

 

State

Grist considers Calbike’s proposal to rebate up to half the cost of a commuter bike under the state’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project.

Ventura police still haven’t released any additional information in the hit-and-run death of a 14-year old bike rider last week.

A Laguna Beach woman founded Project Bike Love to empower women in developing countries through the gift of a bicycle.

This should be fun. The Monterey stage of the Amgen Tour of California will finish on the famed Laguna Seca raceway.

 

National

An Oregon cyclist says we should hold ourselves to the same standards we expect drivers to obey when it comes to following traffic laws.

A Seattle TV station examines how bike lanes are paid for, explaining that the view from city hall is taxing bicyclists for bike lanes makes no more sense than taxing pedestrians to pay for sidewalks.

The widow of a Colorado cyclist killed by a distracted truck driver has channeled her grief into a heartbreaking public service announcement begging drivers to pay attention.

Northern Iowa cyclists say proposed legislation that goes way beyond a three-foot law by requiring drivers to change lanes to pass a cyclists is much needed, following too many close calls.

Great story from Texas, as a three cyclists out for a ride through the country rescue 22 abandoned puppies; all of the pups were quickly adopted. And a good idea, as one of the women carries dog food on her bike just in case she sees a stray. That’s just one more advantage of riding a bike; anyone in a car would have likely driven by without ever seeing the dogs. Or maybe run over them.

Now that Houston has a new 709-mile bike plan, they need to come up with the money to pay for it. Sort of like pretty much every city everywhere trying to re-envision their streets for people instead of cars.

A story posted on the London School of Economics website examines the rapid rise of bicycling in Memphis, while asking whether new bikeways simply reinforce existing racial inequality and spur racialized gentrification.

Angry Tennesseans rise up to fight a proposal to prohibit funds from gas taxes from being used for bicycling and pedestrian projects.

Randonneurs from around the world are concerned about Saturday’s North Carolina crash that took out four of their fellow riders, injuring two critically; one of the critically injured riders is the webmaster for bikelaw.com. Police say alcohol wasn’t a factor, but don’t say anything about other intoxicants; the driver who hit them was on probation for felony drug charges.

 

International

Vancouver will launch a 100 station bikeshare program this summer.

A Toronto constable helped change the conversation on cycling by becoming the city’s first bike cop in 1989, and advocating for bicycling ever since.

The last two cyclists attempting to break the year record set by American rider Kurt Searvogel last year have thrown in the towel.

A London cyclist suspects bike thieves are targeting certain bicycles to order after two men on a scooter attempted to push her off her Brompton.

WaPo looks at a Danish city so bike friendly, even five-year olds are encouraged to bike to school.

The next time someone tells you (insert city here) isn’t Amsterdam, remind them that Amsterdam wasn’t always like that, either. Gizmodo traces the transformation of the city through a compelling series of before and after photos. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson and joninsocal for the heads-up.

A Basque women’s race issues a new poster designed by a woman rider after the previous one was withdrawn following charges it was sexist. Seriously, is it that hard to simply promote women’s racing as a competitive event?

The author of a petition to ban bikes entirely from roads through an Aussie mountain range swears it’s not anti-cycling; so far, it’s only gathered 30 similarly non-anti-bike signatures.

No anger issues here. An Aussie man is charged with deliberately chasing and running down a young bike-riding boy after he and his friends accidently knocked over the man’s garbage can.

A new study from the University of Duh shows real time weather information affects Singapore cyclists’ riding decisions. As does looking out the window and seeing it’s raining.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a semi-walking wooden Penny Farthing. Or maybe you’d prefer to ride your bike while working at your desk.

And it’s not often a driver apologizes for a dangerously close pass, let alone posts it on a freeway overpass; it’s even less often a thief returns a stolen bike a year later, complete with a note of apology.

 

OC bike rider died a week after she was trapped under car; 80th SoCal cycling death this year

And then there were 80.

On Monday, November 4th, 44-year old Michelle Lounsbury was hit by a car in Costa Mesa in an apparent right hook.

Early last week, I started seeing rumors that she had died; however, it wasn’t until this morning that Amy Senk of Corona del Mar Today forwarded confirmation from the Orange County Register that Lounsbury had passed away one week later on November 11th.

For some reason, the story never showed up in any of my internet searches, even though it doesn’t seem to be hidden behind the paper’s paywall for some reason.

According to the original story in the Daily Pilot, the driver — later identified as 48-year old Suja Haq of Costa Mesa — was headed east on Bay Street when he started to turn right onto Newport Blvd. As he turned, he heard a loud noise, and stopped to find Lounsbury trapped under his car.

Rescue personnel had to use emergency equipment to lift the vehicle off her, before rushing her to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana. The Register reports that she showed no brain activity shortly after arriving at the hospital; life support was disconnected a week later after family members gave their consent.

The Register describes Lounsbury as a homeless woman who lived in the Costa Mesa area, and was well-liked in the local homeless community.

“She was always there for everybody,” said Ashley Clark, who kept in contact with Lounsbury through the Churches Consortium’s outreach. …

“She had a cruiser, like a black cruiser. It was very Michelle. She’s kind of like a rocker chick, so her bike was black. She had black hair, black outfits, black everything … The homeless people, the thing about them is they stick together,” Clark said. “So when one of them passes away, it’s difficult. … That moral support that they would’ve gotten from her is gone.”

Lounsbury was scrappy, outgoing and direct, and could also be considerate, big-hearted and compassionate, said Clark and John Begin, pastor at Costa Mesa Church of Christ.

As a homeless person, it’s possible that she may not have had lights on her bike; with black clothing and a black bike, she may have been hard to see in the full darkness of the early morning hour. However, the driver still had an obligation to notice and avoid someone anyone on the street, especially at a major intersection that should have been well lighted.

If there is any good news in this story, it is this.

“She didn’t suffer through this,” Begin said. “From the day of the accident, she wasn’t there.”

Police are still looking for two men who may have witnessed the collision. Anyone with information is urged to contact Traffic Investigator Darren Wood at 714/754-5264.

And let’s remember that there are many reasons someone might become homeless. Their lives are no less valuable than those of anyone else, and their deaths no less tragic.

This is the 80th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, in what has turned out to be an exceptionally bloody year for SoCal bike riders. It is also the 11th cycling death in Orange County, as the county maintains its horrible average of one bicycling death per month.

My deepest sympathy and prayers go out to Michelle Lounsbury and all her family and friends.

Thanks to Amy Senk for her help in confirming this story.

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