Tag Archive for DUI

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: Irwindale woman killed in drunken hit-and-run early Saturday; 8th fatal SoCal bicycling hit-and-run this year

Yet another Southern California bike rider has been killed by a cowardly drunken driver who lacked the basic human decency to stick around after the crash.

Allegedly.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports a woman was discovered lying in the roadway on Huntington Drive near Foothill Boulevard in Irwindale early Saturday morning.

Police found the victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, on the 2900 block of Huntington Drive shortly after 1:21 am, surrounded by parts from her shattered bicycle.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

There’s no word on how the crash happened, or whether she had lights or reflectors on her bike in the late night darkness.

Twenty-one-year-old La Puente resident Adrian Ortega was arrested by West Covina cops shortly afterwards in the area of Francisquito and Sunset Avenues, after officers spotted evidence connecting him to the crime.

At last report, he was still being held on $100,000 bond, on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, drunk driving and hit-and-run.

A street view shows a four lane roadway with no bike lanes or shoulder, with the San Gabriel River Trail visible in the background.

At that hour, it’s unlikely there would have been anything to keep drivers from exceeding the posted speed limit.

This is at least the 15th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Shamefully, over half of those deaths have been hit-and-runs — as have all three bicycling deaths in LA County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 22-year old Antonia Ramirez; no city of residence was given.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Antonia Ramirez and all her loved ones.

 

Cost of traffic violence — 3 killed in SD crash, air better worldwide in pandemic, and bike quotes to get you riding

This is the cost of traffic violence.

Yesterday’s rains drove even more people than usual living on the streets to a San Diego underpass Sunday night, because they had nowhere else to go to seek shelter from the storm.

They paid for it with their lives the following morning when an allegedly impaired driver plowed onto the sidewalk, killing three people and injuring six others, two critically.

Seventy-one-year old Craig Voss arrested for three counts of vehicular manslaughter, as well as five counts of causing great bodily injury while committing a felony, and one count of felony DUI for driving under the influence of drugs.

Police believe Voss was the subject of a call to 911 shortly before the crash reporting a possibly intoxicated driver.

But at least he remained at the scene and attempted to aid the victims.

Beyond the sheer tragedy of three more innocent victims sacrificed on the alter to motor vehicles, it’s heartbreaking that so many people who’ve already lost everything and have to live without a roof over their heads — for whatever reason — aren’t safe along the streets they’re forced to live on.

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One more sign of the damage done by motor vehicles.

Air quality improved in 84% of country’s worldwide when pandemic lockdowns forced many people to stop driving.

An improvement that will undoubtedly be reversed once businesses open back up and people go back to work.

Especially in places like Los Angeles, where so little was done during the closures to encourage more bike riding, walking and other forms of alternative transportation.

That compares to cities throughout Europe, which are doubling down on their successful efforts to encourage bicycling as a safe form of socially distanced transportation, with 600 miles of “cycle lanes, traffic-calming measures and car-free streets” installed over the last year.

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Parade Magazine, of all sources, dishes up 50 bicycling quotes to inspire you to get out and ride, including these —

“Everyone in their life has his own particular way of expressing life’s purpose – the lawyer his eloquence, the painter his palette, and the man of letters his pen from which the quick words of his story flow. I have my bicycle.” – Gino Bartali

“Cyclists see considerably more of this beautiful world than any other class of citizens. A good bicycle, well applied, will cure most ills this flesh is heir to” – Dr. K.K. Doty

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” Elizabeth West

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The good news is the city continues to improve safety for bicyclists in DTLA.

The bad is it seems to come at the expense of the rest of the city.

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Invest a short 20 seconds of your life to understand the freedom a bike can give someone with a disability.

And how easy it is to take it away.

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I want to be like him when I grow up.

A 77-year old Arizona man turned down his daughter’s offer to take him by car, and rode his bike nearly 50 miles roundtrip to get his Covid vaccine shot.

Although that might be trumped by a much shorter ride from a much older Dutch woman.

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

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in the UK, where a driver with a history of violence walked without a single lousy day behind bars when a judge gave him a suspended sentence for assaulting a young couple who had stopped to fix a flat, first punching the man before knocking the woman down and stomping on her head. Seriously, what the hell are jails for, then?

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Local

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee will hold a virtual joint meeting of the Planning and Bikeways Engineering Subcommittees starting at 1 pm this afternoon.

Spectrum News 1 looks at what’s driving pedaling the ebike boom.

 

State

Cooler heads prevail in Santa Barbara, where police reject calls to arrest young bike riders — primarily people of color — for riding bikes and performing stunts on the newly installed bike lane on the city’s State Street pedestrian plaza, with police saying they don’t want to “criminalize children for riding bikes.”

The good guys finally won one for a change, as police busted a pair of burglars who broke into a Larkspur bike shop and temporarily made off with seven bikes worth $29,000, after the owner spotted them inside his store on a live security cam.

Napa’s proposed new general plan envisions making the city’s main streets more walkable and bikeable.

 

National

Planetizen says ending traffic fatalities once and for all isn’t as farfetched as it seems.

That’s more like it. A Nogales AZ man will spend the next seven and a half years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider, while he was stoned on meth.

In an unusual move, dozens of volunteers teamed with Houston planning and public works officials to paint a new high-comfort popup bike lane. Maybe that could be a model for Los Angeles to finally end the auto-centric stasis on our streets.

Nine of the 21 candidates for a Queens city council seat took part in a bike ride through the district to examine problems and policies before the upcoming election. For years, the LACBC’s candidate surveys asked people running for city offices if they’d be willing to meet or ride with bicyclists if they were elected; even though most agreed, no one ever asked them to.

If you find yourself riding a bike in New Jersey, keep your hands on the handlebars and your feet on the pedals. And put a damn bell on it.

Biking is booming in the City of Brotherly Love, too.

A Virginia op-ed calls for lowering speed limits to 15 mph to save lives. Although here in Southern California, a 15 mph speed limit means most drivers would still do 25 to 30 mph. But at least that would be an improvement for most drivers, who currently do 35 to 45 in a 25 mph residential zone.

That’s more like it. A North Carolina man got 33 to 49 months behind bars for the November hit-and-run death of a bike rider.

Nice move from bikemaker Subrosa, which gave a new bike to a 15-year old Florida boy whose bicycle was destroyed in a hit-and-run crash; the company teamed with Adventure Cycling to give him the first bike from next year’s line, ensuring it will be a one-of-a-kind bike for the next several months.

Bike riders often spot things drivers don’t. Like a body lying near a Florida bike path, for instance.

 

International

Cyclist celebrates world bicycle speed record holder Denise Mueller-Korenek as Monday’s inspirational woman.

Gates Carbon Drive promotes a half-dozen new bikes using the company’s belt-drive products.

A neurodivergent Saskatoon, Saskatchewan kid will get a $3,500 adaptive bike back, after a bike thief was busted when he listed the unique bike for sale online.

A Mexico City woman is forging her own way in the traditionally male-dominated custom bicycle scene as the owner of the city’s only woman-run bike shop.

Damn straight. An English op-ed calls for trusting the experts when it comes to bicycling and traffic planning.

Germany’s Rose Bikes joined ranks with Commencal, Propain, Santa Cruz and other bike brands in announcing price increases due to rising costs caused by the pandemic.

Apparently, things are pretty much the same everywhere, as drivers continue to park in Philippine bike lanes, with most of the scofflaw vehicles belong to the government.

Remarkably, an Aussie bike rider was able to bounce back up when a dash cam video catches him in a frightening crash while trying to ride across a street.

 

Competitive Cycling

Writing for Red Bull, bike scribe Peter Flax profiles multi-time national champ and L39ion of Los Angeles (pronounced “legion”) founder Justin Williams, and his drive to drag cycling into the age of diversity, kicking and screaming if he has to.

Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar continues to hold the lead after the penultimate stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico race, with Danish cyclist Mads Würtz Schmidt claiming his first WorldTour stage win.

British barrister and time trial specialist Jonathan Parker claims to have shattered the world record for 100 miles, checking in a slant two seconds under two hours and fifty minutes, beating the existing record by eight minutes.

UCI pulled the plug on the season opening Mountain Bike World Cup downhill race after Slovenian health officials urged them to reschedule due to the ongoing pandemic.

A 16-year old Georgia boy’s only goal was to finish the 350-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational fat bike race; instead, he somehow managed to finish third.

 

Finally…

Turn your body into a mini-electric generator when you ride. Another reminder why your bike should sleep indoors, especially during a massive winter storm.

And maybe this will get drivers to give you a little space.

https://twitter.com/svblxyz/status/1371401312177377280

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Apropos of that aforementioned winter storm, I love this image from my home state, where the snow is nearly one corgi deep.

Thanks to Dr. Grace Peng for the laugh.

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

New law keeps dangerous DUI drivers on the road, and sharp-eyed BikinginLA follower helps recover stolen bike

Welcome back.

We made it. Not just through the holidays, which is always a challenge. But through the most difficult year in recent memory. 

So pat yourself on the back, and take a celebratory bike ride to mark your achievement. And if you already did, go out for another one. 

Thanks to John M, Eric B, James V, Steven F, Grace P, John H and everyone else who donated their hard-earned money to the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

This year’s donations ranged from $5 to $250. I appreciate the smallest donations every bit as much as the largest ones, because I know all too well how hard it can be to give when money is tight.

I am also incredibly humbled and grateful for the kind words that accompanied so many of the donations. It was a struggle just to get through the past year while keeping up with the demands of this site, for a number of reasons.

It means more than I could begin to say to know those efforts are appreciated. And I’ll do my best to live up to all you had to say.

Thank you.

Photo by Raniery Costa Pelissari from Pexels.

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This is why people continue to die on our streets.

The new Orange County DA writes that DUI must have consequences, after a little-noticed new law went into effect promising to wipe DUI convictions off a driver’s record.

Beginning January 1, a new law that makes misdemeanor DUI eligible for diversion changes that. Once diversion is completed, it’s as if the crime never happened – and those prior convictions wash out, despite the fact that state law allows prior DUIs to be pled and proven for up to 10 years.  They can’t be used as a prior – and the families whose lives were shattered by an impaired driver will not get the justice they deserve.

Assembly Bill 3234 does not impose a limit on how many times someone can be given diversion. How many times are we going to give someone a break before they kill someone? And now if they do, we won’t be able to prosecute them as more serious crimes.

Seriously, this could be a disaster.

Our legal system will now be actively working to keep dangerous drivers on the road. And free from consequences for actions that could lead to more deaths on the state’s roadways.

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If you still need proof that registering your bike with Bike Index works, consider this story, complete with a happy ending.

Thanks to a sharp-eyed BikinginLA follower.

https://twitter.com/157/status/1345059924686983170

https://twitter.com/157/status/1345076777073299456

And yes, they did. Resulting in our first recovered bike of the new year.

https://twitter.com/157/status/1345177864975499264

So what are you waiting for, already?

It wouldn’t hurt to get a better bike lock, either.

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Looks like a new sort-of protected bike lane has popped up in Culver City. Although I’d call something with flimsy plastic bendy posts a separated lane, instead.

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This is why LA-based former pro Phil Gaiman should be second in line for cycling sainthood behind Gino Batali. Even if he’s not dead yet.

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Never mind the best. Gravel Bikes California looks at the worst of gravel riding in 2020.

Which somehow seems appropriate for the past year.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

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Looks like Georgia Senate candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock is one of us. Although something tells me his opponent Kelly Loeffler isn’t.

But I could be wrong.

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Local

This is who we share the road with. Rebecca Grossman, co-founder of the prestigious Grossman Burn Foundation, has been charged with two counts each of murder and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence for the hit-and-run deaths of two young brothers who were walking with their parents in a Westlake Village crosswalk. She was released on $2 million bail, pending the results of toxicology tests.

A Reddit user questions the broken, substandard and half gutter bike lane on northbound Sepulveda Blvd north of Mulholland.

Congratulations to Santa Monica on being named a Gold level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. And yes, they deserve it.

 

State

‘Tis the season. The San Diego Chargers of Los Angeles teamed with the Pechanga tribe to give 200 new bicycles and helmets to Southern California kids in need.

 

National

They get it. Business Insider says the US wasn’t ready to handle last year’s pandemic-induced bike boom after a century of leaving bikes behind.

The BBC considers the planned 3,700-mile Great American Rail Trail, which will stretch from DC to the Pacific Ocean near Seattle.

C|net lists their favorite bikes for the coming year.

Las Vegas police are rolling out a specialized bike designed to measure violations of the three-foot passing law to improve safety for people on two wheels. I know the LAPD is aware of the technology, because I told them about it. But apparently, they don’t think it’s worth the effort or the relatively minimal cost. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up. 

An Arizona man was shot by police after a chase when officers tried to make a traffic stop as he was riding his bike, and he allegedly flashed a gun at the pursuing cops.

A Denver bike shop owner is back already at work, just one week after he was released from the ICU following a serious traffic collision,

The New York Times offers tips on how to maintain that new bike you got for the holidays. Or bought for yourself, for that matter.

A New York bike commuter responds to getting run down by a cab driver by advising bicyclists to be loud, and shout when you need to to ensure your safety. Even if the story strangely repeats itself while you’re reading.

The father of a 15-year old boy is considering suing the NYPD, despite an apology from the chief of detectives, after he was wrongly — and publicly — accused of being part of a gang of bike riders that randomly attacked two vehicles on the city’s iconic 5th Avenue last week.

They get it, too. A Philly TV station says protected bike lanes could encourage more bike commuters while reducing congestion.

 

International

London’s tony Kensington neighborhood ripped out a new bidirectional bike lane, after accusing it of causing traffic congestion. So now it’s blocked by parked cars 80% of the time, instead. Let’s be honest — the real cause of traffic congestion is all those cars, not the bike lane.

One of the first casualties of the UK’s ill-advised separation from the European Union turns out to be handmade Brooks saddles, which are now owned and distributed by Italian saddle maker Selle Royal, and as a result, won’t be sold in the UK for the foreseeable future because of Brexit.

Two men have been arrested in connection with a disappearance of a Scottish father after he set out on a bike ride three years ago, and was never seen again.

It must run in the family. British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid’s 23-year old son decided to pick up his new bike from the Chinese factory and ride it back home to Great Britain. Even if some of the commenters bizarrely insist the ride was faked.

No bias here. Aggressive Berlin bike riders are accused of inducing road rage in drivers and pedestrians. Never mind that people on bicycles make up 18% of the city’s traffic, while getting just 3% of road space.

 

Competitive Cycling

Peloton Magazine tells the groundbreaking story of Shelley Verses, who shattered the gender barrier in pro cycling by becoming the first female team trainer in European cycling, with the late great 7-Eleven team in 1985.

 

Finally…

Who needs a marching band when you’ve got a bike?

Yeah, no.

And Frodo’s creator was one of us.

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

Too many bike riders never came home, 3 DUIs in 2 years for killer Newport Beach driver, and bike stats for every occasion

Just two days left in the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Kent S and Jose P for their generous donations to keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming to your favorite screen every morning — and free for everyone!

So don’t wait.

Give to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today and avoid the last minute holiday rush!

And be sure to come back tomorrow when we’ll mark Christmas Eve with an extensive recount of OC court cases, courtesy of our anonymous correspondent. 

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In a heartbreaking story, Outside remembers nine people who went out for a bike ride and never came home, just a tiny fraction of the nearly 700 people killed on American streets this year.

It’s also a reminder that yesterday marked the seventh anniversary of the DUI collision that killed Australian James Rapley as he rode a rented bike on Temescal Canyon.

Rapley was on a layover at LAX, making his way home for the holidays, when he was run down on a Sunday morning by an underage driver still wasted from the night before.

Every one of the nearly 1,000 bicycling deaths I’ve written about haunt me, but some are always with me; Rapley’s death is one of those, because it was just so damned needless.

His death almost resulted in a parking protected bike lane on Temescal, too late to help Repley, but which might have kept the next driver from taking a life by drifting into the painted bike lane on the curving climb.

But despite my best efforts, and those of others, the proposal died amid the fierce backlash over road diets in Playa del Rey.

It would have been a fitting memorial to a life needlessly lost, to go with the white bicycle-shaped bike rack installed by Rapley’s family in the park next to where he died.

Instead, his spirit will continue to haunt me until we finally take steps to ensure not one more bike rider will die there.

Meanwhile, Jalopnik blames the high bicycle death count on a lack of pedestrian crash testing, allowing oversized trucks and SUVs to proliferate on American roadways.

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This is why people continue to die on our streets.

A 22-year old Newport Beach woman allegedly ran a red light directly before slamming into another car, killing a young couple, and leaving their three small kids orphans.

Court documents allege Grace Elizabeth Coleman had a blood alcohol content of more than .20, over one and a half times the legal limit. And she had no reason to be on the road after she had already been driven home from a local brewery.

This is apparently her third DUI in just two years, including a June 2019 hit-and-run for which she assumed financial responsibility without being charged, as well as a pending DUI from this past August.

She’s currently being held without bail.

Just one more example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the streets until it’s too late.

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Livestrong is alive and well, even without He Who Must Not Be Named, who we’re all expected to pretend never won the Tour de France once, let alone seven times.

The cancer charity slash website offers an extensive and useful compendium of 95 bike stats, ranging from global cycling to crashes — not accident, please — and broken down by sex, race and ethnicity.

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Who knew?

You can get a free QR code sticker from Bike Index to help secure your registered bike.

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‘Tis the season for still more bike giveaways.

The San Diego Chargers of Los Angeles teamed with the Pechanga tribe to distribute 200 bicycles and helmets for LA-area kids.

A San Antonio, Texas ministry gave away over 700 bicycles and toys to less fortunate children.

Members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity gave 14 new kids bikes to struggling families in Selma, Alabama.

A Savannah, Georgia bike advocacy group donated nearly 60 refurbished kids bikes to families facing hardships.

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

Italian pro Andrea Vendrame was the victim of a road raging driver, who got out of his car and punched him following a punishment pass on a training ride, all for no apparent reason other than Vendrame was riding on the roadway.

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Local

Sunset For All offers their own gift guide from bike-friendly shops on the iconic boulevard.

Around on Bikes talks with Streets For All’s Michael Schneider about the bike and pedestrian PAC’s efforts to transform transportation on the streets of Los Angeles.

LADOT is looking for feedback on the long-delayed 4th Street Street Neighborhood Greenway project.

The Metro Bike bikeshare will be free on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as well as New Years Eve and New Years Day.

 

State

A bike-riding man was critically injured in an East Oakland hit-and-run collision.

 

National

A new study of aggregate insurance data shows over half of all collisions involve someone using a phone.

Boulder, Colorado police have busted a pair of bike burglars blamed for stealing nearly $60,000 worth of bicycles.

A Colorado TV station examines the anatomy of a bicycling crash, as an entry into the 4225 crashes resulting in injuries to bike riders over the past decade in which drivers were believed to be at fault.

An accident reconstruction specialist deconstructs a recent fatal bike crash in Illinois, saying as cyclists, “we accept risk in return for the beauty of our sport, but we cannot ignore the risks.”

A Detroit father of five was surprised with a new car after his fellow Carvana employees took pity on him for riding his bike 30 miles to work in frigid weather. Which might be warmer, but may or may not be a improvement.

Not bloody likely. Michigan sheriff’s deputies believe an 82-year old man just happened to fall off his bike, fatally striking his head, at the exact moment an SUV driver was passing him.

They get it. A Nassau NY newspaper considers how motorists can drive safely around bike riders.

A candidate for New York District Attorney says the DA should use all available laws to bring dangerous drivers to justice; his opponent says criminalizing collisions is the wrong way to go.

New York drivers quickly moved to take over formerly protected bike lanes after snow plows took out the flex posts.

DC discovers the hard way that more traffic cops does not necessarily translate to fewer drivers being ticketed for parking or driving in bike lanes during a pandemic.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A South Carolina band director suffered major injuries when he was struck by a cowardly driver while on a half-century ride; the driver was apprehended shortly after fleeing the scene.

Insurers settled with the family of a homeless Georgia man for a whopping $7.5 million in a Christmas Day crash two years ago, after a pickup driver ran him down on his way to church just one day after a Good Samaritan had given him the bike he was killed on.

 

International

Don’t count on a Canyon bike under the tree if you live in the UK, as the German bike brand has become one of the first Brexit casualties.

Pink Bike considers what the coming no-deal Brexit will mean for British bike customers.

A Polish bike builder dressed as Santa Claus broke the record for the world’s tallest tall bike, on a bicycle shaped like a Christmas tree; the previous record stood for seven years, set by LA’s own Richie Trimble’s Stoopid Taller bike in 2013.

A Mumbai researcher says non-motorized transportation is the way to travel for smart cities of the future. And the present, too.

An Indian laborer left his wife and twins at home, riding 260 miles to join a multi-day protest.

 

Competitive Cycling

Newly signed L39ion of Los Angeles women’s cyclist Kendall Ryan is focusing on next year’s Tokyo Olympics, with the support of the team.

An aspiring young British cyclist says yes, the sport has a serious safety problem, even if he doesn’t think about it when he’s competing.

 

Finally…

Your next e-cargo bike may not even need you.

And, um…

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

Murder charge in stoned death of autistic bike rider, call for expanded Metro funding, and keep cars out of SaMo bike lanes

It’s Day 13 of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Trinh D and David D for their generous support for SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy! 

It only takes a few clicks to donate and help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day!

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Long Beach resident Richard Lavalle was charged with second-degree murder in the DUI death of 12-year old bike rider Noel Bascon in Costa Mesa Sunday evening.

The boy, who suffered from autism, was riding with his father in a crosswalk when Lavalle allegedly ran a stop sign while driving stoned.

Lavalle is being held without bail, and faces up to 30-years behind bars if he’s convicted.

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

The murder charge results from a Watson Advisement following a 2013 conviction for driving under the influence in San Diego County, stating Lavalle could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence in the future. Otherwise, he would have faced a manslaughter charge.

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

A crowdfunding account to help pay Bascon’s funeral expenses has raised over $17,000 in just one day, topping the original $10,000 goal.

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Thirty LA-area organizations are calling for expanded eligibly of Metro funding currently dedicated for highways.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1336399149403541510

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No, Santa Monica’s new two-way protected bike lane isn’t for cars.

Even if their owners assume they own all the road.

https://twitter.com/abikeist/status/1336529892746297344

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Here’s your chance to weigh in on transportation issues in South LA.

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Local

Just say “bikes mean business” to get a discount on a deep dish pizza at Masa of Echo Park this Thursday; the last time the deal was offered, it drew over 200 bicyclists.

A new masterplan for LA’s Exposition Park calls for improved access for bike riders and pedestrians, possibly including protected bike lanes.

Tis the season. Hats off to the Pasadena Rotary for donating 146 bikes to local kidsThanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

 

State

A coalition of California advocacy groups are calling for the next chair of the state senate’s influential Transportation Committee to be a climate champion who understands the importance of investing in transit and active transportation.

It was a bad weekend in Fresno, where a 73-year old woman was killed riding her bike after allegedly veering onto the wrong side of the road.

Also from Fresno, a man riding a bicycle was stabbed several times and had his phone stolen by several people who got out of a passing car to attack him; fortunately, he’s expected to survive.

And police aren’t sure why a 42-year old Fresno man was shot multiple times and killed while riding his bicycle.

 

National

They get it. CNBC reports the coronavirus pandemic has spurred a bike boom but most American cities are far from ready for it.

Gear Patrol looks at the latest bikes and accessories as proof of the unstoppable cycle of innovation.

A writer for Fast Company says joining the ebike revolution made this year a lot more tolerable.

Legendary bikemaker Gary Fisher, who literally helped invent mountain biking, is out with a new autobiography.

Road Bike Action Magazine offers tips on how to buy your next roadie.

After his stolen bike was recovered, a bighearted Washington boy gave it to a young fire victim because he’d already gotten a new one.

A Texas bike shop suffered a $10,000 loss when thieves smashed the storefront with a U-Haul and made off with five bikes.

Chicago considers the local community by ensuring a new bike bridge conforms with ancient Jewish law.

An Ohio town filed charges against a driver who killed a 7-year old boy riding his bike in a crosswalk last month, one day after a Cleveland newspaper reported they were illegally withholding details of the crash.

The pandemic forced an annual Massachusetts fundraising ride to go virtual this year, and still managed to raise $50 million for cancer treatment and research.

Horrible story from Flushing NY, where a teenager was talking with a man outside a restaurant when a second man came up from behind and slashed him in the face, before the first man ran off with his bicycle and cellphone.

‘Tis the season, too. Two hundred New Jersey kids got new Huffy bikes courtesy of former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski.

 

International

Heartbreaking story from Toronto, where family members mourn a 23-year old woman who was killed riding her bike home to her college apartment.

An Ontario, Canada woman is headed back to jail to serve the remainder of her sentence for killing a bike rider while driving drunk, after the admitted alcoholic violated her parole with yet another DUI conviction.

An American expat living in England was killed when the brakes failed on his ebike during a steep descent while riding with his wife.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine looks at their favorite lightweight bikes of 2020.

They get it. The authors of an op-ed in the prestigious BMJ — the former British Medical Journal — say free parking for healthcare workers just forces them to drive, instead of using healthier, and more sustainable and affordable means. 

You’ve got to be kidding. Life really is cheap in the UK, where a drunk driver walked with a suspended sentence, despite dragging a bike rider who heroically tried to stop his car, while driving at three times the legal limit.

After a Milan bookshop owner was forced to close, he took to his cargo bike to peddle his tomes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling’s Joe Lindsey takes a difficult in-depth look at pro cycling’s diversity problems in a nearly all-white sport. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling’s site blocks you out.

Former NBA All Star Reggie Miller joined the board of USA Cycling; the passionate bicyclist was one of four new members named to the board of the organization governing bike racing in the US.

Southern California’s Coryn Rivera is looking forward to next year’s Tokyo Olympics and the World Championships in Flanders, as well as joining a newly formed women’s WorldTour team, after a year marred by injury and illness.

Cyclist profiles surprise Giro winner Tao Geoghegan Hart and his climb to pro cycling’s top ranks.

 

Finally…

That feeling when Andy Griffith holds a lifelong a grudge against you for knocking him off his bike. Traveling the world on a Penny Farthing.

And be glad you avoided the great British bicycle stock bubble of the 1890s.

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

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. 

Man killed in DUI crash while riding bike in Hawthorne Thursday night, blocks from last week’s hit-and-run crash

For the second time in a week, a bike rider has been struck by a driver on Rosecrans in Hawthorne.

But this time, the victim didn’t make it.

According to the Daily Breeze, the man, who has not been publicly identified, was run down by an alleged drunk driver around 11 Thursday night at Rosecrans and Chadron Aves — just five blocks from where a 14-year old boy was seriously injured in a hit-and-run crash last Friday.

He died at the scene.

The driver was apparently headed west on Rosecrans when she slammed into the victim, then crashed into a pair of parked cars, telling police she lost control after hitting “an unknown item in the roadway.”

An unknown item that turned out to be a man on a bicycle.

The driver suffered some sort of unspecified injury; police planned to arrest her once she was released from the hospital.

Unfortunately, there’s no other information available at this time.

This is at least the 49th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

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

Socialite kills brothers in alleged drunken street racing crash, more endorsements, and Burbank bike/ped overpass opens

This is who we share the roads with.

Two young boys were killed when they were struck by a driver in Westlake Village while crossing the street in a crosswalk.

KCBS-2 reports the victims were brothers, who were just eleven and nine years old.

The hit-and-run driver had apparently been drinking, and may have engaged in street racing at the time of the crash.

According to KCBS-2, she was identified as a 57-year old socialite and humanitarian, who should have known better.

Rebecca Grossman, 57, was arrested on two counts of vehicular manslaughter and is being held on $2 million bail. She did not stay on the scene, and her white Mercedes with front-end damage was towed away about a half-mile from where the boys were struck.

Grossman is the founder and chair of the Grossman Burn Foundation, and has also been recognized for her humanitarian work across the world.

Now two little boys will never grow up.

And if there’s any justice, it will be a long time before she sees the light of day again.

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Bike the Vote LA urges you to vote yes on Measure J, and offers their endorsements on council races in Santa Monica and South Pasadena.

Meanwhile, California Streetsblog offers their endorsements on this year’s extensive list of ballot propositions, as well as local issues in LA County and the Bay Area.

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Chris Buonomo reports a new Burbank bicycle/pedestrian bridge is finally open, complete with nifty curved fencing to keep anyone from throwing things over the side. Or jumping.

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More people are needed to sign up for California’s proposed bike-themed license plates; it will take 7,500 orders before the state will begin production.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

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This is why you need to register your bike.

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This is definitely not the bike rider’s fault.

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GCN offers advice on riding roadies in wet weather.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real. 

No bias here. The Daily Mail says proposed media guidelines for UK newspapers would ban the use of terms like Lycra Louts to describe bike riders, as well as the term “accident.” The Guardian’s Laura Laker responds that the Daily Mail’s story is “so riddled with errors, it’s hard to know where to start.

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

Pennsylvania police are looking for a pair of bike-riding jerks who defaced a memorial to a fallen officer.

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Local

No bias here, either. A new study shows 61% of low-level traffic tickets issued by the LAPD went to Black people, despite making up just seven percent of LA’s population.

The new replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge is scheduled to open to motor vehicle traffic next week, but the bridge’s walk and bike path could be delayed for another two years to allow time to build a connector bridge.

 

State

A major ruling from a California appeals court, which overturned one of the biggest limitations on damage awards for injured bike riders, ruling that encountering a giant pothole is not an inherent risk of long-distance bicycling. That could open the way for all kinds of damage awards for bike riders — especially if the people responsible for the roadway already knew about the problem. Thanks to Phillip Young and Richard Duquette for the heads-up.

Sad news from Davis, where a 77-year old woman was killed riding her bike on a private road.

 

National

Ebike prices continue to fall. You can now buy an entry level Pedego bike for less than $1,500.

Portland bicyclists will ride sans culottes — or anything else — to protest the rush to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

More on the Idaho Stop Law’s new home in Washington State.

A Missouri bike advocate calls for more defensive driving. And defensive walking and bicycling, too.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an adaptive bike from a ten-year old Illinois boy with epilepsy. And one right next to it for the jerk who stole a handcycle from a disabled Ohio man.

Sad news from Michigan, where BMX legend Ronald McDonald — no, not that onepassed away from pancreatic cancer last week, just five weeks after he was diagnosed.

City Limits examines how to make New York’s open streets permanent and equitable, improving the quality of life while setting a world-class example.

No surprise here, as a New Jersey town rolls out new sharrows to underwhelming acclaim.

Kindhearted community members pitch in to buy a new three-wheeled ebike for a Virginia man after his bike was destroyed in a collision.

Miami Beach gets its first parking protected bike lane.

 

International

He gets it. A Vancouver-area writer says children need to be taken into account on any discussion of bike lanes, saying it’s even more important to separate inexperienced riders from traffic.

A new study shows new Toronto bike lanes have the potential to drastically prevent injuries and fatalities.

A Montreal website discovers that not all business owners oppose a new bike lane, and some actually get that it could be good for them.

An English letter writer says new plastic bollards on a protected bike lane look more like a slalom course. Which is probably exactly what I’d use them for.

The annual Eurobike trade show will take place in person this year, but with less than a third of the exhibitors and attendance limited to more people than actually attended last year.

South Korea eases restrictions on e-scooters, despite fears it could lead to more injuries.

A bike-riding Aussie family says not owning a car is worth it, even if it’s not easy.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews runs down the teams that will be competing in this year’s Giro d’Italia, which kicks off this weekend.

This year’s long-delayed Amstel Gold race has been officially canceled due to coronavirus restrictions in the Netherlands.

Trek-Segafredo cyclist Quinn Simmons may have committed career suicide with online comments suggesting his support fo President Trump, with the white rider using a black hand emoji to wave goodbye; the bike team was none too pleased, calling the comments “divisive, incendiary, and detrimental.”

 

Finally…

Maybe someone should tell them there are clothes that are actually made for riding bikes. These days, Daisy would probably prefer an electric bicycle built for two.

And forget U-locks, just put a little fake bird poop on your bike to deter thieves.

No, really.

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A special thanks to Matthew R for his very generous ongoing support for this site.

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

52-year old man killed by alleged drunk driver in San Diego’s Alta Vista neighborhood

Note: No Morning Links today, following an extended internet outage last night.

As usual, we’ll be back next week to catch up on anything we missed. 

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Once again, a SoCal bike rider has lost his life, despite the lighter traffic caused by the coronavirus crisis.

But sadly, light traffic does nothing to stop an intoxicated driver.

According to multiple sources, the victim was riding on west on Paradise Valley Road west of Munda Road in San Diego’s Alta Vista neighborhood, when he was rear-ended by an alleged drunk driver shortly before 9:15 Wednesday night.

The victim, identified only as a 52-year old man, was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Twenty-eight-year old driver James L. Bumpus was arrested at the scene on suspicion of felony DUI.

There’s no word on whether the victim had lights to reflectors on his bike, or if there was anything other than Bumpus’ alleged drunken state that would have kept him from avoiding the victim’s bike.

A street view shows a four lane boulevard with no shoulder, where drivers could easily exceed the 40 mph speed limit.

This is at least the 20th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

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

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