Tag Archive for Ed Ryder

Morning Links: Yours truly gets profiled, Danny Gamboa & Ghost Bikes LA, and LA bike crashes dropping

That’s what happens when you get mad during an interview.

You get labeled as a pissed off bicyclist.

That’s how I was described, accurately enough, in this profile by Jennifer Velez for the LA Taco website.

As I was being interviewed, I felt my anger rising as I described the efforts of Councilmembers Gil Cedillo, Curren Price and Paul Koretz to block much needed bike lanes in their districts. Along with Mayor Eric Garcetti’s failure to back his own Vision Zero and Great Streets initiatives.

So I quickly apologized, calmed down and went on with the interview.

Then I later mentioned that I started this site because I was angry about the sorry state of bicycling infrastructure in the City of Angels. Even if I didn’t know it was called infrastructure back then.

Which only confirmed my pissed off status.

Anyway, it’s worth a read if you want to know who I am and why I do what I do.

If not, then read on.

………

It’s not every day I get mentioned in two separate news stories, but I unexpectedly found myself playing a small supporting role in the LA Weekly’s nice piece on Danny Gamboa, the co-founder Ghost Bikes L.A.

And yes, it’s definitely worth a read, as Gamboa has gone from installing ghost bikes to fighting for safer streets so they won’t be needed any more.

I can personally vouch for him as one of the true heroes of Southern California bike advocacy.

………

Bike statistician Ed Ryder has been examining the CHP’s SWITRS bike crash data for California and Southern California, which we’ll be taking a look at as the week goes on.

But here’s an interesting chart to get us started, showing a surprising decline in injury bike crashes in Los Angeles County after peaking in 2012; stats for last December are only partial figures, but still suggest a decline from the previous year.

The question is whether the streets are getting safer, or if fewer people are willing to risk riding on them.

………

Long Beach police shot a man they originally attempted to pull over for unnamed bicycle traffic violations after he tried to flee, then allegedly fought with an officer and attempted to grab his gun.

………

Local

West Hollywood will host a meeting tonight to discuss plans to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians on deadly Fountain Ave, although a road diet requested by some residents appears to be off the table.

Patton Oswalt is one of us, as he bikes along the LA River with his kids to the Spoke Bicycle Café.

Long Beach business people are worried that the May 13th start of the Amgen Tour of California will destroy their business on Mother’s Day. Seriously, if you can’t figure out a way to make money off an event that draws an additional 10,000 or so race fans — male and female — to your street, maybe the event isn’t the problem.

 

State

Homeless people living along the Santa Ana River Trail wonder where they’ll go as Orange County finishes clearing out the massive homeless encampment. Unfortunately, there’s not enough housing and supportive services to take them in, which means the problem, for them and the community, will just move somewhere else.

A San Diego bike rider suffered a compound leg fracture when he was hit by an alleged red light-running driver.

Coronado’s mass infrastructure insanity clearly hasn’t improved, as a handful of residents come out to rail against a proposed median that would improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, including fears that transients would sit on it. This is the same community that blocked proposed bike lanes that residents complained induced dizziness and was like tattooing their daughters.

Victorville approves plans for a 4-mile class 1 bike path, as well as 7.1 miles of bike lanes.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a bike rider was killed in a crash after allegedly running a red light in Oildale.

A Santa Cruz-area driver shows his deep concern for the safety of bicyclists by complaining about two bike riders drifting in and out of a bike lane, forcing drivers to swerve into oncoming traffic to pass them, and saying there should be a law against riding two abreast. Never mind that riding two or more abreast is perfectly legal under most circumstance, as well as “drifting” in and out of a bike lane for any number of reasons. Or that it’s also perfectly legal for drivers to slow down and wait until it’s safe to pass bike riders. In fact, it’s required, whether or not they’re in a bike lane.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 83-year old Bay Area man has ridden up 3,849-foot Mt. Diablo for 500 weeks in a row.

A mufti-clad pseudo Petaluma bike cop pulled over a motorist and demanded personal information and cash for on the spot to pay the fine for the alleged offense. A real bike cop will have a uniform and badge, and will never ask for payment on the spot. Unless he’s asking for a bribe, which is a different matter entirely.

More sad news, this time from Sacramento, where a man was killed riding across a highway to get to a bike path.

 

National

A former mountain biker turned distance runner recommends micro-dosing with dope to reduce pain and improve performance. Which is now more or less legal in California, as long as you don’t tell the feds.

Bicycling says sharrows don’t actually suck if used correctly, and lists 25 milestones most new cyclists can’t wait to reach. Many of which countless new and old bicyclists have never done, nor wanted to. Myself included.

El Paso, Texas and Mexico’s Ciudad Juárez are in discussions for North America’s first international bikeshare system crossing the Rio Grande.

A Dallas paper questions whether leaving dockless bikeshare bikes on the sidewalk is more than an inconvenience to handicapped people, possibly violating the American’s with Disabilities Act. Good question. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A Missouri couple are facing manslaughter charges after their dogs fatally mauled an 83-year old neighbor as he was riding his bicycle.

A Minnesota paper looks at ghost bikes in the Twin Cities, which are technically illegal in the state.

St. Paul MN takes a pass on a dockless bikeshare system being installed by its twin city.

Detroit is unveiling a new indoor velodrome with an inflatable roof today; just one of three in the US, including the VELO Sports Center at the StubHub Center in Carson.

Winter fat bike riding is increasing in popularity in Maine.

Nice piece in the New York Times, as a documentary filmmaker describes how getting back on her bicycle saved her life as she went through a separation, then a divorce.

Proof bike riders are tough. A New Orleans man rode several blocks for help before collapsing after he was shot several times.

 

International

Here’s what happens when city officials don’t back down on bike lanes, as opposition to Vancouver bike lanes has died away, and bikeways are no longer seen as a campaign issue.

Toronto’s Globe and Mail says we can’t assume streets are for cars if we want pedestrians to be safe.

The BBC asks what’s keeping women off bicycles, then points the finger at sexist and rude comments from drivers and male cyclists.

What’s more impressive? That a London management consultant quit his job to fish plastic out of the Thames, or that he built his own DIY floating bike to do it?

UK endurance cyclist Lee Fancourt passed away last week, apparently of natural causes, at just 40-years old; he held the record for the fastest crossing of Europe, traveling 4,300 miles in less than 22 days.

A British man uncovers a 199-year old hobby horse in an abandoned barn; the forerunner of the bicycle was one of just 320 built in 1819, and just one of 12 know to survive.

Former Oasis lead singer Liam Gallagher is one of us, too. Although it looks like he could raise his seat a tad.

Life is cheap in Northern Ireland, where a judge said he saw no point in sending a killer driver to jail.

Caught on video: A Dutch bike rider struggles against an intense headwind during last week’s storm. Been there, done that; I’ve actually been pushed backwards by a strong wind, as well as knocked off my bike by a sudden gust.

Alas, poor Yorick! Take a bike tour along the “Danish Riviera” to Hamlet’s castle.

City Lab looks at the long transformation of Paris into a more livable city, cutting driving mode share 45% since 1990, as traffic fatalities have fallen 40%. And if formerly traffic-choked Paris can do it...

Dubai continues to build cycle tracks, with 323 miles planned by 2021.

Caught on video too: An Australian cyclist captures a horrifying first person perspective as he gets stabbed by a road raging driver, after complaining a dangerous pass. Fortunately, he was not seriously injured.

Singapore hasn’t been spared by the scourge of abandoned — and sometimes submerged — dockless bikeshare bikes.

A Scottish writer goes bicycling through the cars and cows and hens and fumes of Kathmandu, feeling like a medieval soldier hacking his way through enemy ranks.

 

Competitive Cycling

South African cyclist Daryl Impey won Australia’s Tour Down Under; he was tied with Richie Porte after Saturday’s penultimate stage, but was declared the leader after a tie-breaking countback of stage placings, and managed to stay out of trouble on Sunday’s final stage.

Women competing in the Tour Down Under got prize money parity with the men after the South Australian state government pitched in an additional $90,000; Australia’s Amanda Spratt took the general classification as well as Queen of the Mountain.

Pressure is increasing on Team Sky to suspend Chris Froome over his failed doping test for overuse of an asthma drug. Meanwhile, researchers say it’s time to scrap the Therapeutic Use Exemptions that were employed by Froome and Team Sky, for the short and long-term health of the cyclists.

 

Finally…

Who hasn’t dreamed of one day owning a fat-tired, handlebar-equipped, gyroscopic e-unicycle? Don’t wear a mask when you ride, or you may frighten schoolgirls and start a police investigation.

And more proof bike riders are tough. A 12-year old Aussie boy broke his back in eight places riding his bike off a cliff into a lake, then rode home after being dragged back to shore.

 

Morning Links: Hit-and-run runs rampant throughout CA; video shows plans for Puente Hills Landfill park

If you think the hit-and-run epidemic is getting worse, you’re right.

Stats wonk Ed Ryder does a great job of mining the CHP’s SWITRS database; in the past, he’s created detailed charts to help us understand traffic collisions on PCH, as well as in LA and Orange Counties, and around the state.

So when I met with a state legislator to discuss the problem of hit-and-runs recently, I asked Ryder if he could delve into the database once again to show just how big a problem it really is.

And big is putting it mildly.

As his report shows, it’s goes way beyond bad, and it’s only getting worse. Not just here in LA, but nearly everywhere in California.

In fact, from 2004 to now, a driver fled the scene in nearly 20% of all crashes in the state.

1-overview

After dropping to a low of 17.4% of all collisions in 2011, hit-and-run has made a big comeback, climbing to 19.5% in 2015, and 20% to date in 2016.

2-total-collisions

Note: It should be noted that the more recent figures are preliminary, since there’s a significant lag time in reporting statistics to SWITRS. And these stats only include death and serious injuries; adding property damage would boost the percentages significantly.

The sheer numbers are staggering, with nearly 300 deaths due to hit-and-run collisions in recent years, and over 20,000 injuries.

4-killed-and-injured

As the following chart shows, the costs are huge, not just in terms of human suffering, but in the economic loss to society, as well.

3-hit-and-run-costs

Not surprisingly, Los Angeles County is the state’s overwhelming leader in hit-and-run deaths, with San Diego, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties fighting it out for 2nd place.

5-fatalities

Injuries paint an even more dramatic picture, with LA County accounting for over half of all hit-and-runs resulting in injuries.

6-injuries

However, that is partly a function of LA’s sheer size. When you look at hit-and-run collisions as a percentage of population, a much different picture appears.

While LA still leads in injury collisions, it drops to ninth in fatalities.

7-fatality-rate

8-injury-rate

It’s possible that may be due to better access to emergency care compared to less urban counties like Kern and Tulare, where it could take significantly longer to get to a trauma center following a crash. As well as slower speeds resulting from traffic congestion and lower speed limits in urban areas.

Regardless, it’s clear that hit-and-run is a problem that affects the entire state.

And it’s not going to go away until we do something about it.

You can download Ed Ryder’s full report here.

………

A new video explains the plan for the Puente Hills Landfill park, which was approved by the county supervisors yesterday.

………

The route has been announced for next year’s 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia, once again with a focus on climbing.

A 46-year old British amateur cyclist has received a four year ban for using EPO, just months after being banned for using another substance. But cycling doesn’t have a cheating problem anymore. Right?

………

Local

Today is the last day to weigh in on the proposed Rail-to-River bikeway connecting the Crenshaw Line to the LA River through the southeast cities.

New signs are being installed on the LA River bike path telling riders to slow down in areas where more people walk. CiclaValley prefers to look on the bright side, noting that part of the bike path closure is due to improvements, even though we may not see them for the foreseeable future.

Pasadena will discuss plans for the coming Metro Bike bikeshare system at a public meeting this Thursday.

Long Beach police receive a $400,000 grant to improve traffic safety, including DUI, distracted driving, and bike and pedestrian safety enforcement.

 

State

A San Diego cyclist is asking for help remembering what the hell happened to him; he found himself standing bloodied and confused in a Target parking lot two miles away with a cracked skull and multiple facial fractures after going for a bike ride, with no idea how he got there.

San Diego offers proposals to discourage driving without increasing density, including counting on autonomous vehicles to reduce the need for parking and room for bike lanes.

While we’re on the subject of our neighbor to the South, San Diego’s CicloSDias ciclovía is looking for volunteers for this Sunday’s 4th annual open streets event.

San Francisco will get its first parking protected, elevated bike lane in the Mission District, but only for one block.

The San Francisco Chronicle looks at the “pack of vigilantes” altering the city’s streets to improve safety for bicyclists; a new video shows how it’s done.

 

National

Streetsblog looks at how American cities can protect cyclists from deadly trucks. It shouldn’t be left to individual cities or states; the federal government should mandate new trucking standards to improve safety for everyone.

Evanston IL city leaders propose removing a new bike lane from one side of the street to improve safety for motorists. Yes, you read that right; they want to sacrifice the safety of people on bicycles to protect the ones surrounded by a few tons of glass and steel. 

A Massachusetts blogger and mountain biker offers real world advice on bike commuting.

A 28-year old New York woman writes in Vogue about learning how to ride a bike as an adult to prepare for a trip to Copenhagen. Yes, Vogue. Evidently, we’ve become stylish.

Bike ridership continues to climb in New York, though lower income communities are being left behind as most protected lanes go into more affluent areas.

A 67-year old Virginia cyclist may be the oldest woman ride solo across the US.

ABC News reports on the South Carolina teacher who is raising funds to buy a bicycle for every student at her disadvantaged school.

 

International

Relatives of people killed on Toronto streets have formed their own traffic safety group to call for an end to road violence.

An Ottawa bike rider was hit by a car while riding in a new bike lane, just hours after it was officially opened. Which is a pretty good sign that a little paint may not be sufficient.

A Canadian city is being sued over an allegedly unsafe bike lane following a collision. Not by the rider who was paralyzed in the crash, but by the driver convicted of causing it by making an unsafe turn.

A UK website goes back 40 years to explain how Edinburgh became a bike-friendly city.

The creepy clown phenomenon continues to spread around the world, as a 15-year old New Zealand boy was frightened by a clown that threatened to kill him as he rode his bike. Although maybe it’s the clowns who should be scared.

Shanghai is offering ebike users a free electronic chip to track their bicycles if they’re stolen.

 

Finally…

Who needs carbon or Ti when you can have wood? It’s one thing to steal a boy’s bicycle; another to apparently steal the boy with it.

And it’s time to make bicycling great again, as a Trump supporter with a megaphone goes on an unexpected bike safety monologue.

Thanks to Cyclelicious for the link.

Morning Links: Hit-and-runs rising, wife of fallen PVE cyclist John Bacon speaks out, and soda for a cause

This is what you call a teaser.

Amateur bike statistician Ed Ryder has done another deep dive into bike collision data, preparing reports on the national and state level, with local data still in the works.

We’ll take a look at some of his findings next week.

But meanwhile, here’s a preview of what’s to come.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Following a meeting with a local legislator’s office to discuss changing the law to stop hit-and-runs in the state this past week, they asked for stats to back up the need for changes.

So at my request, Ed graciously stopped what he was doing, and produced the following chart to demonstrate just how bad the problem is here in California.

As you can see, hit-and-runs have risen significantly after dropping to a low of nearly 68,000 in 2013, down from over 100,000 in the last decade.

But as the overall collision rate has dropped, hit-and-runs have increased dramatically as a percentage of all reported crashes, with nearly 20% of drivers statewide fleeing the scene following a crash.

Something has to change.

Because current law clearly isn’t enough to get drivers to stick around.

………

Speaking of hit-and-run, KCBS-2 offers a heartbreaking report on the hit-and-run death of bike rider John Bacon in Palos Verdes Estates in May.

His wife struggles to talk about her loss, describing him as “a strong, silent type, a very kind and generous, loving person,” as well as an experienced cyclist who lost his life just going on a bike ride.

Over two months later, police still haven’t made an arrest, despite security camera video showing a white pickup truck following just feet from Bacon’s wheel.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has strongly criticized the PVE police for a lackadaisical approach to the investigation, failing to even respond when a bike rider initially spotted the suspect vehicle.

Bacon’s family is urging the drivers and bicyclists who passed by shortly after the crash to come forward and describe what they saw, so they can finally get some justice in the case.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

………

Pink Bike reports on efforts to allow bicycles to return to US Wilderness Areas, which may finally be on the brink of success. Write your Congressional representatives to urge their support.

Thanks to Byron Smith for the link.

………

Support bikes and a good cause at the same time.

Galco’s Old World Grocery on York Blvd in Highland Park is hosting a Summer Soda Tasting to help save the Southwest Museum.

However, the store’s owner has fought the highly successful road diet that has helped revitalize York Blvd, as well as the bike lanes that run in front of his store. And still refuses to install bike racks, insisting that his customers don’t get there by bicycle.

Let’s prove him wrong.

Ride your bike to the soda tasting, and as friendly and politely as possible, let them know how you got there. Even if it’s just resting your helmet on the counter as you check out.

They’ll get the message.

………

Pro racing teams are objecting to a requirement that every team has to participate in all 27 UCI top-level WorldTour events.

Three Russian riders are out, and another three are being probed over doping reports in advance of the Rio Olympics.

Everyone’s trying to get a technical edge in Rio. The US has high-tech bikes with the gearing on the wrong side, while the Brits are lubing their chains with nanotubes.

Cycling Weekly asks if bike racing is the toughest sport, while Cycling Tips explores whether team budgets equal racing success. Short answer, yes. To both.

A Claremont Paralympic cyclist is raising funds to compete in Rio next month; born with a congenital foot defect, Samantha Bosco plans to compete in the 3k individual pursuit and 500-meter race, as well as the road race and time trial. You can contribute to her efforts through her gofundme account.

………

Local

Walkup rentals for Downtown’s Metro Bike bikeshare begin on Monday; the program kicks off with a discount rate of $1.75 per half hour through October 1st.

CiclaValley joins with Victor Boyce and Ron Meyer to discuss the ten most essential climbs in Los Angeles, the Tour de France, and the state of bicycling in the East Valley. Although the most essential climb is really just climbing onto your bike for a ride.

LA Rams quarterback Case Keenum arrived at training camp on his wife’s borrowed bicycle, claiming it was the first time he’d been on a bike since he was 12 years old.

Meg Ryan’s directorial debut centers on the life of a young bike messenger during World War II, based on William Saroyan’s book The Human Comedy.

 

State

A 17-year old Irvine student organized a 450-mile, five day fundraising ride to benefit victims of modern slavery and human trafficking; the ride ends Saturday in Laguna Beach.

Police are searching for the hit-and-run driver who injured a woman riding her bike in National City Wednesday night.

Bike SD reports on the network of cycle tracks coming to downtown San Diego.

Construction will begin this February on a bicycle boulevard through Menlo Park. Although it sounds more like just a buffered bike lane.

A jury concludes a pair of Los Altos deputies used excessive force in confronting a driver during a traffic stop, which began when she didn’t pull over for a patrol car — because she didn’t want to run over the bicyclists in the bike lane next to her.

Hundreds of toddlers will converge on San Francisco to race balance bikes. Am I the only one who has a problem with kids as young as 18 months competing against each other? Although I’d love to see the podium girls for this one.

 

National

US Congress Members tell the Department of Transportation to measure the movement of people, however they travel, rather than just cars.

Vogue talks to a model/bike lifestyle company owner about on how to look chic on your bike.

Nevada will break ground this summer on a $30 million bike and pedestrian pathway around Lake Tahoe.

A Denver area man is under arrest for sabotaging a popular bike route by spreading thumb tacks over the roadway; he faces possible misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.

Outside says 23-year old Colorado native Howard Grotts is the best American mountain biker in a generation.

A Dallas cyclist created a popular weekly crit to combat the elitist image of local bike racers.

A former Iowa mayor says cyclists should stay on a bike trail instead of the roadway, and have to register and license their bikes if they want to ride on the street.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d shoot a nine-year old Wisconsin boy in the face with a BB gun while he was riding his bike back to his lemonade stand.

A 10-year old Connecticut boy is asking for 1,000 veterans and emergency responders to sign his BMX bike; so far he’s up to 780 signatures with room for more.

NY Streetsblog says cyclists need protection from drivers, not from themselves, even if the NYPD seems to disagree. Meanwhile, the city’s influential Transportation Alternatives advocacy group says the city isn’t doing enough to crack down on driver behavior that threatens people walking and riding bikes.

A passing bike rider talks a possible jumper off New York’s George Washington Bridge.

A Connecticut man is suing New York’s Citi Bike for the head injury he suffered falling off one of the bikeshare bikes, on the grounds that the city didn’t require users to wear a helmet. On the other hand, nothing says he couldn’t have used one on his own without being forced to.

Charlotte NC mourns the death of a “human landmark;” the 73-year old developmentally disabled woman was famous in the city for riding her bike for hours while dressed in orange.

Bighearted Florida sheriff’s deputies donate an unclaimed bike to a hardworking teenager who had no other form of transportation.

 

International

Cycling Industry News lists 20 key cities where mode share for bicycling is growing. Needless to say, Los Angeles is not on the list; Atlanta is the only US city to make the cut.

The CBC says despite recent breakthroughs, there’s still a lot we don’t know about the physics of bicycling.

Winnipeg cyclists say injuries will keep increasing along with ridership until the city gets some decent bike infrastructure.

Kindhearted Manitoba, Canada residents step up after a woman posted a profanity-laced poster asking for her stolen bike back; as many as 50 people have offered to replace it for her.

After getting knocked off her bike, a Toronto reporter says it’s time to rise above road rage and the mentality that cars are the king of the road.

A Brit bike rider is fined £400 — the equivalent of $527 — for blowing a red light; a local safety advocate says cyclists going through red lights poses more danger to themselves than anyone else, which is confirmed by a police report showing no injuries have been caused by red light-running bicyclists.

A London driver allegedly targeted cyclists riding in a bike lane by deliberately running several riders off the road, then getting out and stomping on the cellphone when one of the victims tried to call the police. Yet police describe it simply as a “dispute” between a cyclist and two men in a car.

Tel Aviv builds a multi-million shekel network of bikeways for adaptive riders, allowing handicapped cyclists to take to the trails.

 

Finally…

If you’re using a bicycle as your getaway vehicle, drop the flat screen and take the guns. If you’re going to burglarize cars after dark, put some damn lights on your bike and watch our for cameras.

And every time you ride your bike, you can be grateful you’re not stuck on the nation’s worst highway from hell.

Although it makes you wonder just what the best highway from hell must be like.

 

%d bloggers like this: