Tag Archive for El Segundo

Weekend Links: Witnesses wanted in El Segundo death, Westwood votes for bike lanes, and more Valley CicLAvia

You’d think the life of a bike rider would be worth more than a single paragraph in the local paper.

Not to mention running it a month late — and incorrectly, at that.

The Daily Breeze has finally gotten around to mentioning that 25-year old Ricky Montoya was killed while riding in El Segundo on February 21st. And even then, only in the context that the police are looking for witnesses.

Never mind that Montoya was killed as he rode on Aviation at night, not 11 am as the paper reports.

Anyone with information is urged to call Officer Jeff Darringer at 310-524-2296 or email darringer@elsegundo.org.

Meanwhile, I’m told the El Segundo police have been conducting braking tests using what appears to be the same PT Cruiser the driver was in when he hit Montoya; you can see one of the tests below.

The same source tells me she overheard an officer tell a bystander the driver had to have been doing at least 60 mph in the 40 mph zone when he hit Montoya.

Note to the El Segundo Police Department: If you’d bothered to return my call asking for more information last month, it’s just possible we might have been able to find a witness already.

I’m just saying.

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Westwood bike advocate Calla Wiemer provided a short update on Thursday’s meeting of the Westwood Business Improvement District, which considered the much-needed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd.

Here is a quick rundown on what happened at the Westwood Village BID meeting yesterday morning.

  • The board voted unanimously to request an LADOT engineering study of bike lane options for Westwood Blvd through the Village, and the message to Councilmember Koretz’s deputies was that they want it expedited and they want to make a decision quickly to endorse a plan once they get a report.
  • They ruled out requesting study of any alternatives to Westwood Blvd in order to laser focus city resources on the street that most needs improvement.
  • They took a straw poll to gauge sentiment on endorsing protected bike lanes – the more ambitious of two proposals put forth in Ryan Snyder’s “Remove Nothing Plan”, and five of ten board members indicated support even without the engineering study; the others want to see results of the study

A large number of bike lane advocates turned out, but the opposition was represented too. The results of the LADOT study will get careful scrutiny.

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A rider who prefers to remain anonymous emailed to report stumbling upon a new semi-separated and, apparently, mostly useless bike lane on Los Angeles Street in DTLA.

Don’t remember hearing/reading anything about new bollards & armadillos on Los Angeles St between First & Temple, but there they were! At first, I didn’t see them, because a texter in an SUV had pulled over to the curb (in his defense, he had his emergency blinkers on). I passed on his left, and swung back into the bike lane with enough time to swerve to the right of the bollards. There are several bollards, then several intact armadillos, then a couple smashed armadillos, then more cars parked in the bike lane which forced me back out into the “car lane.” Fun ride! I stopped in the middle of the bike lane to take pictures, ’cause you’re supposed to stop right there in the bike lane, that’s what it’s for.

I’m just gonna take the lane from now on.

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Game, set, match.

A Seattle road diet reduced high-end speeding (10+ mph over the limit) by up to 70% and reduced crashes by 45%. And at the same time, traffic volume actually increased without slowing travel times.

Show that to the next person who fears that eliminating a traffic lane will result in unspeakable disaster.

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The LA Times says there’s not enough data to mandate bike helmets, and recommends that SB 192, the proposed law that would require all bicyclists to wear helmets, be amended to require California to study whether a helmet law would even do any good.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog vets the Times’ editorial, and Calbike offers a list of Quick Facts explaining why the proposed law is off base.

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Bobby Close emailed to report that a member of his cycling club barely avoided a dangerous crash when some teenagers buzzed him, in clear violation of the three-foot passing law, as he rode on PCH. And that one reached out to smack the rider on the ass.

While the kids no doubt thought it was a pretty funny a prank, they actually committed an assault, which could have left them subject to prosecution.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to get the car’s license, which is almost impossible to do when a riders is struggling to maintain control of his or her bike.

And it probably wouldn’t matter anyway; unless there was an independent witness, police would consider it a matter of he said/she said, except in the unlikely event the kids admitted what they did.

Close’s suggestion is that cyclists should use a bike cam to record such situations; he recommends the FLY6 and FLY12 bike lights that also incorporate an HD cam, including audio.

The FLY6, a taillight/cam combo is currently on the market — though sold out — while the headlight/cam FLY12 has already far exceeded its Kickstarter goal.

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If the media coverage is any indication, CicLAvia’s first-ever visit to the San Fernando Valley this Sunday could be one of the biggest ever.

Bike Walk Glendale is hosting a feeder ride with special guest US Congressman Adam Schiff; here’s your chance to ask for more bike funding in the federal budget, though I suspect you’d be preaching to the choir.

KPCC offers the top five things to know about CicLAvia.

The Daily News reports on the Valley’s first open streets event, citing the official CicLAvia Neighborhood Guide and Walk With Me app, along with links to comprehensive guides from CiclaValley and the Militant Angeleno.

CiclaValley adds to his intensive coverage with insider travel and business tips, aa well as a guide to where to eat and drink along the route. And yes, that includes booze; just remember BUI is against the law in California.

Speaking of which, Studio City’s Flask Fine Wine & Whiskey will be hosting a beer tasting from 11 am to 5 pm; 10% of the proceeds will benefit the LACBC.

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Let’s squeeze in a quick listing of upcoming events while we’re at it.

San Diego’s BikeSD will benefit from the Bikes & Beers ride on Saturday, March 28th; just remember the link above about biking under the influence when riding home.

It’s not quite a ciclovia, but the Orange County Transportation Authority invites you to celebrate the Coyote Creek bikeway on Sunday, March 29th.

If you’re one of the first 35 people promising to bike to Santa Monica’s April 16th Sustainability Awards, the Santa Monica Bike Center will pick up your tab.

While there won’t be another CicLAvia until October, Long Beach will step into the breach with Beach Streets Uptown along Atlantic Ave on Saturday, June 6th.

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Local

Ron Milam, one of the founders of the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition, talks mindfulness while bike riding and discusses the founding of the coalition in a Pedal Love podcast.

Flying Pigeon lays the blame for the latest collision in which a driver hit a bicyclist and a pedestrian on North Figueroa at the feet of Councilmember Gil Cedillo, who unilaterally killed a planned road diet for the street. Someone should show Cedillo the results of the Seattle road diet mentioned above, although facts and studies haven’t seemed to have influenced him yet.

Rick Risemberg observes that Huntington Drive is badly in need of a diet. Speaking of Risemberg, he now has a Facebook page devoted to his fiction writing.

If you’ve got a few extra bucks for a great cause, the East Side Riders Bike Club is raising funds on Indiegogo for BEAST — Bicycle Education and Safety Training — for kids in Watts. So far, they’ve only raised $45 out of a $2,500 goal; this would be a great opportunity for some business to step in with a sponsorship.

 

State

Laguna Beach votes to create the city’s first complete street, while the police, community and city council work to improve safety.

Camp Pendleton restricts access to the base by visitors arriving by car, but thankfully, the rules don’t seem to apply to bike riders.

Caltrain will add an extra bike car to accommodate their triple digit rise in bicyclists on board.

 

National

As if texting drivers weren’t bad enough, 27% of teens surveyed said they changed their shoes or clothes while driving. Do I really have to explain why that’s a bad thing?

City Lab’s Sarah Goodyear examines the recent report on bike lanes and social equity, with a decidedly SoCal spin.

Collecting Schwinn Sting Rays isn’t child’s play.

A tweeted tip leads to the arrest of two Seattle bike thieves, and the recovery of over two dozen stolen bikes.

A Kentucky congressman promises to keep the federal Highway Trust Fund solvent by restricting gas tax revenues for highways, and banning funding for bikeways, sidewalks and transit. Yes, it’s all those bike lanes that have busted the system, not the failure to increase the tax since gas prices were a buck a gallon.

A Massachusetts cyclist gets a $300,000 settlement after breaking his hip when a loose dog ran into his front wheel; no word on whether the dog was injured or or if it countersued.

Kill a New York cyclist, and lose your license for a whopping six months.

New York Vision Zero advocates call for redesigning the city’s major arterial streets to improve safety. Something that’s long past due here in LA.

A Florida writer says the key to safe bicycling is to minimize the risks you can, and prepare for the risks you can’t.

 

International

Olympic cyclist Chris Hoy calls on British political parties to make ambitious pledges to boost bicycling, saying bikes should be at the front of the queue when designing new roads and junctions. Or redesigning old ones, for that matter.

A new Kickstarter project promises a lightweight, flexible bike lock that withstands up to five minutes of hacking; the project is fully funded with over a month to go.

New headphones promise to improve safety by allowing riders to listen to music without blocking their ears.

There’s something seriously wrong here, as British school kids are being taught self defense to fend off bike-jackings.

UK police blame the victim, declining to pursue charges against a driver who couldn’t explain why she didn’t see the cyclist she ran down, because the rider wasn’t wearing hi-viz or a helmet.

Dutch rider Thomas Dekker retires from pro cycling when he can’t find a team to sign with after failing to set the hour record.

Is New Zealand’s new Bike Tree sculpture great public art, or a waste of bikes that could be fixed up and donated to those who can’t afford one? I love art, but bikes were made to ride.

Dahon unveils a new folding electric bike built in collaboration with Ford, and based on the 107-year old Tin Lizzy. At least it’s not yet another unneeded hi-end hi-tech concept racing bike.

Vietnam is hosting its inaugural mountain bike stage race.

 

Finally…

Seriously, you can’t make this shit up, as a Key West bike rider was arrested for duct taping three live iguanas to his handlebars. A study shows men who bike more than 8.5 hours a week have a higher risk of prostate cancer than those who don’t, except it doesn’t really.

And once again, Bikeyface nails it.

 

Update: Teenage bike rider killed on Aviation Blvd in El Segundo

I hate news like this.

Ricky Montoya

Photo from GoFundME page

Early this morning, I received an email saying that a young bicyclist was killed in El Segundo over the weekend. However, I was unable to confirm the news until now.

I’ve now been told from multiple sources that 25-year old Richard “Ricky” Montoya of Lawndale was killed while riding home at 124th and Aviation Blvd in El Segundo; some sources place the collision somewhere between 122nd and 124th.

Details are still sketchy, however, it appears he was hit sometime Saturday night, and passed away at a hospital later that night or the next day. One source says the driver was speeding, however, that has not been confirmed.

Memorial for Ricky Montoya; photo by Danny Gamboa.

Memorial for Ricky Montoya; photo by Danny Gamboa.

I have a call into the El Segundo Police department, so hopefully we’ll get more information soon.

Meanwhile, Montoya’s family is raising funds to pay for his funeral expenses; so far they’ve raised less than 10% of the $15,000 needed. Plans are also in the works to place a ghost bike on Wednesday.

This is the sixth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in LA County. That compare to 19 in SoCal this time last year.

Update: A comment below says that Montoya was 25, and was a resident of Lawndale; I’ve corrected this story to reflect that.

Scene of the collision on Aviation Blvd; photo by Danny Gamboa

Collision site on Aviation Blvd; photo by Danny Gamboa

Update 2: Still no official word about this collision. However, after visiting the site, Danny Gamboa reports marks indicating the point of impact and and where Montoya’s body came to rest are over one hundred feet apart, supporting the suggestion that he was hit at a high rate of speed.

He also reports Montoya’s bike was properly lighted, and that debris on the side of the road suggests he was riding in the right lane when he was hit. 

Meanwhile, a reader forwards word from a Nixle alert that Aviation will be closed from 5 am to 10 am Saturday so police can continue their investigation at the crash site.

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My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ricky Montoya and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Margaret Wehbi and Danny Gamboa for their help in confirming the bad news.

 

Ghost bike for Ricky Montoya; photo by Danny Gamboa

Ghost bike for Ricky Montoya; photo by Danny Gamboa

Morning Links: BOLO alert for El Segundo hit-and-run driver; Brit bike benefit-to-cost ratios off the charts

El Segundo police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who hit a bike rider.

According to the Daily Breeze, a dark haired, 20-something Asian woman was behind the wheel of a black BMW that fled the scene after running down the rider at Maple Ave and Center Street on October 29th.

Although how they can tell she had a thin build seated inside a car is beyond me.

A source tells me the speed limit in the area is just 25 mph; no word on how fast the driver was going. And no word on the rider’s condition.

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I think we all can relate at times.

The designer of Google’s self-driving car says “I’m a cyclist. I don’t like cars.”

Especially since 98% of cellphone-owning drivers say they know the dangers of texting behind the wheel, but three-quarters do it anyway.

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The British transport agency compares benefit-to-cost ratios for various means of transit, and finds bike are off the charts.

Road and rail projects are considered high benefit when they offer a benefit-to-cost ratio of just 2:1, while the country’s new cycling plans offer a ratio of 5.5:1 — and some are as high as 35:1.

I’d like to see a similar study here, where the results would undoubtedly be the same.

Correction: Initially, I had accidentally reversed the term benefit-to-cost as cost-to-benefit, which changes the whole meaning of the story. I have since changed it to read correctly. Thanks to Calla Weimer for the correction. 

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Local

A rental site creates a map of where your bike is most likely to get stolen in cities around the country, including right here in Los Angeles; be extra cautious locking your ride on the Westside. And Fox-11 gives a much appreciated shout out to BikinginLA as part of the story.

The Daily News looks at the LACBC’s Operation Firefly to provide lightless riders with free lights.

A Glendale cyclist is hit by a car, whose driver doesn’t flee for a change. Fortunately, the rider only suffered a broken arm.

Santa Monica Next explains that yes, SaMo is considering going ahead with their own bike share, but they’re working with Metro and the Westside COG to ensure compatibility with any future countywide system.

 

State

The Union-Tribune asks if San Diego can be a mecca for cyclists. Maybe, but I don’t plan to bow down in their direction anytime soon.

Good news from Murietta, as the critically injured cyclist who was run down by a drunk, distracted driver who was eating mushrooms and — as Opus the Poet pointed out — driving in the bike lane, is expected to survive despite major injuries.

Fair warning. If you’re riding a bike in Santa Barbara on the 11th and 12th, make sure you stop for red lights and stop signs.

San Francisco safety advocates rally for faster action on Vision Zero.

Longtime pro Chris Horner talks with a Bay Area business publication about how to build a winning culture.

A proposed Sacramento law goes beyond banning bikes from sidewalks, requiring cyclists to pass a test and get a $10 bicyclist license — something that would probably be illegal under California law, which supersedes misguided local ordinances. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

National

The top ten bike apps for Android users. Because not everyone has an iPhone. No, really.

Making cities more bikeable helps return them to a more human and livable scale.

A new study shows what we already knew. If you build a safe bicycling network, more people will ride their bikes and overall health improves.

Someone posted an illegal sign on a Hawaiian road to warn drivers about Japanese bike riders who don’t know the rules of American roads.

The body of a French adventurer has been found six months after he disappeared in an effort to walk, bike and canoe across Alaska.

A new Utah radar system can detect cyclists at red lights. Maybe they could put them in cars, too.

You’ve got to be kidding. The driver whose carelessness nearly killed American cycling legend Dale Stetina in Colorado gets off with restitution and a 60 hours of community service.

As usual, Boston’s Bikeyface nails it in sort of celebrating bike-cations.

A New York TV station panics over speeding cyclists in Central Park, some of whom exceed the posted speed limit by a whole 5 mph! Which naturally leads to…

The NYPD promises to give drivers a little leeway when it comes to enforcing the city’s new 25 mph speed limit. But cracks down on bike riders.

A drunk NYC cyclist hands his bike over to an unarmed thief just because the guy asked for it. Well, okay then.

A New Orleans judge clears the way for a road diet that will probably benefit the businesses suing to halt it.

 

International

A British sustainable transport group says the country’s roads aren’t safe enough, as bicycling injuries and fatalities go up 10%; no word on whether that corresponds to an increase in ridership.

The Netherlands opens the world’s first solar bike path to generate electricity while providing a safe route between two cities. Seems a little problematic, but we’ll see.

Polish cyclists evidently in search of that healthy glow ride through the Chernobyl exclusion zone. Yes, that Chernobyl.

An Indian city gets a new Dutch-inspired cycle track. Which coincidently, just happens to surround the chief minister’s residence.

Katy Perry buys a bike helmet, after she’s spotted riding without one in violation of Australia’s mandatory helmet law. I used to see her riding along the beach in the South Bay so often I started to think we were dating.

Celebrating bikes on a gran fondo-style ride through Japan.

 

Finally…

Repeat after me: if you’re riding a bike with a crack pipe in your pocket and a rock in your pants, don’t deliberately ride in front of a police car. Evidently, God likes bikes, as a nine-year old says the Almighty told him to ride across the country; he must have said something to the boy’s parents too, since they went along with the plan.

And the devil may be in the details, but he won’t be chasing competitors in the Tour de France anymore.

 

When will it ever stop? El Segundo cyclist killed by hit-and-run driver July 4th; Rybicki improving

You knew we weren’t going to get through the holiday weekend without bad news.

Early morning on the 4th of July, those fears were confirmed when a hit-and-run driver took the life of 32-year old cyclist George Loudon in El Segundo. Loudon was reportedly making his was home from work when he was hit from behind while riding northbound on Vista Del Mar near Dockweiler State Beach in El Segundo.

The exact spot of the collision is unclear; reports say the collision occurred near Hyperion Way, which does not appear on online maps.

Loudon was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities reportedly don’t have any description of the suspect vehicle; anyone with information is asked to call the LAPD at 213/473-0222.

This was the second fatal hit-and-run in the L.A. area in just 24 hours, as a pedestrian was killed in San Pedro on Sunday.

Loudon’s death was the 35th confirmed cycling traffic fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Los Angeles County; three of those fatalities have been the result of hit-and-runs.

And I’m still looking for confirmation of two other possible deaths in the past two weeks, including one in East L.A.

Maybe one day we’ll finally be able to celebrate our independence from cowards who flee the scene after killing or injuring another human being. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no lower form of life; it’s long past time we stop treating hit-and-runs like traffic collisions and start treating them like the crimes they are.

My prayers and condolences to Loudon’s family and friends.

Update: The Daily Breeze reports that Loudon, who lived in Venice, was riding through a “dark and desolate” area wearing dark clothing and without reflectors; whether he had a light is not mentioned. His body was found by a passing motorist, so there is no clear indication of exactly when he was hit. Police note that the vehicle should have significant damage to the front end.

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I’ve been hearing some unfortunate rumors about Adam Rybicki, the cyclist critically injured in a collision with an allegedly drunk, underage driver in Torrance last April.

So let me clear up any confusion.

Adam has been transferred to a rehab facility, and continues to show improvement. While he still has significant impairment due to his injuries, the latest reports are that he is able to communicate using a white board and is working hard at his recovery.

Clearly, he has a very long way to go, and prayers and positive thoughts are still needed.

But overall, the news is good. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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