Tag Archive for Granada Hills

Update: 17-year old bike rider killed by DWP truck in Granada Hills

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Ghost Bike for Philo Ragni; all photos by Danny Gamboa

There’s something seriously wrong when a kid can’t even ride his bike home from school.

According to KTLA-5, a 17-year old boy was struck and killed by a DWP truck Wednesday afternoon, just a block away from John F. Kennedy High School in Granada Hills, where he was a student. Other sources give his age as 16.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding south on Woodley Ave at San Fernando Mission Blvd when he was hit the northbound truck, driven by an electrical worker for the department. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

There’s no word on how the collision occurred; however, since it happened at an intersection while they were traveling in opposite directions, it suggests that one or the other may have been turning onto San Fernando Mission.

The station reports there were several bikes lying on a corner of the intersection following the wreck, one with a mangled front wheel.

And yes, the DWP did offer a brief statement of sympathy.

This is the fourth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Los Angeles County. It’s also the first in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year.

Update: KNBC-4 reports the victim was a senior at the school, and had been riding with a group of fellow students. However, the story is not online yet.

Update 2: KACB-7 has identified the victim as 17-year old Philo Ragni.

According to the station, the LAPD said the DWP truck was headed north on Woodley when a group of kids crossed the street going west on San Fernando Mission; no word on who had the right of way.

However, police report that a Metro bus was driving by at the time of the collision, and may have captured the collision on video.

Update 3: KCBS-2 contradicts the KABC report, suggesting that Ragni and his friends were riding south on Woodley when he suddenly turned across the path of the truck. The station says Ragni, whose given name was Philomene, was a popular student who friends say was always happy, though troubled by the recent death of his mother.

The station also reports he was not wearing a helmet; whether or not that is relevant depends on just what injuries he suffered, and whether or not the collision would have been survivable with one.

And I neglected to include earlier that the driver remained on the scene and was cooperating with investigators; he passed a sobriety test at the scene. He is said to be devastated by what happened.

Adding to the tragedy, KTLA-5 says Ragni died on his little brother’s birthday.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Philo Ragni and his loved ones.  

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Morning Links: Help fund a People St plaza for Granada Hills, and a documentary on a bike-riding comic

Now here’s a project we can get behind.

Granada Hills resident Linda Williamson proposes transforming a right turn lane into a bike and pedestrian friendly plaza, like the popular Sunset Triangle Plaza in Silver Lake.

The plaza would be build under the city’s new People St program, which is dedicated towards helping local residents reclaim underused roadways as public spaces. Oddly, though, some people don’t seem to get it, fearing that a turn lane allowing motorists to drive past their storefronts would somehow be better for business than a plaza that would draw people to them.

Which is a pretty good indication of just how auto-addled our city has become.

And even though it would only be built on a 12-month trial basis, allowing the decision to be reversed if it didn’t work out.

As if.

You can show your support by signing a petition backing the project, and contributing to a Kickstarter project to raise $11,000 to fund construction of the plaza.

And if you live or ride in the area, it wouldn’t hurt to stop by some of the local businesses that would directly benefit from the plaza — whether they realize it or not — to encourage them to back the project.

Because you’ll probably be back a lot more often and spend more money if they just make it more inviting to come and stay awhile.

………

Meanwhile, a new Kickstarter project funds a documentary about a bike-riding comedian’s attempts to kickstart his comedy career.

After all, as the title of the piece says, what’s the worst that could happen?

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Local

More on the next year’s first Valley CicLAvia.

Streetsblog says the bike lanes on Grand Avenue in DTLA are getting even grander with an extension into South Los Angeles.

Most candidates for the Glendale city council oppose more bike lanes within the city, apparently preferring a return to auto-centricity. Meanwhile, both Glendale and Burbank failed to apply for funding to host an open streets event.

I love it. The Eastside Bike Club is hosting a Riff Raff Ride into San Marino, whose residents — some, anyway — worry bike lanes would bring outsiders into their overly exclusive community.

Redondo Beach’s Catalina Coffee Co. is recognized as the South Bay’s first bike-friendly business.

Downey joins the 21st Century by ditching a 1958 law requiring bike licenses.

Gizmodo interviews former LA and current Long Beach transportation planner Nate Baird.

 

State

In a closely watched case from the Bay Area, a teen driver who killed a Pleasanton cyclist and injured her husband while driving at 83 mph — in a 40-mile zone, no less — gets nine well-deserved years.

Surprisingly, though, he’s not one of the motorheads backing a San Francisco ballot measure to maintain automotive hegemony over the streets. I’m only surprised no one has proposed something like that here yet.

 

National

In a major disconnect, the US House Appropriations Committee calls on the Department of Transportation to cut bike and pedestrian deaths at the same time the House is trying to gut active transportation funding.

Good for them. Members of my old fraternity are riding from San Francisco to DC to raise money and awareness for people with disabilities, while People for Bikes rides on Chicago to raise funds and awareness.

A 93-year old Idaho cyclist puts safety first, and isn’t afraid to correct other riders. If he can catch them.

As usual, when bus, bike and car commuters race, the bike wins. Even in Des Moines.

What is it with self-absorbed young women who don’t seem to care about the harm they cause? In yet another example, an Ohio judge nearly doubles the sentence of a 20-year old driver who killed a cyclist while high on dope because of her lack of remorse.

A driver is charged with murder in a Louisiana cold case after police conclude the death of a cyclist was an intentional act.

A Clemson University study says people who ride bikes are happier than other commuters. But you already knew that, right?

 

International

It’s seldom a bike lane in Toronto if everyone else is parking in it.

A London neurosurgeon goes against the grain of the medical community by saying bike helmets are worthless.

Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize fame says Australian cities are years behind others around the world in providing bike infrastructure.

Kiwi drivers speed down bike lanes. Then again, Kentucky drivers don’t do any better.

 

Finally…

Proof you can carry anything on a bike. Even a goat. And pro cyclist Peter Sagan does some impressive mountain biking.

But seriously, can he carry a goat?

 

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