Tag Archive for hit-and-run

KCRW fails to confront LA Vision Zero fail, volunteers needed for ballot measure, and El Monte Vision Zero meeting

Someone in the media finally paid attention to LA’s failing and forgotten Vision Zero program.

Unfortunately, the story hits about as hard as I do these days. Which is more of a polite tap than a solid gut punch.

KCRW’s Greater LA took a look at the program, using the tragic death of fallen bicyclist Branden Findley — killed a hit-and-run driver in a stolen vehicle while on his way to the Ride for Black Lives — as an entry point.

The station notes that 294 people needless lost their lives on the mean streets of Los Angeles last year, a 20% increase over the year before. And that traffic deaths have gone up nearly every year since Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the program in 2015.

“Every single one of those numbers is a tragedy,” says LA Department of Transportation General Manager Seleta Reynolds. “If we cannot get people from A to B and guarantee that they are safe, and that when somebody leaves in the morning, they’ll come home safely at night, then we haven’t fulfilled sort of a basic responsibility.”

It’s Reynolds’ responsibility to reduce traffic deaths and injuries in LA, and her most important tool to do that is a program called Vision Zero.

Unfortunately, while the station notes the existence of critics who think the city isn’t moving fast enough, they apparently couldn’t find a single one to put on the air.

I must have been busy that day.

But then they pivot back to marshmallow journalism, allowing LADOT head Seleta Reynolds to wiggle out of the city’s responsibility for the program’s continued failure.

But Seleta Reyolds of LA’s Department of Transportation says Vision Zero is only part of the solution to reducing traffic deaths.

She points to things beyond traffic planners’ control, like America’s continuing love affair with big, heavy vehicles that make it harder for pedestrians and cyclists to survive collisions.

Then there’s the challenge of distracted driving and the development of increasingly sophisticated car infotainment systems that keep motorists’ attention focused on screens instead of the streets.

And that’s the problem.

Despite the pleading of advocates in a series of public meetings, back when public meetings could actually take place in person, the city never really adopted Vision Zero.

Instead, the city launched a toothless facsimile of the program, relying on the Four Es — engineering, education, enforcement, and evaluation — to reduce traffic deaths.

Except Vision Zero is actually predicated on one simple realization — that people will make mistakes, and it is up to government to design our streets so that those mistakes don’t have to become fatal.

They acknowledge as much on the city’s Vision Zero page, if you can find it on LADOT’s Livable Streets website.

Our Guiding Principles

  1. People will make mistakes on the road.
  2. The consequences of these mistakes should not be death or severe injury.
  3. Reducing vehicle speed is fundamental to safer streets.

Nothing there calls for education or enforcement.

That’s because Vision Zero is based on reimagining the physical reality of our streets to protect vulnerable road users, and tame aggressive and careless drivers.

But that costs money, which hasn’t been budgeted — at least not in sufficient amounts to actually make a difference.

And it requires civic leaders who possess the political courage to make the hard choices necessary to save lives. Even if it means inconveniencing drivers by removing traffic lanes or parking spots, which our currant crop of cowards clearly isn’t willing to do.

So we have to be content with excuses, and moving the goal posts.

Of course, these challenges existed when LA launched Vision Zero seven years ago. Although Reynolds acknowledges the city probably won’t meet the program’s goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2025, she says setting a goal with Vision Zero is still worth it.

“We’ve set a milestone. We’ve set a year. And if we don’t get there, then I hope it will invite a lot of accountability and dialogue and discussion,” says Reynolds.

But once again, Vision Zero isn’t about accountability and dialogue and discussion. It’s about ending traffic deaths.

That, we have failed to do.

And we will continue to fail until Vision Zero finally becomes the city’s one overarching priority for our streets, rather than just one program among many.

Future Indian ambassador Eric Garcetti signs Vision Zero proclamation at his massive outdoor desk. Photo from Streetsblog.

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Streets For All is looking for volunteers to circulate a petition to qualify a ballot measure calling for safe streets everywhere in LA.

Click here to volunteer.

Speaking of Streets For All, the safe streets Political Action Committee forwarded a few key findings from a recent poll in support of the ballot measure.

51.8% of people surveyed in Los Angeles would be more likely to ride a bike if there was a network of safe bike lanes

53.5% would consider taking the bus more often if it came more frequently and had its own bus-only lane

75% agree we can and should make changes to how we use street space that would improve our city

And a whopping 84% think it’s the responsibility of LA’s mayor and city council to reduce car traffic, clean the air and make our streets and sidewalks safer.

I would have liked to see more specific questions, like whether people would support removing parking spaces or traffic lanes to improve traffic safety and make room for bike lanes.

But it’s a damn good start.

And we’ll look forward to seeing the ballot measure once its released.

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Vision Zero could soon be making its way to El Monte, starting with tomorrow’s online workshop.

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This is who we share the road with.

A USC student “did everything right” in crossing the street in a crosswalk, and was run down by a pickup driver anyway, who stepped on the gas and fled like the heartless coward they are.

Just remember that the next time someone tries to tell you bike riders would be safe on the streets if we just obeyed traffic laws.

Because you can clearly obey the letter of the law and do everything right, and still get your ass run over by some jerk.

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We’ve seen this New Zealand ad before. But it’s definitely worth watching again.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

A homeless parolee has been busted for breaking out a window at a Santa Ana bike shop, and making off with a $2,000 bicycle.

Now this is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. After two people were killed while using the bike lanes on San Diego’s Pershing Drive last year, the city responds by speeding up construction of a two-way buffered bike lane and pedestrian walkway to improve safety.

Oakland announces the coming closure of the city’s Covid-inspired Slow Streets program, even though the pandemic isn’t over. And neither is the need for safe neighborhood streets.

 

National

Arch Daily offers a guide to becoming a more bicycle-dependent city.

Singletracks recommends mountain bike tools that pay for themselves in a few uses.

Great idea. Des Moines, Iowa is holding a competition to select artworks to be displayed along the city’s bike paths.

A Minnesota writer refutes the mistaken perception that winter bicyclists are all as white as the snow they ride on.

New York’s popular Five Boro Bike Ride is back on this spring as Covid cases decline.

Curbed reports that ebike batteries are catching fire way too often, while Gotham delivery riders need safe places to recharge them so they don’t.

A North Carolina man will face the death penalty for 1st degree murder for fatally shooting a five-year old boy as he rode his bicycle outside his father’s house; the alleged killer still hasn’t said why.

South Carolina belatedly gets around to considering a bill banning handheld cellphone use while driving. Then again, it’s not like bans in other states have actually stopped drivers from using them.

 

International

Trek’s holiday fundraising efforts for World Bicycle Relief may become an annual tradition for the company, as its low-maintenance Buffalo Bike built for the nonprofit is named Bike of the Year.

Yanko Design looks forward to the bicycle accessory trends of 2022, from airless bike tires and ebike workstations, to a bike helmet with a built-in air filter. Although I’m not sure “trend” is exactly the right word.

The Week recommends their picks for the best ebikes for “effortless engineering,” ranging from the equivalent of $1,343 to $5,804.

An Indian man became an overnight success after seven years of effort when he received the equivalent of $13,000 for 40% of his company on the country’s version of Shark Tank, for modifying and adult tricycle into a low-fi pesticide sprayer for crops.

 

Competitive Cycling

Two-time Grand Tour winner Egan Bernal remains in intensive care recovering from leg and spinal surgeries after suffering extensive injuries when he crashed into a bus that was parked partially blocking the roadway, while he was training in his native Colombia.

 

Finally…

If you’re already a fugitive from justice, maybe it’s not the best idea to ride your bike on the freeway. Jenny from the Block looks pretty in pink on her BMX — even if it is just an ad shoot.

And the next time it feels like you’re about to be run down by the Apocalypse, you may just be right.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Bravo to face trial on fatal Indio hit-and-run, Schrödinger’s Taylor Yard bridge, and Firecracker bike ride goes virtual

It’s taken almost a year.

But there may be justice for fallen bicyclist Anthony Duran after all.

My News LA is reporting that 29-year old Indio resident Mark Christian Bravo will stand trial for felony hit-and-run involving injury or death, with a sentencing-enhancement of committing the crime while on bail.

The convicted drug dealer was out on bail on an assault charge when he ran down Duran as he was walking his bicycle across an Indio street last February. Bravo kept going without stopping, leaving his victim to die alone in the street.

There’s no indication how long Duran’s body lay there before he was discovered.

Bravo is currently free on $75,000 bail, as well as $85,000 bail for the previous assault case.

If there was any real justice, Mark Bravo would face a 2nd degree murder charge for making a conscious decision to let his victim die, rather that a mere four years for the fatal hit-and-run.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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The new Taylor Yard bike and pedestrian bridge over the LA River is finally open.

Or not.

Like Schrödinger’s cat, it seems to depend on the observer.

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Disappointing, but probably predictable, news, as Chinatown’s annual Firecracker 10k celebration has gone virtual once again.

A press release from the organization says the event, which also includes a 20 or 40 mile bike ride, was changed due to the recent surge in Covid cases due to the Omicron variant.

The 2022 L.A. Chinatown Firecracker events will now take place virtually only with extended participation from now through February 27, 2022. Participants will be able to complete their event(s) by downloading and activating the RaceJoy app on their mobile device. The app will track the participants’ events as they run/walk/ride and record their results. The RaceJoy app provides live GPS progress alerts, tracking, Send-a-Cheer (where participants may receive supportive audio cheers from remote friends and family) and virtual results. Participants may also submit their results manually on the L.A. Chinatown Firecracker registration site.

L.A. Chinatown Firecracker will continue to prioritize the health and safety of all participants and volunteers, including a focus on adherence to public health guidelines. Each registered participant receives a commemorative 2022 Firecracker race bib, exclusive-collectible finisher’s medal, limited edition t-shirt and goody bag.

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Clearly, you can carry anything on a bicycle.

No, really.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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Today’s mountain bike break takes us on hand built trails carved into the Welsh countryside.

Although you may have to click through to see it if the video below isn’t visible.

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

No bias here. London’s Daily Mail predicts chaos and road rage as a new British traffic code takes effect requiring drivers to yield to more vulnerable road users, and allowing bike riders to use the full lane to increase visibility under some circumstances.

On a related subject, Road.cc accuses major newspapers of misrepresenting the new rules, including mistakenly telling drivers they can be fined if they don’t use the Dutch reach.

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Local

Metro wants you to make a commitment to ride more next month.

Today is the last day to offer your input on how Metro should spend their money. Or rather, our money.

Maybe Arnold should stick to riding his ebike, after a woman was nearly killed when his massive Yukon SUV rolled on top of her car after they collided.

Former BMX pro and current road and gravel rider Andrew Jackson offers a guide to the best rides in Los Angeles. And more importantly, where to get the best tacos.

The Arts District in DTLA now has an LGBTQ-centered bicycle cafe.

 

State

Truly appalling news from Coachella, where a pair of 13-year old boys were arrested for stealing a bicycle from another boy at gunpoint; one of the boys was also arrested for attempting to stab another boy walking home from school. The gun turned out to be a prop gun designed to fire blanks, although the victim had no way of knowing that.

 

National

Surprisingly, Popular Science wants to tell you how to turn your bike into a DIY ebike. No, the surprise is that the magazine is still a thing.

The best-selling electric vehicles aren’t cars, with bicycles outselling motor vehicles in the US by nearly 140,000 last year.

 

International

Off-Road.cc offers tips on how to make your mountain bike faster. Without, you know, buying a new one.

Cycling Weekly gives Cannondale a chance to respond after a review of the company’s SmartSense technology embedded in the new Synapse ebike drew an unusual amount of hostile comments.

A Montreal bike messenger considers the challenge of keeping warm on the job in the Canadian winter.

Riding cross-country is nothing new. Unless maybe the country is Iceland, in subfreezing weather with snow coming.

The Daily Mail profiles London bike cam vigilante Mike van Erp, who’s recorded over 2,000 distracted drivers and reported them to the police for prosecution, earning the undying enmity the driving public. We desperately need the law updated to allow prosecution of drivers based on photographic and video evidence on this side of the Atlantic.

British track cycling hero and bike advocate Chris Boardman has been appointed as the UK’s first bicycling and walking commissioner. And no, there is no comparable position here in the US, even though there should be.

A judge in the UK notes that some bicycles are more expensive than many cars, as he sentences a pair of high-end bike thieves to 40 and 66 months, respectively. Now the courts just need to accept that some people need their bikes just as much as others need their cars, if not more.

Tyler the Creator is sort of one us, writing the score for the final Louis Vuitton fashion show designed by the late Virgil Abloh in Paris, and finishing the show by walking a bicycle down the catwalk and riding across the stage.

 

Competitive Cycling

French pro Alexandre Geniez could be racing under a cloud this spring, with a possible six-month sentence for domestic violence against his ex-wife hanging over his head.

Sad to see that retired American pro Andrew Talansky has become a raving Covid denier.

 

Finally…

That feeling when fictional Peloton users keep dropping dead. When you’re already on probation and riding your bike with an outstanding arrest warrant, put a damn light on it, already.

And only Snoop D O Double G could pull off a lowrider bicycle with a microwave on the back.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Conservative Culver City recall effort fizzles, corgi-toting bike rider for LA City Controller, and Atwater Village hit-and-run

Mike Bonin isn’t the only one who survived a failed recall attempt this week.

Streetsblog reports opponents failed in their efforts to recall bike-friendly Culver City mayor and congressional candidate Daniel Lee, as well as Councilmember Alex Fisch, over housing policy and the new Move Culver City street project.

Meanwhile, Lee is running for congress as a progressive Democrat in District 37, where incumbent Congresswoman Karen Bass is retiring to run for mayor of Los Angeles.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels.

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At least one candidate for LA City Controller rides a bike.

And with a corgi, no less.

https://twitter.com/kennethmejiaLA/status/1483991223958343680

I’ve been talking with Mejia for a few months now, and have been more than impressed with the way he already digs into city finances looking for waste and opportunities to make our money work for everyone.

So consider this an endorsement for the upcoming June primary, though I still want to hear what our old friend David Vahedi has to say.

And no, it wasn’t the corgi that pushed me over the top. Or the bike.

But it didn’t hurt.

Then again, the simple fact that he’s not Paul Koretz didn’t hurt, either.

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An Atwater Village Nextdoor user was the victim of a hit-and-run while riding his bike on Glendale Blvd this past Sunday.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to embed the dashcam video that captured the crash. But as you can see from these screen grabs, it looks pretty damn harrowing.

But at least he was able to end up on his feet afterwards.

I’m not posting the victim’s name to protect his privacy. But if you have any information about the crash or the heartless coward behind the wheel, let me know and I’ll pass it along.

Thanks to Steve Messer for the heads-up.

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Preliminary markings for long-awaited bike lanes hit the street on Yosemite Drive in Eagle Rock.

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Call it car culture in a nutshell.

A West Virginia reporter gets knocked on her ass by an SUV driver on live TV. And just bounces back up, assuring the driver and her news anchor it’s all good.

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The latest video from GCN discuses the biggest mistakes you can make on a bike ride.

Actually, the biggest mistake is not going for one in the first place.

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

Ebikes have officially gotten the heave-ho from San Clemente’s popular beachfront trail, even though most ped-assist bikes probably wouldn’t bother anyone.

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

Neighbors claim to have seen the suspect in the Colleyville, Texas synagogue hostage standoff riding a bicycle in the area the day before the attack; police recovered a beat-up mountain bike they say he was riding.

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Local

This is who we share the road with. A Gardena driver faces vehicular homicide charges for the deaths of two people when his Tesla ran a red light while in Autopilot mode, as the LA Times considers whether the driver or the carmaker should be held accountable.

 

State

Streetsblog’s Melanie Curry talks with Emeryville mayor and newly minted social media star John Bauters about his love of bicycling and support for safe, equitable streets.

 

National

WaPo recommends trying an ebike tour on your next trip overseas. Or right here at home, for that matter.

The Maui County Council is trying to rein in bike tours and solo bicyclists bombing down the Haleakalā volcano. Even though one bike advocate pointed out that it’s the people on bicycles who observe the speed limit, while speeding drivers routinely violate Hawaii’s three-foot passing law.

A Salt Lake City couple discovered the hard way that their custom three-seat bike had been stolen when they got off a train and spotted the thief walking it down the street, but couldn’t catch him; they had it made so their 36-year old son with Down’s syndrome could ride with them.

A planned Oregon to Virginia cross-country bike route would pass through Wyoming’s Teton County, home to the spectacular Teton National Park and a big chunk of Yellowstone.

New York’s new mayor announces what he calls Vision Zero on steroids, while bicycle advocates fear it could lead to a crackdown on bike riders at unsignalized intersections.

 

International

Cargo bikes could be the future of green home delivery.

The We Love Cycling website considers five bike-related jobs you may not have considered, like delivering furniture or laundry, and towing an advertising trailer in your wake.

Road.cc looks into their crystal ball and predicts the big bike trends for the coming year, including brake-by-wire and ebikes that recharge while you ride; thankfully, they also see a trend towards more affordable road bikes. Unfortunately, the also predict the pandemic-induced bike shortage will still have legs, thanks to China’s Omicron lockdowns and ongoing shipping imbalances.

A British bike rider complains about the “dreadful” conditions on the local streets, after he was lucky to avoid getting run over when he was sideswiped by a careless van driver.

New traffic rules creating a hierarchy of road users take effect in the UK next weekend, requiring drivers to be more careful around bike riders and pedestrians.

Israel is making plans to cut car use in half, while conceding that the 2040 target date isn’t likely to happen.

Over 500 bicycles donated by kindhearted people in Washington and British Columbia were delivered to help people in Rwanda, while the shipping container they travelled in was converted to a locally operated bike distribution and repair shop.

The World Bank consider’s how the Philippines built 310 miles of bike lanes in a single year to take advantage of the pandemic bike boom. Then again, they probably didn’t subject the plans to countless public meetings, while giving homeowners and drivers veto power before paint hits the streets.

 

Finally…

When you’re a movie star, you can ignore Harry and Megan’s Private Road signs. That feeling when you ride almost a mile to daycare on your own balance bike.

And German bikemaker Canyon suggests maybe LA doesn’t suck for bike riders after all.

At least not on the trails outside the city.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Update: 71-year old Santa Ana man killed riding bike in Fountain Valley hit-and-run; driver arrested for felony DUI

A 71-year old man riding a bicycle lost his life in Fountain Valley early Saturday morning, thanks to a drunken coward who didn’t have the decency stop.

Allegedly.

According to County News TV, police responding to reports of a crash found 71-year old Santa Ana resident Liem Bui lying on southbound Euclid Ave just north of Heil Ave, next to Mile Square Regional Park, around 5:39 this morning.

The Orange County Register reports he was dead when officers arrived.

The driver fled the scene, leaving Liem to die alone in the street.

Police identified the suspect vehicle, locating it in Westminster sometime later with 32-year-old Fountain Valley resident Amanda Martin still in the driver’s seat.

She was arrested on suspicion of felony driving under the influence, felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

It’s not clear if she was driving at the time or had stopped, or whether she was awake or passed out behind the wheel.

She was being held on $100,000 bond.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Traffic Bureau of the Fountain Valley Police Department at 714/593-4481.

This is at least the fifth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Orange County. Three of those deaths have been hit-and-runs.

Update: A Facebook post from the VeloViet Cycling Team indicates Liem Bui was a bike racer and coach in Vietnam, before coming to the US. Thanks to Christian for the heads-up

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Liem Bui and his loved ones. 

Update — man and woman killed riding bikes in Chatsworth hit-and-run, first SoCal bike deaths this year

News is just coming in that two people on bicycles have been killed by a hit-and-run driver earlier this evening.

According to KCBS-2, the victims were riding on the 9500 block of North Lurline Ave in Chatsworth when they were struck by the driver of a Toyota Tacoma pickup around 7:15 Tuesday night.

Both victims died at the scene.

Neither has been identified at this time, though the station says they’re believed to be transients. Which should not lessen the tragedy in any way.

The truck was found nearby, and the driver taken into police custody.

Unfortunately, no additional information is available at this time.

This appears to be the first two bicycling fatalities in Southern California this year, as well as the first in Los Angeles County.

Update: KABC-7 reports the victims are a man and a woman, while placing the location at Independence Ave & Knapp Street in Los Angeles, which is nearly a mile away from the original site

However, it’s possible that they may be referring to where the driver crashed into a wall while attempting to get away, after striking several other vehicles. 

According to the LA Times, the driver came to a halt at the corner of De Soto Ave and Knapp Street, which is less than a quarter mile from the location cited by KABC.

KABC also reports the driver may face a murder charge, which would suggest he — or she — may have been under the influence, and possibly a repeat offender.

Update 2: KNBC-4 reports the male victim was identified by his son as 58-year-old Canoga Park resident Matthew Zink; he was riding with a female friend, who was pregnant. 

Which means that three lives were needless snuffed out in a single moment. 

Update 3: KCBS-2 has identified the second victim as 37-year old Ana Hernandez.

Meanwhile, the driver has been identified as 58-year old Nelson Rodriguez. He is currently being held on $4 million bond, with arraignment scheduled for next Tuesday on two counts of felony murder, and a single misdemeanor charge of hit-and-run resulting in property damage. 

There’s no word on why he’s not being charged with felony hit-and-run for fleeing the scene after the murders. Or why he is being charged with murder, which usually requires an intentional act or driving under the influence after a previous DUI conviction. 

A pair of ghost bikes were installed for Hernandez and Zink Thursday night. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ana Hernandez and Matthew Zink, and all their loved ones.

Man riding bicycle killed in Venice hit-and-run Wednesday night; 17th bike rider killed in LA County this year

Another day, another innocent life needlessly ended by a careless driver.

One who couldn’t be bothered to stick around afterwards.

According to KTLA-5, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding his bike near the intersection of Grand and Venice Blvds in Venice when he was run down by a hit-and-run driver around 9:50 pm Wednesday.

The driver was making a U-turn when he slammed into the victim, then fled the scene like the heartless coward he — or she — is.

The victim was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died later that night.

Police are looking for a dark-colored Chevrolet Bolt, which will likely have front-end damage; unfortunately, there’s no description off the driver.

It’s hard to imagine how the crash could have occurred on Venice, since it’s a divided roadway with a wide median extending several blocks. That suggests it could have happened mid-block on Grand.

Both streets have painted bike lanes in both directions, which clearly didn’t offer any benefit to the victim in this case.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD West Traffic Division Officer Twycross at 213/473-0235.

This is at least the 65th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 17th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County. It’s also at least the 8th bicycling death in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year.

Twenty of those SoCal deaths have been hit-and-runs.

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

Vegas driver gets up to 26 years for pushover death, bikes are good for the world’s health, and more ’tis the season

My apologies for the earlier proofreading errors to this post. Server problems combined with an internet outage to keep me making any corrections. Hopefully I’ve caught everything now. 

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It’s the 13th day of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Bryan B for his generous donation to help keep everything you need to know about the wild, wonderful and wacky world of bikes coming your way every day.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated, far more than I could ever put into words. 

So donate today, and let’s make this a lucky 13 for both of us!

Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com. 

Go ahead. We’ll wait. 

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That’s more like it.

In the conclusion to a tragic story we’ve been following for the past year, a Las Vegas man will spend a well-deserved 10 to 26 years behind bars for the death of a 56-year old woman as she was riding her bike.

Rodrigo Cruz was driving the van when he swerved close to the victim, Michelle “Shelli” Weissman, as his friend leaned out the passenger window to push Weissman off her bike, killing her.

In the ultimate tragic irony, the passenger, Giovanni Medina Barajas, fell out the window and died at the scene, as well.

Cruz’s attorney tried to write the whole thing off as a “some sort of dumb, childish prank.”

Now two lives have been needlessly snuffed out, and another irreparably damaged, all because two people thought harming an innocent person was funny.

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A new study from my hometown university shows that bicycling is good for the world’s health, too.

According to the study, as many as 205,000 premature deaths could be prevented every year worldwide if cities encouraged people to use a bicycle instead of a car. Although that figure depends on replacing all car trips with bikes by the year 2050.

Which ain’t gonna happen.

In what the authors describe as a more realistic scenario, 18,589 annual deaths could be prevented worldwide if just eight percent of people switched from cars to bikes.

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‘Tis the season.

A Waco, Texas builders association donated 87 bikes to Toys for Tots, while complaining that the pandemic-driven bike shortage kept them from giving more.

The county engineers office in Ohio’s Wayne County built 21 bikes to be given away to kids, including three for a domestic abuse treatment center.

A trio of Georgia bike clubs teamed up to deliver 88 bicycles that will be donated to kids in need by a local church.

After spending four days living atop a scissor lift, a Florida DJ collected 450 bicycles, as well as helmets and toys, for local kids.

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This is what a Slow Street can bring to life.

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

No surprise here, as San Diego’s bike-hating OB Rag lives down to its name by taking glee in a very unscientific DIY study showing hardly anyone is using the city’s new 30th Street protected bike lanes.

Prepare to dodge even more distracted drivers, now that Teslas allow drivers to play video games on the in-dash video screen while the car is in motion.

The city council in Cambridge, Massachusetts condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the sabotage of a protected bike lane with tacks and bricks.

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Local

Typical. Even though there’s an approved plan for bike lanes on Rosecrans Avenue, Metro will only make room for them in an overhaul of the street in anticipation of high speed rail, rather than actually building them. Evidently, a few bucks worth of paint would just add too much to the $156 million project.

 

State

San Diego’s bicycle-powered Coffee Cycle coffee cart now is now a brick and mortar coffee roaster in Pacific Beach.

This is who we share the road with. When a couple teenagers hit his pickup with water balloons, a 63-year old Ridgecrest man responded by shooting their truck with a 12-gauge shotgun; to make matters worse, he’s an ex-con who’s legally barred from owning a weapon, let alone using it.

The rich get richer, as San Francisco approves funding for another protected bike lane, this time in the city’s Panhandle neighborhood.

 

National

This is what the bike boom really means, as half of today’s bike riders either started riding in the last two years, or came back to their bikes after an extended layoff.

A former Aston Martin engineer has designed what looks like the first practical folding helmet.

A writer for Bike Portland says she’s obsessed with ebikes, even choosing to get drenched in pouring rain instead of hailing an Uber because they’re so much fun to ride.

Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club is teaching third, fourth and fifth graders how to safely ride their bikes to school.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who could hit a 13-year old kid in the Bronx with their car, and just keep going; fortunately, the kid wasn’t seriously hurt.

 

International

Bike riders from 195 countries around the world uploaded 10 billion riding miles to Strava over the past year. Speaking of which, you could devote all your working hours to managing Strava’s social media.

A writer for Cycling Tips hopes every bikemaker imitate’s Britain’s Brompton’s bike rental program, which allows people to rent a bike for up to 30 days for the equivalent of just $6.61 a day.

A serial bike thief who targeted an English train station walked with the equivalent of probation, but was ordered to repay his victims.

After conservative politicians ripped out a bike lane in the UK, a petition calling for its reinstatement collected three times the signatures as one demanding its removal.

Traffic speed matters more than traffic volume in deciding where to ride, according to a new British study, which showed most people prefer to ride their bikes on streets with a speed limit of 20 mph or less.

A new study from the UK shows we’re losing the youngest generation, as a full 36% of primary school kids haven’t ridden a bike in the last year. And one in 20 has never ridden one.

This is who we share the road with, part 2. French authorities accuse a British expat of murdering his wife by flooring his car and running over her as she stood in front of it. Naturally, he says it was just a tragic accident.

When you donate to World Bicycle Relief, this is the bike you’re helping deliver to people in Africa.

 

Competitive Cycling

New Zealand pro Olivia Ray says she’s still waiting for her $15,000 check for winning the inaugural Into The Lion’s Den crit, founded by L39ion of Los Angeles’ Williams brothers.

 

Finally…

The science of how your bicycling shoes work. It doesn’t do any good to catch a bike thief if you can’t keep him in your rusty jail.

And making cities more dog friendly, one bike ride at a time.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Update: Alleged drunk driver kills 15-year old boy riding bike in Victorville hit-and-run

Some stories just break your heart.

A Victorville boy is dead, all because someone had to get drunk and get behind the wheel in the middle of the day.

Allegedly, of course.

According to the Victorville Daily Press, a 15-year old boy was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in downtown Victorville Monday afternoon.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was headed west on C Street at Fifth Street, when he was run down by a driver traveling south on Fifth around 2:01 pm.

He was taken to a local hospital, where he died at 3:19 pm.

A photo from the scene shows what appears to be a mangled mountain bike resting on the curb.

The driver apparently continued without stopping. Sheriff’s deputies arrested 29-year old Victorville resident Hector Castro Loaeza later that night.

Loaeza was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence causing death, hit and run resulting in death, and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. He’s currently being held on $150,000 bond.

There’s no word on what led investigators to Loaeza, or how they know he was drunk at the time of the crash, when he wasn’t arrested until hours earlier.

C Street is a narrow residential street controlled by a stop sign, while Fifth is the sort of straight, uncontrolled roadway that encourages excessive speeds.

Anyone with information is urged to call Deputies C. Bennington or M. Lee at the Victorville Sheriff’s Station at 760/241-2911.

This is at least the 61st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 15-year old Ricardo Serrano, who was killed less than a mile from his school. 

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

Killer Oceanside hit-and-run driver gets 2 years, low curb hazard on new Culver bike lanes, and scam Bonin anti-recall site

Before we get started, just a quick reminder that today is Giving Tuesday, the one day each year set aside to support worthy nonprofit organizations that need your help.

We could name a very long list, from Streets For All and the LACBC, to Calbike and Streetsblog LA and California.

Along with your own local advocacy groups, wherever you live.

One group that recently came to my attention is the Los Angeles Bicycle Academy, a youth cycling and bicycle education program created to “empower, educate and develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills in youth between the ages of 8-18.”

Our focus is to work with youth from underserved communities where opportunity, access, equity, and exposure within the sport of cycling is extremely limited. We want to help more young people learn the positive impact a bicycle can have on their own lives, and the lives of those around them.

They have big plans for the coming year, including opening a community bike shop, launching a build-a-bike program, and developing a women’s cycling team.

It’s worth checking out. And maybe adding them to your giving list this year.

Speaking of giving, our spokesdog up there reminds you to support SoCal’s best bike news by giving to the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

………

Life is cheap in San Diego County, where 24-year old Oceanside resident Bailey Tennery got a lousy two years behind bars for killing 27-year old Carlsbad resident Jackson Williams as he rode his bike in Oceanside last July.

Tennery pled guilty to felony hit-and-run causing death and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter.

She could have gotten up to four years in the state pen, with another year in county.

Instead, she got a relative slap on the wrist for leaving an innocent man to die alone in the street. Then hid her car for a full week until it was spotted by a homeless man.

………

You can’t please everyone.

Culver City officially unveiled their new Move Culver City initiative, installing quick build bus and bike lanes on three major streets in the downtown area — in a fraction of the time and cost required for similar projects across the city limit line in Los Angeles.

But while most people came out to celebrate completion of the project, I’m told a group of drivers turned out to protest, apparently under the misconception that 100% of the streets belong to cars.

And unwilling to give up a single inch, let alone a lane or two.

On the other hand, the response from the two-wheeled group seems mostly positive.

However, Mitchell Guzik pointed out an unexpected hazard posed by low concrete curbs intended to protect people using the bike lanes, but which could present a risk to any bike rider who runs into them.

Photo by Mitchell Guzik

Even in daylight, it’s a struggle to spot them in the photo. Which means it would be nearly impossible after dark.

And as we’ve seen on PCH in Cardiff, unintentionally hitting them can spill a rider into the roadway, with serious results.

The obvious solution, as Guzik suggests, is to paint the curbs a more visible color. Or go crazy, and let some of Culver City’s many artists decorate them.

Obviously, we don’t want to fall into the common SoCal trap of letting perfect be the enemy of good when it comes to bike lanes.

But just a minor improvement could make them safer for everyone.

Correction: I originally misspelled the name of Mitchell Guzik. My apologies for the error. 

………

They’re back.

A few very unpleasant years ago, I had the misfortune of tangling with the fraudulent Westside Walkers Twitter account, which was created in response to the 2017 lane reductions on Venice Blvd and in Playa del Rey.

As Peter Flax made clear in outing the person behind the account, the Westside Walkers pretended to be “LA’s #1 walking & biking advocacy group.”

But it was actually just one man’s political dirty trick, posing as a nonexistent group to muddy the advocacy waters and make his opposition to traffic safety measures seem more reasonable.

He even went so far as to claim to be a co-founder and operator of this site. Which I can assure you neither he, nor anyone else other than myself, had anything to do with.

Now he’s back, pretending to be the “Official Democrat Anti Recall” group supporting CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin, which undoubtedly came as a surprise to the actual group opposing the recall.

As before, this is just another political dirty trick by a recall supporter and longtime Bonin hater, in an attempt to muddy the water.

And not hesitating to use outright lies to do it.

So don’t fall for it.

Whether or not you support Bonin — and I do — there’s no place for stunts like this, from someone with a long history of playing dirty.

Politics in Los Angeles are dirty enough.

………

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

No bias here. A London political columnist takes issue with bike lanes and the unlicensed people who use them, saying bikes were fine for Victorian times, but should only be used on private property these days (scroll down — no, keep scrolling). Just wait until someone tells him who the roads were really built for. 

A British driver sideswipes a bike rider while making an ill-advised pass. And naturally blames the guy on the bike for being there — and touching his car with his body. No, really. 

………

Local

DTLA’s Grand Ave now has a dedicated right-side bus lane to complement the protected bike lane on the other side of the road.

 

State

A truck driver who fatally right-hooked a bike-riding San Luis Obispo man faces a maximum of one lousy year behind bars or a $1,000 fine after being charged with misdemeanor vehicular homicide, because he didn’t do it on purpose. On the other hand, the victim is still dead, whether or not it was intentional.

The CHP busted a hit-and-run driver who killed a 25-year old Watsonville man when he rear-ended the victim’s bicycle.

A Streetsblog op-ed accuses Oakland’s Vision Zero program of being an empty promise, and says the city needs to take it seriously if they want to eliminate traffic deaths. A sentiment most Los Angeles bike riders and pedestrians could probably relate to.

The carnage continues in the Bay Area, as a San Jose bike rider was killed in a collision yesterday.

The victim of the fatal Moraga bicycling collision we mentioned yesterday has been identified as a 77-year old man, who surely deserved better.

 

National

The Washington Post says, despite the rising rate of disasters brought on by a rapidly warming climate, state transportation agencies are only beginning to plan for climate change.

US bicycling rates are up 10% nationwide, with some cities seeing up to a 50% jump in ridership.

Electrek looks at the year’s best ebikes for under a grand.

Cycling Tips talks with an Iowa artist who turns discarded bike parts into works of art.

Um, no. Treehugger says a New York company’s stylish, high-viz vests will make you want to ride your bike every day. Something is seriously wrong if you have to dress like a glow-in-the-dark clown just to stay alive on a bicycle.

Streetsblog makes the case that the NYPD is lying about the risks posed by ebikes, conflating crashes involving ebikes, which are legal in New York, with mopeds, which aren’t. And placing all the blame on the bike riders, while ignoring who was actually at fault in those crashes.

Something is definitely out of kilter when bike lanes become a wedge issue in a local New Jersey election.

 

International

Evidently, in Canada, a bicycle visible in your Zoom background is just a partisan prop.

A writer for Bike Radar makes the case for registering your bike in the UK. Something you can do for free with lifetime registration from Bike Index on this side of the pond.

A British newsletter takes issue with the legend that Scottish veterinarian John Dunlop invented the pneumatic tire in the 1880s, pointing out that another Scotsman had patented one 40 years earlier.

The Philippines pandemic-driven bike boom was accompanied by a nearly 50% increase in injury collisions.

 

Finally…

Bicycles for people with more dollars than sense. Nothing like wracking your nuts on the top tube on live TV

And probably not the best idea to drive a stolen car to sell a stolen ebike bike to the guy you stole it from.

………

It’s Day 5 of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

So let’s thank Bernard B, Stephen M and Tom C for their generous donations to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy keeps coming your way every day.

So don’t wait. Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Bike-riding man killed in Harbor Gateway hit-and-run; 18th fatal bicycling hit-and-run in Southern California this year

Once again, a man on a bike has been killed by a Southern California driver, this time in LA’s Harbor Gateway neighborhood.

And once again, a heartless coward fled the scene, leaving his victim to die in the street.

According to KCBS2/KCAL9, and a virtually identical report on My News LA, the victim was riding west on Alondra Blvd at Vermont Ave around 2:40 am Sunday when he was run down by a driver headed north on Vermont.

The 39-year old bike rider, who has not been publicly identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.

His killer apparently fled without stopping. There’s no description of the driver or the suspect vehicle; given the location and early morning hour, there may not have been any witnesses.

There’s also no word on who might have had the right-of-way at the signalized intersection.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD South Traffic Division at 323/421-2500 or 323/421-2577. As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in the City of Los Angeles.

This is at least the 59th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County. It’s also at least the 7th bicycling death in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year.

Eighteen of those SoCal deaths have been hit-and-runs.

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

 

 

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