Tag Archive for Jeff Jones

Morning Links: Jeff Jones Memorial Sunday, the cost of traffic violence, and biking through a 6-year old’s eyes

Before we move on to today’s news, I received word yesterday that a memorial service will be held this Sunday for Jeff Jones.

The popular photographer was killed in collision while riding his bike on Griffith Park Blvd last month.

Exactly the kind of residential street so many people insist we should ride on. And one that was supposed to get new bike lanes under the LA bike plan passed nearly a decade ago.

See larger version of memorial flyer below.

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Sigh.

Another brilliantly heartbreaking piece from Peter Flaxabout a young New York bike messenger who lived to ride.

And the effect their — as the victim preferred to be called — death had on the people left behind.

It’s definitely a must read piece.

One that also reflects the marginalization too many people experience when they decide to get on a bike.

Even in New York, which has done far more than most major cities to tame its streets.

There remains a public perception that most cyclists are entitled hobbyists, but even normally privileged individuals who get on a bike can experience what it feels like to exist in the margins of society, where one’s right to exist without threats is frequently challenged by systematic animosity, flawed infrastructure, and inadequate legal protections. And for someone like Robyn Hightman—who had struggled to find stability in their daily life and who rode a bike as their primary mode of transportation and employment—that marginalization was exponentially more intense. Robyn had endeavored to find a safe place through riding and was denied in the most extreme way possible.

As I did the reporting for this story—talking to more than 30 people who knew Robyn well—one unexpected theme emerged: Every single person who rides a bike told me about getting hit.

And it’s far worse here in Los Angeles, where little has been done in recent years to make our streets safer and more inviting for anyone who chooses not to drive.

We all deserve better.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

Rising country singer Kylie Rae Harris was killed in a collision while making her way to her next gig in a tiny Texas town; she was just 30 years old. For someone I’d never heard of before yesterday, she was pretty damn good.

A Milwaukee mother teaching her teenage son to drive was shot to death by a road raging driver because of a fender bender with the killer’s van — after he had cut her son off by making a left turn from the wrong lane.

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Take a couple minutes to see an urban bike ride through the eyes of a six-year old.

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Local

Los Angeles officially opened a new half-mile segment of the Los Angeles River Greenway, better known as the LA River bike path, in Studio City yesterday; eventually the pathway should extend the entire length of the LA River.

A two-block section of Glendale’s Artsakh Avenue is scheduled to get a $7.3 million pedestrian-friendly makeover. Now if LA would just do the same with Hollywood Blvd at Highland, which is begging to be a pedestrian plaza.

CiclaValley conquers Topanga State Park on the Send It Sunday gravel ride. Although it should be noted that the park was unarmed, and refused to fight back.

Hermosa Beach’s bicycle traffic school allows bike riders to attend bicycle education classes in lieu of paying a traffic ticket, just like the people in cars have been doing for decades.

A man was critically injured while apparently trying to cross dangerous Los Coyotes Diagonal in Long Beach on his bicycle; for a change, the driver stuck around. If LCD isn’t the deadliest street in the city, it’s pretty damn close.

 

State

Governor Newsom signs a bill that will allow bike riders to go straight through marked left or right turn lanes, rather than having to “thread the needle” between turn lanes and high-traffic through lanes.

The New York Times visits San Diego, and can’t see the ocean for the scooters.

A 22-year old San Diego woman suffered life-threatening injuries when she allegedly made a left turn on her bike in front of a driver traveling in the same direction.

A domestic violence suspect accused of trying to escape police by riding his bicycle into a Martinez Home Depot armed with a sawed-off shotgun has pled not guilty to felony counts of assault with a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a short-barreled shotgun.

A local paper calls on car-centric Petaluma to do a lot more to encourage bicycling to fight climate change.

 

National

Former Chicago and DC DOT director Gabe Klein examines the stats, and says cities should focus on Vision Zero and traffic safety to fight crime affecting every resident on a personal level.

Bicycling offers advice on how to get your confidence back after crashing your bike. My approach has always been to get back on my bike, and ride the same route I crashed on to drive that fear out of my head.

Kindhearted Portland police and 911 dispatchers buy a 12-year old girl a new bike to ride to school after the one her grandmother had saved up for was stolen.

The Sierra Club magazine goes riding on what they call the “American Serengeti” in Montana, where ranches have been combined and fences torn down to form the American Prairie Reserve at the edge of the Great Plains.

A retired marine living in Milwaukee says bicycling saved his life, losing 141 pounds after his doctor warned he could be dead in ten years.

A New York condo and co-op site says a building’s failure to securely maintain a bike room is just a lawsuit waiting to happen, regardless of any warning signs.

Curbed NY says, despite Mayor De Blasio’s musings, more regulations aimed at bicyclists won’t make New York’s streets any safer.

A DC protected bike lane is on hold because the sergeant-at-arms for the US Senate doesn’t want to give up 37 street parking spaces, even though there are roughly 12,000 more surrounding the capital building.

A writer for City Lab takes one of DC’s new 30 mph dockless electric mopeds out for a spin. And likes it.

In an apparent effort to increase traffic congestion on a new Maryland bridge, a letter writer says bicyclists and pedestrians should pay their fair share and be subject to the same tolls drivers are. Because Lord knows you wouldn’t want to encourage people to walk or bike across the bridge instead of getting back in their cars and making traffic worse for everyone. Besides, if bike riders and pedestrians were charged our fair share, they’d have to pay us to cross. 

Life is cheap in Florida, where a driver walks with loving caress on the wrist for killing a nine-year old boy riding his bike, after the judge gives her a lousy $1,000 fine and suspends her license for a whole six months. It’s hard to call that justice when it was her carelessness that sentenced an innocent little kid to death.

 

International

Streetsblog looks at people of color expressing themselves through bikes, art and music, from Philly to Chile.

A recent British Columbia design school graduate won a bronze award at an international conference by placing barcodes on a bike jacket to keep bicyclists from getting run over by autonomous cars. Which, however well intended, is just another way of making humans subservient to motor vehicles, autonomous or otherwise.

Someone in Hamilton, Ontario could be getting their bicycle back, after police bust a man on a failure to appear warrant, and discover the bike he was riding had been stolen four years earlier. Which is why you need to register your bike now, and report it to the police if it ever gets stolen.

A Montreal city councilmember wants to require all bike riders younger than 18 to wear helmets.

A 78-year old Australian man was forced to lie on the side of the road for over 90 minutes after he fell on his bike and broke his hip, while people passing by ignored his cries for help.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews catches up with lifelong bike racer and industry veteran Andrew Bernstein, who was nearly killed by a hit-and-run driver in Boulder CO in July.

 

Finally…

Who says you can’t ride on water? Probably not the most effective move to try to escape police by setting a kid’s bicycle on fire.

And it takes a special kind of person to say offensive things about people on bicycles, then get offended when they take offense.

 

Morning Links: Arrest made in Boyle Heights hit-and-run, Jeff Jones ghost bike tonight, and bike tourism for a cause

The LAPD made fast work of its search for the hit-and-run driver who critically injured a bike-riding father of five in Boyle Heights last week.

They got their man one day after announcing a $25,000 reward, arresting 23-year old Canoga Park resident Luis Raya-Flores for the crime.

Police said Raya-Flores knew why they were there as soon as they showed up at his door, telling them he fled because he panicked.

Which doesn’t excuse a damn thing.

Or shouldn’t, anyway.

Raya-Flores was booked on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and being held in custody on an $80,000 bond.

The victim, 53-year old Boyle Heights resident Gabriel Lopez, was riding his bike to his job as a construction worker when Raya-Flores lost control of his speeding truck and smashed into him.

Now it will be at least a month before Lopez can return to the job he needs to feed his family.

And a lot longer than that before he gets justice in the case.

Photo from LAPD website.

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A ghost bike will be placed tonight for fallen cyclist Jeff Jones.

The well-known and well-liked bicyclist was killed Saturday on Griffith Park Blvd when a van driver made a U-turn in front of him.

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Today’s common theme is bike tourism for a cause.

The annual Bike & Build program is rolling across the US to raise funds for affordable housing — and actually build it.

A Michigan man is riding 3,100 miles through the upper Midwest to call for an end to gun violence, and promote a hotline for people thinking about using a firearm to harm others.

And a man is riding from Maine to California, by way of West Virginia, to raise awareness of brain injuries after he suffered major brain damage when he was run down by a drunk driver several years ago.

Although sometimes, just a well-planned bike tour without a cause is good enough.

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Take a four-minute mental health break and explore California’s undiscovered country with mountain biker KC Deane.

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Sometimes, it’s the people on bicycles behaving badly.

A white DC bike rider learned the hard way that justice goes both ways, after he gets a well-deserved three years behind bars for a racially fueled U-lock attack on a black motorist.

After bicyclists ignore a bike ban on an Aussie walkway, officials installed barricades that everybody hates.

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Local

Streetsblog’s SGV Connect podcast catches up with Active SGV director David Diaz.

Santa Monica police credit a reduction in e-scooters and a state law removing the helmet requirement to ride them with a nearly 500% drop in tickets to scooter riders.

 

State

San Diego bicyclists had their annual chance to ride the city’s iconic Coronado Bay Bridge over the weekend.

Speaking of which, here’s your chance to take a relaxed bike tour of Coronado with Ken “Fat Woody” McNeil and his handcrafted artisan beach cruisers.

Bakersfield police book a killer driver on DUI charges with a 12% BAC. Yet still manage to blame the victim for turning her bike in front of his car. As always, the credibility of the accusations depends on whether there were any independent witnesses to the crash, since the driver has an inherent bias to blame the victim and see his actions in the best possible light.

If only cars had brakes. A San Jose driver is shocked when a jogger yelled at him for not giving him enough room as he passed a parked school bus, insisting he couldn’t give the runner any more space because there was a car in the lane next to him (last item). Because evidently, it’s impossible to slow down or wait until it’s safe to pass.

St. Helena residents are being urged to ride their bikes during next month’s Walk and Roll to School month.

 

National

The New York Times offers tips on tourism using dockless ebikes, scooters or motorbikes to get around a city.

Bicycling lends an ear to complaints about bike shops. So if you own, run or work for an LBS — aka local bike shop — pay close attention, because bad service is the best way to drive customers online. And you know they’re already looking there.

Your next Specialized bike seat could be the result of lattice-structured 3D printing, for a cooler, shock absorbing ride.

A Portland bike park was damaged in a brush fire, but all the staff was able to escape safely.

A bighearted Arizona special needs van builder bought a new adaptive bike for one of their young customers after learning his bike had been stolen.

Police in Fayetteville AR tell pedestrians, bike riders and motorists that the way to avoid crashes is just pay attention.

A Minnesota city approves a controversial mountain bike trail through a nature park, despite fears it could compromise the habitat for an endangered bumble bee. I gotta go with the environmentalists on this one; no use should be allowed that threatens any endangered species, because once they’re gone, they ain’t coming back.

A Detroit columnist complains about the city’s “tepid” response to the death of a nine-year old girl who was mauled by a neighbor’s dogs as she was riding her bike.

Cincinnati is the latest city to roll out a mountain bike-mounted EMS unit to get paramedics to emergency situations faster.

No shit. A Rhode Island legislator urges the state not to take $37 million earmarked to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians to fix roads and bridges for drivers.

No bias here. Yes, a Cape Cod bike rider may be at fault for a crash. But if he ended up on the hood and windshield of a car, he’s probably not the one who did the colliding.

The NYPD responds to a series of bike crashes in Central Park by turning out in force to slow riders down.

New York provides bike riders and pedestrians with a spacious, 20-foot wide path on a new bridge span. But neglects to give them a safe way to get there.

After kids in their early teens start a ride out group to keep away from drugs and gangs, Schenectady NY city leaders respond with an ordinance allowing police to impound the kid’s bikes, because they piss off drivers and are too young to ticket. Although one former cop would rather use an old Soviet tactic and just toss them in a psych ward.

South Philadelphia is one of the top bicycling neighborhoods in the US. But that doesn’t seem to matter to local residents, who refuse to sacrifice 24 parking spaces to protect human lives.

Sad news from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where a 14-year old boy was fatally shot as he rode his bicycle, just days after making the football team at his middle school. Seriously, this shit has got to stop.

Either a Florida supermarket employs costume makers, or a local TV station doesn’t know how to spell customer. And apparently, neither one knows bike riders don’t have to ride in the crosswalk.

A Miami weekly says you can survive in the city without a car, but you have to bike at your own risk.

 

International

Mexico’s biggest bikemaker is building a $25 million maquiladora plant with plans to begin exporting to the US. Which isn’t a bad idea in light of Trump’s tariffs on Chinese-made bicycles and parts.

Ottawa city councilors respond to a deadly year for bike riders by saying they want people on bikes to feel safe on the streets. Maybe Los Angeles city councilmembers could take the hint from them.

After getting back on his bike after breaking his leg in a major endo, a London writer finds drivers have gotten meaner. And hopes for a day when all city centers will be carfree.

Bike Biz takes a tour of Britain’s legendary Brooks saddle factory.

Time says the streets of Europe aren’t big enough for bicycle riders and e-scooterists.

 

Competitive Cycling

Watch two-time world mountain bike champ Danny Hart’s dream custom mountain bike build come together in 22 minutes.

Apparently, closing your eyes as you sprint for the finish in the fourth stage of the Vuelta makes you faster.

Evidently, Chloe Dygert Owen is doing a good job of overcoming her confidence issues, after demolishing the peloton to win all four stages of the Colorado Classic. Meanwhile, race organizers hope to add more European teams for next year’s edition of the women’s stage race.

 

Finally…

Who needs a bike path when you’ve got the Great Wall of China? Despite what the company says, Peloton is less than a bike because bikes have wheels.

And if you’re going to burglarize a store, don’t leave the keys in your truck where a bike-riding car thief can find them.

 

Breaking news: Man reportedly killed riding bike near Griffith Park on Thursday

Yesterday someone sent me a photo showing the aftermath of a crash involving a bicyclist on LA’s Griffith Park Blvd.

Sadly, friends of the victim are reporting today that he was killed in the collision, though there is no official confirmation at this time.

The reports indicate the victim, identified by friends as Jeff Jones, was killed when the driver of a white van made a U-turn in front of him.

No time was given for the crash. However, he was supposed to meet a friend at 1 pm, but never arrived. The email I received came shortly after that.

A friend of the victim confirms it was Jones’ bike in the photo.

There’s another vehicle visible at the scene with damage to the right rear quarter panel, which may or may not have been involved in some way.

(Note: I’m not posting the photo here. Family members inevitably read these stories, and can find images of a crash scene very disturbing. If you want to see the photo, which doesn’t show much more that the bike and van, you can click through to it here.)

I’m told Jones was in his mid-50s, and a father. Whose children will now spend the rest of their lives without him.

Photo of Jeff Jones by Josh C.

 

More information and official confirmation when it becomes available.

This is at least the 43rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 17th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the ninth in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: The Eastsider has confirmed the details of the crash with a detective with the LAPD’s Central Traffic Division. The driver stayed at the scene and was cooperating with investigators.

Update 2: A ghost bike for Jeff Jones will be installed on Wednesday evening.

Update 3: A memorial will be held for Jones at Zuma Beach on Sunday, September 8th.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jeff Jones and his loved ones.

Thanks to Todd Munson and Patrick Pascal for the heads-up. 

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