Tag Archive for Julio Martinez

One last bit of bad news from last year — Barrington dooring victim died of his injuries last month

Ghost bike for Julio Martinez; photo by Danny Gamboa

Ghost bike for Julio Martinez; photo by Danny Gamboa

Unfortunately, last year’s bad news didn’t end with the new year.

For the past several weeks, I’ve been trying to confirm rumors that the victim of last month’s dooring on Barrington Ave in Brentwood had died of his injuries. And had received no response, respite repeated emails to members of the LAPD.

Sadly, I finally received confirmation today, thanks to Danny Gamboa of ZKO Films, who has been documenting Southern California ghost bikes. He was able to track down the victim’s place of work, where co-workers confirmed that he had died sometime between December 10th and December 17th.

According to Gamboa, 37-year old Julio Martinez worked with his brother at Belwood Bakery at 11625 Barrington Court, just off Sunset Blvd. He was apparently riding home from work when he was hit by the door of a car on a downhill section of Barrington, where bikes can easily reach speeds of 25 mph or higher.

Martinez was taken to a hospital with severe head injuries, where he later died. His brother has taken time off from work to accompany his body back to their hometown in Mexico.

The Belwood Bakery is collecting funds to help defray the expenses. If you find yourself in the area — and many popular group rides pass nearby on Sunset Blvd — stop by for a sandwich and some coffee, and drop in a few bucks. Or take up a collection and drop it off on your way home.

Because he died as one of us.

This is the 88th bicycling fatality in Southern California in 2013, and the 39th in Los Angeles County. It’s also the 18th in the City of Los Angeles — a 360% increase over 2012.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Julio Martinez and all his family and loved ones.


A Koreatown bike rider became the city’s latest hit-and-run victim early this morning.

According to OnScene.TV — which offers raw footage from the scene — the victim, described only as a male in his early 20s, was riding with roughly 25 other cyclists down Vermont Ave when he was hit by an unknown vehicle at the intersection with 4th Street. The site reports he was transported to a local hospital with serious injuries.


A male cyclist was shot and wounded in a Filipinotown drive-by this morning; the victim was not suspected of being a gang member. Fortunately, he’s expected to make a full recovery.


In today’s driving news, dialing your phone behind the wheel is the most dangerous form of distracted driving, while inexperienced drivers reaching for a cell phone increases crash risk by 700%.

It turns out drivers view people more negatively than non-drivers do; maybe that’s why so many of them hate us.

The UK asks if radar and RFID can be the solution to stop drivers from killing cyclists; new technologies can’t cure bad road design, though.

Elly Blue offers motorists advice on how to drive around bike riders.

And a driving Jerry Seinfeld doesn’t want to see anymore ghost bikes. Neither do we, Jerry.


Darren Graves offers this beautifully evocative photo of the Venice bike path from this morning's commute.

Darren Graves offers this beautifully evocative photo of the Venice bike path from this morning’s commute.

A Times’ writer offers a surprisingly good piece on sharing the road, albeit from a windshield perspective. Streetsblog talks with interim LADOT — and Recreation and Parks — General Manager Jon Kirk Mukri; now that Chicago and New York both have new DOT heads, what is Mayor Garcetti waiting for? Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman explains she rides to connect to her city. Local Los Feliz paper seems to be trying to create controversy over Rowena road diet, but the story doesn’t support it. A Santa Monica letter writer says bike on ped collisions are a problem when you’re the ped. The final meeting for Santa Monica’s MANGo project takes place on Tuesday; my suggestion is getting rid of that silly lower-case O in the name. Flying Pigeon’s Richard Risemberg finds Downtown El Segundo’s new bike racks almost perfect. Milestone Rides explores the Verdugos with Long Beach’s bike touring expats. A Carson cyclist is injured in a collision on Avalon Blvd.

The new ABCs of bike riding should include air quality. A San Diego cyclist says he woke up in a ditch several hours after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver; others suggest he got drunk and passed out. A Piru man faces charges for using his car as a weapon to injure someone he was arguing with. Uber bans an off-duty San Francisco driver after he killed a six-year old girl on New Years Eve, but maybe they should be accountable anyway. Some people just don’t get it, as an SF writer objects to bike riders’ right to take the lane. A dozen years after a Modesto-area woman killed a cyclist while drunk, she faces six years for another DUI.

A writer for Bicycle Retailer asks if bicycles are the new gay marriage for misinformed conservatives; thanks to Geri for the link. US cities are installing the first curb-protected bike lanes. The Atlantic Cities asks if distracted bicycling should be banned; having nearly been run off the road by other riders on more than one occasion, I vote yes. The Bike League highlights their 2013 accomplishments in a new infographic. The Feds finally approve bicycle traffic signals, allowing riders to be separated by other traffic by time rather than just distance. New bike gloves offer built-in turn signals; thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

Portland cyclists suffered zero fatalities in 10-million trips in 2013; thanks to Michael McVerry for the heads-up. Seattle’s former mayor says the city’s streets were frustrating before bike lanes were put in and probably always will be; oddly, Seattle cycle tracks draw mixed reviews when delivery drivers are allowed to park in them. Just heartbreaking, as a five-year old Nevada girl killed by possible DUI driver while riding her tricycle on the sidewalk; she was riding with her sister and grandmother when the driver backed over her bike. Montana driver requests an all-points bulletin after a rider turns in front of her car. Houston Critical Mass riders are accused of being traffic bullies. Annual Minnesota New Years Day ride has its coldest ride yet. A Tennessee pastor bikes 455 miles over two days to greet all 102 members of his congregation. Hit-and-run MA driver drags parts of a bike 1.5 miles after killing the rider on it. The streets of New York have changed dramatically under outgoing Mayor Bloomberg. DC bike riders get a legal head-start on red lights as a new bike safety law goes into effect. North Carolina cyclist is busted for doping at age 62 with 21 national championships and one world age-group title under his belt; it’s the non-dopers who should be getting the attention.

Will 2014 be the year of the bike? Brilliant Brazilian anti-drunk driving ad. Calgary also gets it right, with no bicycling deaths in 2013. Montreal cyclists say more has to be done to stop dooring. UK drivers who kill cyclists have just a 10% risk of facing jail time. Drivers are responsible for over two-thirds of collisions with cyclists in London’s Westminster district. Everyone’s talking about London’s wildly impractical SkyCycle plan; yes, separation can be good, but one of the best things about bicycling is how it brings you closer to the life of a city, so why would you want to soar above it? Speeding UK drivers are called lunatics; unfortunately, that happens to a lot of people when they get behind the wheel. Brit cyclist is removed uninjured after being trapped under car for 30 minutes — but be warned, the photos are hard to take. New Dutch cargo trike has a front door. Jakarta officials are ordered to leave their cars home once a month. An Aussie writer says it’s time for real reform on the roads. New Zealand guard rails protect careless drivers while putting cyclists at risk.

Finally, don’t pretend you haven’t been tempted; police in Ghana rescue an alleged bike thief from an angry crowd before they can burn him to death. And an Aussie cyclist responds to getting cut off on his possibly stolen bike by stealing the car of the driver who did it.


Update — 37-year old cyclist critically injured in Westside dooring

Word is just coming in that a bike rider suffered severe injuries after being doored last night.

According to an email from LAPD West Traffic Division bike liaison Sgt. Laszlo Sandor, a 37-year old bicyclist was riding south on Barrington near the intersection with San Vicente in Brentwood at 6:46 pm when he came in contact with the open door of a parked car.

No word on whether the victim, whose name was withheld due to privacy restrictions, was hit by the door as it was opened, or if he collided with it after the door was opened in front of him.

Barrington is a narrow, two-lane street on both sides of San Vicente, with substandard-width lanes that legally allow riders to take the lane in order to avoid the door zone. However, heavy traffic and impatient drivers encourage many cyclists to ride in the door zone, where passing cars can leave them trapped with nowhere to go if one of those doors should open.

Sgt. Sandor reports the rider is in critical condition and was in surgery last night for head trauma.

No helmet was found at the scene. This is exactly the sort of relatively slow-speed impact helmets are designed to protect against; however, there’s no way of knowing whether one could have made a difference in this case.

He was also using a headlamp and tail light, so he should have been visible to the driver.

And no word yet on whether the driver was cited. Drivers are almost always at fault in a dooring; CVC 22517 clearly requires that drivers only open car doors when it is safe to do so.

22517.  No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open upon the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.

Head trauma is never a good thing; if not life-threatening, it can often be life-changing, sometimes permanently. So prayers, good thoughts and/or best wishes for the rider are definitely in order.

More details when and if they become available.

Update: I was just forwarded the following email, which went out as part of a community crime report from a Brentwood-area homeowner’s association. 

Unfortunately, an accident occurred last night on the 600 block of Barrington involving a cyclist and a vehicle. My partner and I were the first responders at scene.  The severity of the accident moves me to encourage all cyclists to PLEASE wear helmets — even for short trips. The cyclist is in critical condition and sadly, it doesn’t look good for him. 

A man sitting in his parked vehicle opened his door just as the cyclist passed and the cyclist clipped the door sending him head first onto the pavement. Does everyone know that it is the driver’s responsibility to look behind them before opening their door? The driver was incredibly shaken and upset and did not realize, until the traffic officers gently explained to him, that he was the party likely at fault. 

As our community continues to increasingly utilize cycling as a mode of transportation, please be ever aware of cyclists maneuvering throughout the traffic. And cyclists please wear your helmets and follow the rules of the road—all the rules of the road—for your own safety and protection.

Thank you. My apologies go out to the Brentwood Homeowner’s Association board and members for missing the meeting that I was en route to when we came upon the accident. I’ll make every effort to be at the next one….

Thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up.

Update 2: I’ve received confirmation that the victim, identified as Julio Martinez, died sometime after he was hospitalized; I haven’t been able to confirm the date. His brother, who worked with Martinez at the Belwood Bakery on Barrington Court, took his body back to their hometown in Mexico. 

This is the 88th bicycling fatality in Southern California in 2013, and the 39th in Los Angeles County. It’s also the 18th in the City of Los Angeles — a 360% increase over 2012.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Julio Martinez and all his family and loved ones.

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