Tag Archive for Karo Torossian

Morning Links: $4.5 million settlement in broken street death, new laws aren’t helping OC, and windshield bias in CD7

LA’s poorly maintained streets and lack of safe bicycling infrastructure will cost taxpayers $4.5 million dollars.

And cost a bike rider his life.

The city council agreed to a settlement in the 2014 case of Edgardo Gabat, who struck a two-inch ridge of concrete on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, and was thrown over his handlebars.

Sadly, the city knew about the problem after other riders had been injured there, but failed to fix it. Yet continued to list Colorado as a bicycle-friendly street, despite a lack of any bicycling infrastructure or warning signs.

As the LA Times points out, this settlement comes as Los Angeles debates whether to invest Measure M local return funds in fixing the streets or supporting Vision Zero projects.

Clearly, both are necessary. Because sometimes, it’s the same thing.

And as large as this settlement is, I have a feeling Gabat’s family would gladly give it all back just to have him with them again.


It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from David Whiting of the Orange County Register, who says new laws and thousands of dollars spent improving safety haven’t cut the county’s bicycling death toll, averaging one rider a month killed in traffic collisions.

Yes, he stresses the need for bike riders to be polite and obey the law. And he’s not wrong about that, although no one ever seems to suggest that every driver has to obey all the laws and be ambassadors for motoring.

But he does point the finger where it belongs, at distracted drivers and dangerously close passes that violate the state’s three-foot law. And notes that fines for littering exceed the penalty for nearly killing another human being with just inches to spare.

The kicker to the story, which ends with a call for Wednesday’s Ride of Silence, is that his own wife returned home from a ride as he was writing it, and reported that a man in a truck yelled an obscenity at her.

Which really shouldn’t surprise anyone, unfortunately.


Streetsblog considers the new protected bike lanes on Foothill Blvd in Sunland-Tujunga, which were installed as a Vision Zero measure in response to the death of bike rider Jeff Knopp. And how they entered the debate between CD7 council candidates Karo Torossian and Monica Rodriguez, as the formerly bike-friendly Torossian offered a windshield-perspective comment about bike lanes being “rammed down our throats.”

Meanwhile, the Eastsider repeats questions for the candidates for CD1, and once again, gets crickets from incumbent Gil Cedillo.

For all the problems that have surfaced recently with Joe Bray-Ali, it’s hard to imagine he could be any less responsive or more out-of-touch with the district than Cedillo has been.


This is why you don’t retaliate against drivers, no matter what they do or how pissed off you are.

A Santa Clarita man was sentenced to 188 days behind bars for throwing a bottle at a car after the driver apparently cut him off as he rode his bike on the sidewalk.


CNN visits the Madonna del Ghisallo chapel above Lake Como in Italy and its shrine to cycling and the Giro d’Italia.

A major crash took down 50 riders in the Giro, sending a number of riders out of the race and into the hospital. Meanwhile, Vincenzo Nibali’s homecoming was ruined when one of his teammates got the cycling equivalent of a red card for shoving another rider off the road.

The Modesto Bee previews the Amgen Tour of California, which starts this weekend, and says keep an eye on Peter Sagan. French rider Julian Alaphilippe won’t be defending his title, or competing in the Tour de France, for that matter, after knee surgery knocks him out for at least four weeks.

Southern California’s Coryn Rivera returns to compete in the four-stage women’s Tour of California after becoming the first American the Tour of Flanders; full rosters were released for the women’s teams.

The course for this summer’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix will go backwards.



Metro invites you to attend the grand opening of the long-awaited Hollywood Bike Hub on Friday the 19th at 9 am.

CiclaValley looks at last weekend’s NBA Reunion and BMX Bike Show, which oddly had nothing to do with basketball.

The LACBC will be hosting a pair of bike safety classes in Inglewood this afternoon and this evening.

The Bikerowave bike co-op invites you to bring your bike in on Saturday to get ready for Bike to Work Day, and score some swag from Metro.

Santa Monica gets serious about reducing traffic fatalities, including hiring a Vision Zero Czar, increasing funding, improving infrastructure, updating the bike action plan, and addressing the city’s speeding problem. Maybe LA could take a few hints from them.

The year’s first Redondo Beach TEDx talk addresses the city’s transportation issues, like how to reduce driving and where more bike lanes are needed; sadly, the discussion came just two days before a 13-year old girl was killed riding her bike along PCH.

Speaking of the young victim in that case, the Easy Reader News offers the most complete account yet of what happened that tragic night, and the heartbreaking impact Ciara Smith’s death has had on the community. If the story doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, you’re a stronger person than I am.

Long Beach approved plans for a new 2.5 mile bicycle boulevard in the southeast part of the city. Thus demonstrating to its much larger neighbor that it is in fact possible to build the things that are included in a city’s bike plan.



Good question. The Human Streets website asks if it’s possible to get the data needed to pass the Idaho Stop Law in California without actually trying it first.

An injured mountain biker was airlifted after falling off his bike at the top of Coyote Run Trail in Wood Canyons Wilderness Park near Laguna Nigel.

Laguna Beach is looking for more input to create a more inviting entrance to the city, including a multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists.

Cal State Fullerton police are looking for a bike-riding man who threatened to kill a woman who rejected his sexual comments.

Newport Beach boldly backs out of plans to improve safety on Bayside Drive, canceling plans for a roundabout, as well as an alternate plan for a road diet. Because obviously, you don’t want to do anything to save lives if it might possibly inconvenience someone.

Sixteen bike repair stations will be installed at fire stations throughout Ventura County over the next year; a 10-mile family friendly ride will be held on Monday to celebrate the first one.

Bakersfield police are still investigating a member of a prominent local farming family in the January hit-and-run death of a woman riding her bike; police found an empty vodka bottle in the SUV of the driver, who has at least one previous DUI.

A Bay Area TV station offers advise on what you need to start cycling, albeit from a strict roadie perspective.



A new study shows increasing bicycling infrastructure can reduce fatalities and severe injuries as much as 75%. It includes Los Angeles as an example, even though LA has drastically cut back on building bikeways, and largely forgotten its 2010 bike plan.

People for Bikes says living plants make great diverters and traffic calming measures while doubling as on-street storm drainage.

Oregon considers a new 4% – 5% excise tax on the sale of new bicycles to fund transportation projects; while bike advocates may not like the idea, they’re not going to the mattresses.

Chicago is about to get its first contraflow bike lane, on a road where people frequently ride salmon to avoid busier streets.

As we mentioned awhile back, Pittsburgh-based ultracycling legend Danny Chew is back on track towards his goal of riding one million miles in his lifetime, now using a handcycle after a crash that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Hundreds of police officers are riding from New Jersey to DC for the annual Police Unity Tour to honor officers killed in the line of duty.

The homeless man who stabbed a Connecticut man to death as he neared the end of a ride to Miami to propose to his girlfriend won’t stand trial after being declared incompetent by the judge.



A writer for Cycling Tips says there’s no such thing as “just” a concussion, and every brain injury has to be taken seriously. I concur, from experience.

London’s Telegraph shares ten cycling routes you should tackle on your next trip to the UK.

After former three-time Tour de France champ Chris Froome was intentionally hit by a car while training in France, the BBC asks how safe the roads in the UK really are for people on bikes.

The Guardian says police have to crack down on vicious drivers, because bike riders don’t deserve to be killed by bike-hating motorists for jumping lights or hopping curbs.

Caught on video: Yesterday we mentioned the road raging London mother-to-be who will be having her baby behind bars after running a bike rider off the road and into a tree; today, horrifying security cam video of the crash was released. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

A Dutch art student left her bike in an English town when she returned home, with a note encouraging people to use it and return it for others to use.

The Paris Velib bikeshare goes electric with a new operator, ebikes and a new parking scheme that doubles dock capacity.



The best way to lose a race — and get laughed at — is to celebrate your victory a lap early. Unless it’s nearly getting run over by the peloton posing for your Instagram pics.

And if you’re going to flee the scene after a drunken crash, make sure the cyclist you hit wasn’t a bike cop.

They take that shit seriously.


Morning Links: Pablove Across America ride, campaign histrionics in CD1, and a worldwide rash of assaults on cyclists

I normally don’t repost press releases.

I usually don’t finish reading them, for that matter. Let alone share them on here. But I’m making an exception this time, to give you a chance to ride the Left Coast for a good cause.

Pablove Across America (PAA) is a pro-plus experience with a world-class support crew and the energy of 50 cyclists riding for a cause. Cyclists will have the opportunity to ride down the beautiful California Coast, from the San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles. This race was started a few years ago when Jeff Castelaz and Jo Ann Thrailkill lost their six year old son to a rare form of cancer. In order to cope with the pain Jeff rode his bike from Florida to LA and it started in 2009. When friends and family heard of this news a family friend set up a fund and began collecting donations for his ride and for the family. Before they knew it there had over $250K in their account and from there this ride turned into an annual fundraising event to celebrate the life of Pablo and the Pablove Foundation was created to raise money for pediatric cancer.

The Pablove Foundation helps kids with cancer live a love-filled life today, and a cancer-free life tomorrow. Pablove’s mission is to invest in under-funded, cutting-edge pediatric cancer research and improve the lives of children living with cancer through the arts.

The event takes place October 1-7 and is unlike the others – you can see all the 5-star details below. If riders want to participate in just one day of the race (either the sendoff in SF or arrival in LA) they can also do that.  And when riders arrive in LA there will be a special party for them at Trancas Country Mart — just north of Zuma/Malibu. The party will include a live musical performance (big name to be confirmed soon) with great food and drinks for all. Locals can also attend to participate in the festivities and welcome in the riders.

Riders are asked to raise at least $7,500 to receive a professional-grade experience, including:

  • Pro-race support to roll behind the peloton and perform daily maintenance on your bike
  • Soigneur services to keep your body in good working order through massage
  • Nutritious meals and on-bike food and drink
  • A double-occupancy hotel room (upgrades to single rooms available for $100/night, dependent on availability)
  • A training plan and individualized coaching
  • Pablove cycling kit with short-sleeved jersey and bib shorts


KPCC looks at Monday’s “raucous” debate between CD1 candidates Joe Bray-Ali and incumbent Gil Cedillo, which was lowlighted by a racist call for the LA-born Bray-Ali to “go back to India;” the LA Weekly calls it the all-time craziest debate in LA.

Meanwhile, Bray-Ali apologized for a nine-year old YouTube video in which he repeats a George Lopez joke about Mexicans; needless to say, it was sent to reporters by the Cedillo campaign, who’ve clearly done their opposition research.

Bray-Ali will host a campaign block party tonight.

And with all the histrionics in CD1, it’s easy to forget there’s another runoff going on in CD7, between bike-friendly Monica Rodriguez and even more bike-friendly Karo Torossian, who will both participate in a debate a week from Saturday.


Unfortunately, today’s common theme is violent attacks on bike riders.

A San Francisco cyclist was attacked by two men who attempted to knock him off his bike, then punched him and stole his bag when he managed to stay upright.

A New York man suffered a broken arm and jaw after he was knocked off his bike and jumped by a road raging driver and his passengers, because he wouldn’t get the hell out of their way so they could go around a double-parked car; no arrests have been made, even though police got their license number from two separate sources.

Four Brooklyn gang members will serve life in prison for fatally stabbing a man after he refused to hand over his bicycle and backpack.

Two British teens were arrested for attacking a man with a machete as he rode his bicycle home from his girlfriend’s house.

Another British rider was saved by a passerby after being attacked by four men armed with golf clubs and a crowbar.

A Yugoslav Ironman competitor was knocked off his bike and robbed by a gang in South Africa, less than a month after similar attacks on two other riders.

Then there’s the road raging driver who pulled his car over to harass a group a cyclists, then provoked an altercation with a second group and apparently pepper sprayed them — then was stupid enough to post the video on Facebook. I don’t know where this occurred, but this appears to be damn good evidence of felony assault; regardless of who attacked whom, he pulled his car over in order to provoke a confrontation. Thanks to Cyclist’s Rights for sharing the link.


Then there are the bike riders behaving badly.

A 73-year old Bay Area driver was reportedly punched by three different bicyclists, and his classic Camaro damaged, after he allegedly bumped a rider participating in the East Bay Bike Party Monday night.

A Brit bicyclist reached in to snatch the keys from a driver’s car and rode off after a roadway argument.

Seriously, just don’t. As tempting as the last one may be sometimes.


Czech-based Team Elkov-Author Cycling faces a suspension from competition after two team members received four year bans for doping.

A pair of HuffPo writers discuss the pressure on professional athletes to dope, and the consequences they face, physical and otherwise.

Members of the Cylance Pro Cycling team met with Big Bear elementary school students, as they trained in the area for this weekend’s Tour of the Gila.



Streetsblog takes an initial look at LA’s new interactive Vision Zero map, which appears to be still working the bugs out. What’s missing from the map is any word on what happened in response to the fatality; whether the driver was charged or if any changes were made to the roadway following the crash.

The Bike Metro bikeshare will be free this Saturday for Earth Day.

CiclaValley checks out Little Tujunga’s recovery from the massive Sand Fire.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Boyonabike, who reviews The Guardian bike scribe Peter Walker’s new book How Cycling Can Save the World.

Don’t plan on using the Chandler Bike Path through Burbank on Saturday.

A 46-year old man was fatally shot while riding his bike in El Monte Tuesday night.

A Santa Monica bike rider is expected to recover after he was hit by an 80-year old driver, who sideswiped a car before hitting him, then crashed into at least one more vehicle.

Ride with the mayor of Santa Monica this Sunday.

LA County is now offering a $10,000 reward for information on the murder of a Compton man as he sat in his parked car last June by someone who rode up on a bicycle; two other men in the car were wounded in the shooting.

While you’re jonesing for the June CicLAvia, take advantage of the Beach Streets University open streets event in East Long Beach at the end of the month.



Newport Beach will be conducting a bike and pedestrian safety operation through Monday; as with similar programs in other cities, ride to the letter of the law as long as you’re in the city so you’re not the one ticketed.

A San Diego man who took off with a Border Patrol agent hanging on for dear life in the back of his truck after the agent tried to stop him from stealing a bicycle was sentenced to five years in prison.

Congratulations to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, which saved 14 bike riders from themselves in a crackdown aimed at preventing crashes involving motorists, pedestrians and cyclists, but could only manage to find a single scofflaw driver to ticket.

A team of San Bernardino firefighters will take part in June’s Race Across America to support a pair of fellow firefighters who are battling cancer.

The country’s largest bike expo starts tomorrow in Monterey, as the Sea Otter Classic takes place at the famed Laguna Seco raceway.

Watsonville police recover five bikes believed to be stolen while conducting a probation search, including a $7,500 bicycle.

Once again, a bike rider was the hero, as a Dublin cyclist spotted a Pleasanton boy who’d been missing from his elementary school for three hours.

San Francisco approved protected bile lanes on 13th Street, and proposed replacing sharrows with painted bike lanes on another while realigning parking to make room for them. Unlike LA, where parking spaces are more sacred than cows in India.

A San Francisco Op-Ed from the head of the city’s transportation agency says it’s time to make traffic deaths a thing of the past.

An alleged drunk driver has been arrested for critically injuring a five-year old Sacramento boy as he rode his bike Tuesday evening. There’s something seriously wrong when a little kid can’t ride his bike without being endangered by some jackass who can’t manage to stay the hell out of his car after drinking.



Streetsblog considers the human toll of normalizing distracted driving.

People for Bikes offers a half dozen first person accounts to show the only thing that’s just like riding a bike is riding a bike.

Bicycling offers advice on how to pass an alligator in the road. Which is not a problem we normally have here in sunny Southern California.

Apple Maps now includes bikeshare docks, but only in New York, London and Paris. After all, the LA area is so unimportant in the greater scheme of things, right?

NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt Jr beat fellow racer Jimmie Johnson, at least when it came to bragging rights for putting in the most miles on his bike.

The Guardian asks if Seattle’s mandatory helmet law killed their bikeshare system, or if it was the hills, rain and lack of infrastructure. In short, yes.

No bias here. A Las Vegas cyclist allegedly lost control and made a suicide swerve into the side of a tour bus.

A Colorado state senator wants to ban coal-rolling drivers; if you live in Colorado, the bill could use your support. Although it’s questionable whether a $100 fine will deter them, when an existing $3,750 federal fine doesn’t.

Topeka KS native Steve Tilford will be honored with a four hour celebration of his life on Sunday; the cycling legend was killed in a Colorado car crash earlier this month.

The National Transportation Safety Board says the Kalamazoo massacre might have been avoided if there had been better communication between the three police agencies in the area; the initial call warning about the stoned driver came 22 minutes before the crash that killed five riders.

The NYPD has shifted gears and will recommend charges against a truck driver who killed a bike rider, just days after attempting to blame the victim, who had the right-of-way.

The Daily News mostly gets it, calling on the NYPD to stop confiscating ebikes and target reckless cars, instead. Although Disney movies aside, most cars are only as reckless as the drivers in them.

New York state gets serious about active transportation, investing $112 million in federal funding to pay for several dozen bike and pedestrian projects.

A New Jersey study shows barriers to bicycling go far beyond infrastructure for people of color.



An Austrian endurance cyclist plans to ride 900 miles across Cuba in 37 hours. Although the hardest part of the journey may be listening to a single song on endless repeat.

Benedict Cumberbatch is one of us, too. Or was five years ago, anyway. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

The Brit driver who threatened BBC presenter Jeremy Vine as he rode his bike has lost her appeal, and will spend nine months behind bars.

A very popular London bike safety advocate has been killed in a collision with an allegedly drunk and stoned driver in Mallorca, Spain.

A 35-year old English man is returning home after a 43,000 mile journey by bike around the world; he was only 28 when he set off in 2010.

A new study from the University of Glasgow shows that bicycling to work can cut your risk of cancer and heart disease nearly in half, and your risk of premature death by any cause by 41%. Which means that after 37 years of adult riding, I should live forever.

India’s Army Chief General “felicitated” a retired general for riding over 6,800 miles in 183 days to honor the nation’s 21,000 fallen soldiers.

Someone stole 20 track bikes worth the equivalent of over $15,000 from a Durbin, South Africa velodrome.



You can carry anything on a bicycle — even a body. Probably not the best idea to bike away from a known drug house if you’ve got outstanding warrants, and drug paraphernalia and meth in your backpack.

And nothing like crapping in your own hands and throwing it at the driver who honked at you.

Clearly, someone has spent way too much time watching the monkeys at the zoo.


I know firsthand how hard it is to ask for money to support a site like this. So when Seth Davidson asks for your help to support his work at Cycling in the South Bay, it should mean something.


Morning Links: Bike-friendly council candidates still in running, and DSS poster makes biking look dangerous

It looks like three of the four remaining city council candidates could be good for bicycling.

And you can guess who the other one is.

Monica Rodriguez and Karo Torossian will be in a runoff for the CD7 council seat. Rodriguez was one of the three candidates who got the nod from Bike the Vote LA before this month’s primary election. I’m told Torossian would have received strong consideration if he had gotten his response in before the deadline.

Meanwhile, the results in CD1 are expected to be certified today, with long-time bike and community advocate Joe Bray-Ali taking on the extremely bike unfriendly Gil Cedillo. As you’ll recall, it was Cedillo who singlehandedly blocked the desperately needed road diet on North Figueroa, and attempted to have all the proposed bike lanes in CD1 removed from the Mobility Plan, earning him the moniker “Roadkill Gil” from some in the district.

The Times sums it up nicely, calling Bray-Ali’s forcing the runoff a victory for a new vision of a sustainable LA.

Although it’s not a victory yet.

Think of it as the game going into overtime. Both candidate start out on even footing, and who wins will depend on what happens in the coming weeks.

It will take the support of the entire bicycling community, and everyone who wants a better LA, to overcome the massive amounts of special interest money that will inevitably flow in from outside the district to help keep a career politician in office.


Streetblog’s Joe Linton takes the L.A. County Department of Social Services to task for making bicycling look dangerous.

The ad depicts a fallen spandex cyclist. The text reads “When life gets rough.” The ad falls into the alltoocommon grim bicycling-equals-danger trope which shames cyclists and reinforces misperceptions about cycling safety.

To be honest, it really doesn’t bother me.

Given the unpaved surface, I read the image in the ad as a face plant by a mountain biker, which is just part of the sport.

But maybe that’s just me. What do you think?


Former Stallone stunt double Eric Barone beat his own record with a 141 mph downhill on a snowy French ski slope. Which is just a tad faster than most of us have done on dry land.


Sad news from South Africa, where an Egyptian cyclist died of a heart attack while competing in the African track cycling championships.

Cycling News offers five things they learned from last weekend’s Milan – San Remo, including that Peter Sagan is no Cannibal as he slips to the 78th second place finish of his career, compared to 92 wins.



The LA Times says Los Angeles needs to become a more walkable, bikeable and transit-oriented city, and the city needs to channel Angelenos’ desire for a more urban city into more effective new planning guidelines.

Los Angeles Magazine calls Sunday’s CicLAvia your next chance to experience LA free from the tyranny of the automobile.

Take a great rear-facing bike cam view of this past Sunday’s Marathon Crash Ride. CiclaValley also joined in on the ride.

Pasadena Now looks at the recently approved state grant to build a two-way protected cycle track on Union Street.



Back east, they have to plow bike paths. Out here, we mow them.

After missing last year, Garden Grove will host its third almost-annual Open Streets event on April Fools Day. Let’s hope they don’t say that when we all show up.

Bay Area bicyclists ride to consider what can be done to fix the Hairball, a maze of intersecting highways where a bike path that runs underneath has turned into a de facto homeless camp.

A pair of bike-riding UC Berkeley researchers take a deep dive into the physics of why bike riders hate stop signs. Speaking of which, Calbike wants your support for AB1103, which would legalize the Idaho stop in California. Thanks to Cyclist’s Rights for the heads-up.



NACTO says Trump’s budget would be a disaster for cities and their transportation systems. No shit.

Performance Bike is using the world’s most famous computer to get inside your head, or at least your browsing history, to target their marketing at you.

Outside recommends an e-fat bike to power your way over backcountry terrain. Because don’t we all want to rip up endangered terrain by riding off trail, while annoying the crap out of everyone else on trail? Or is that just me?

The heartbreak of people who can’t ride bikes.

The Mayor of Maui tells bicyclists to ride in the door zone to avoid salmon cyclists in the bike lane, and misreads the law to suggest that’s required anyway. There is no law, anywhere in the US, that requires people to ride to the right in a bike lane. And it’s usually safer to ride in the center to left third, depending on the width of the lane, to ensure you’re outside the door zone.

Idaho police shoot and kill a rampaging armed man on a mountain bike who was threating dog owners on a popular trail, and killed one dog.

Au contraire, Findley, Ohio’s The Courier; the city is not proposing a ban on bicycling in the downtown area, just against riding on the sidewalk. Big difference, mais non?

A road raging Ohio driver faces a minimum of two and a half years in prison for a screaming punishment pass and brake check that left a bike rider injured. Meanwhile, Ohio becomes the latest state to adopt a three-foot passing law; 28 states now require drivers to give at least three feet while passing someone on a bike.

The Village Voice asks if racism will derail plans for bike lanes and other safety improvements on 111th Street in Queens; one opponent insists the lanes won’t be necessary once Trump deports all the illegals, since there won’t be anyone left to ride a bike. Maybe someone should explain to her that lots of people who ride bikes were born in this country, including the many of the ones she assumes don’t belong here.

They’re onto us, comrade. A North Carolina letter writer insists a group of new hotels under construction are a plot to make driving so impossible everyone would be forced to bike or walk.



The premier of Manitoba plans to ride 100 miles this June to honor indigenous peoples in the province.

London is about to get protected bike lanes on the Westminster Bridge, providing safer access to Parliament and the palace.

A new British report says new roadways damage the countryside, quickly get jammed due to induced demand, and discourage alternative forms of transportation like biking and walking.

Something happened between a bicyclist and a pedestrian in a British town. No, really, that’s all the story says.

A new French law requires kids under 12 to wear a bike helmet when they ride. And they want kids to nag their parents to wear one, as well.

An Aussie man got a $1,000 fine for biking under the influence, adding to his 17-page rap sheet.



Evidently, the way to clear a crowded bike path is to raise your voice in song; thanks to Scott Larsen for the heads-up. Yes, bicycling can be boring, but only if you are.

And nothing like snuggling up around an ebike fire on the beach.


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