Tag Archive for Koreatown

Baldwin Park gets grant for new mini-park, bike rider collateral damage in police chase, and Streets For All party tonight

It’s the antepenultimate weekend of the 8th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

No, trust me. Look it up.

I had to. 

Miss this one, and there’s just two more weekends to show your love to and for this site, while you help keep all the freshest bike news coming to your favorite screen every morning. And make yourself a hero to everyone who visits this site. 

Whether or not they know it. 

So let’s take a moment to thank the generous people who gave from the heart yesterday so you could read this today, like Ben F, Michael F, Domus Press, Stephen M, Patrick M and Kristoffer M. 

No relation, I should add, despite the abundance of Fs and Ms. 

So don’t wait.

Donate today via PayPal or Zelle. And keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way today, and every day. 

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Baldwin Park announced they’ve received a $761,000 grant from the San Gabriel & Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy to build a new mini-park on Maine Ave.

According to a press release from the city,

The Maine Avenue Mini-Park will join a series of new mini-parks along the soon-to-be-extended Big Dalton Wash Trail and the Susan Rubio Zocalo Park in Downtown Baldwin Park, which will come on-line over the next couple of years and promote public health, mental health, climate resilience and educational and employment opportunities for youth…

A bioswale, smart water irrigation system and stormwater capture improvements will ensure the sustainability of the mini-park. Additionally, its proximity to the San Fe Dam Recreation Area and the region’s extensive trail network support active transportation, furthering local and regional sustainability goals…

When completed, the park will include various passive and recreational amenities for the community, including 14 shade trees, an outdoor fitness area, shade structures, picnic tables, a grill, benches, accessible play equipment for kids and restrooms.

A spokesperson for the city suggests it will be great stopping point for bicyclists using the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area.

The park will be built using an additional $346,000 in matching funds from LA County Measure A. It’s expected to open to the public in 2024.

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A Koreatown bike rider was collateral damage in a police chase.

According to KTLA-5, the LAPD was in pursuit of the driver of a car that had been reported stolen, when the driver struck a bicyclist near South Beaudry Ave and West 2nd Street sometime around 9 am.

He continued without stopping, until crashing into several vehicles at 6th and Normandy, where he was taken into custody.

The bike-riding victim was treated by emergency personnel at the scene; no word on their condition or whether they were taken to a hospital.

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Streets For All is hosting their holiday fundraising party tonight in the Arts District in DTLA, with a recommended minimum $100 donation; donate here to RSVP.

You’re Invited

ICYMI: We’re having our big holiday party tomorrow!

Friday, December 9, 2022
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Private Residence
1855 Industrial Street
Los Angeles, CA, 90021

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‘Tis the season.

The San Diego Padres surprised more than 125 2nd and 3rd graders with new bikes and helmets, as part of their Holiday Giving Tour. Which is nice, but still not enough to forgive them for beating the Dodgers in the NL Division Series.

A Victorville bike giveaway brought smiles to over 155 kids from 26 local elementary schools.

Kindhearted employees of a Green Bay, Wisconsin trucking company dipped into their own pockets to buy more than 35 bikes for local kids.

A South Carolina man has been repairing bikes to donate to kids for the holidays for the last 25 years.

Over a dozen kids from a Florida Boys and Girls Club received new bicycles, thanks to an annual program from a local car dealer.

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The California Transportation Commission — no, not Caltrans — is investing a billion bucks in boosting bicycling and walking with 93 projects targeted to low-income areas.

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No one who’s spent any amount of time on a university campus should be surprised that college administrators can’t manage to differentiate between safe, high-quality lithium-ion ebike batteries, and the fire-prone, secondhand junk ebike and scooter batteries.

So they just ban ebikes and e-scooters entirely.

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Gravel Bike California grinds to the highest point in the City of Angels, at a whopping 5,079 ft.

Which sounds impressive, unless you’re from Colorado, like me.

But still.

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

No bias here. A report from the uncomprehending National Transportation Safety Board, aka NTSB, incomprehensibly blames the victims for the meth-fueled crash that killed five bicyclists outside Las Vegas last year, for the crime of riding their bikes in the right lane of the highway. In other words, exactly where they were supposed to be. Las Vegas hospitals are about to be overrun with facepalm injuries.

No bias here, either. A Buffalo, New York letter writer complains that instead of blaming unsafe roadways, we should blame “the ever-increasing stupidity of pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers” and the “idiots walking and biking.”

Or here. A New Jersey columnist compares mandatory bike helmets to seat belts, saying he can’t understand why bike advocates would be against a helmet law, while ignoring the reasons advocates gave to opposite it. He also compares that opposition to bike helmets to opposition to motorcycle helmet laws, even they were opposed for diametrically differing reasons.

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

A British court dropped the charges against a road raging, 68-year old former Olympian, who called a woman fat and blind in an expletive-laden tirade, and reached into her car as she begged him not to hit her, all because she cut his bicycle off in traffic; the case was dismissed due to his PTSD resulting from an earlier crash.

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Local 

Curbed’s Alissa Walker writes about LA’s outgoing Climate Mayor, who’s leaving the city’s broken sidewalks just as bad as when he found them, if not worse — thanks in part to his habit of getting distracted by shiny objects like a potential presidential run that never launched, and a nomination to be ambassador to India that crashed and burned. Eric Garcetti could have been a good mayor, if he had actually been interested in doing it.

Long Beach will give a Complete Streets makeover to Studebaker Road on the city’s east side, including a protected bike lane and other safety features between Los Coyotes Diagonal and Second Street.

 

State 

A 44-year old man was seriously injured in San Diego’s Point Loma neighborhood Thursday evening, when his bike was left-crossed by a pickup driver while allegedly riding in a crosswalk against the Don’t Walk signal. Although once again, it depends on whether there were independent witnesses to the crash, or if police are relying on the driver who hit him.

A Paso Robles woman faces six years behind bars for pleading guilty to DUI after crashing into several parked cars while driving with a blood alcohol content of .30 — three and a half times the legal limit. She apparently hadn’t learned her lesson about drinking and driving, despite receiving an early release from prison for a ten-year sentence for the drunken, hit-and-run death of a bike-riding Cal Poly student in 2017. If there were any justice, she’d have to serve the remainder of her original sentence, consecutively with the new term.

 

National

Jalopnik reviews the updated version of Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes popular RadRunner e-cargo bike, which remains perhaps the most affordable electric cargo bike on the market, at $1,499 — and likes it. However, the positive reviews weren’t enough to prevent the company from moving forward with yet another round of layoffs.

Speaking of the five bicyclists killed by the meth-fueled truck driver outside Las Vegas last year, plans are in the works for a permanent ghost bike built for five at the trailhead of the nearby Red Rock Legacy Trail.

Life is cheap in Texas, where a then-18-year old driver walked without a single day behind bars for the drunken crash that killed a man on a bicycle in 2017. Five years is too damn long to wait for justice, and still not receive it.

A Chicago paper talks with the area’s Tandem Society, about the dual joys of riding two by two.

Chicago will vote on a proposal to allow the towing of vehicles parked in bike lanes, six months after a toddler was killed when her mom’s bike was clipped by a truck driver after she was forced to swerve around a blocked bike lane.

Life is cheap in Illinois, where a driver will spend a lousy two months behind bars for the hit-and-run crash that left a bike-riding man with a serious head injury. Both crimes alone — hitting the bike rider and fleeing the scene — call for a hell of a lot longer sentence. Let alone together. 

A New York man lives a committed minimalist lifestyle, carrying all of his belongings on his bike. Which is another way of saying he’s homeless by choice.

A writer for Streetsblog says New York’s proposed bounty for reporting vehicles blocking bike lanes means you could earn a six-figure income without leaving your neighborhood. Passing a proposal like that in Los Angeles could result in a second California gold rush.

Kindhearted Louisiana sheriff’s deputies gave a 57-year old woman a new bike, after someone stole the one a neighbor had given her after realizing she’d been walking four miles each way to work every day for the past six years.

 

International

Apparently, you can make an illegal U-turn while driving on the wrong side of the road, killing a British motorcyclist, then flee to the US under the cover of diplomatic immunity, and still walk without a single damn day behind bars, like the wife of an American diplomat/spy did in the death of 19-year old Harry Dunn.

An English bike rider blasts a seaside bike path, claiming it’s covered in debris and prone to flooding, while suggesting bike riders would be better off on the nearby sidewalk.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a driver walked without a day behind bars for the hit-and-run crash that left a bike-riding man barely conscious and struggling to breathe; he later told investigators he thought he hit a traffic cone. Trust me, if anyone runs me down, they’re going to hear enough choice words to know exactly what they hit.

Nice. Dublin, Ireland opened a new community bike hub, providing free use of adaptive bikes for people with disabilities or mobility issues, a project to repair old and unused bikes to donate to community members, and bike repair and safe bicycling courses for kids.

 

Finally…

Your next favorite video game could center on a bike road trip adventure. And that feeling when you open the Ringling Trail bikeway, but the only clowns are passing motorists.

Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all week.

Which is now over.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Still no Koreatown traffic signal after 3 years, Huizar rides 6th Street Bridge, and NHTSA boss calls for Idaho Stop

Good question.

It’s been three full years since a four-year old girl was killed by a left-turning driver while holding her mother’s hand in a Koreatown crosswalk.

Now LAist wants to know why nothing has been done to install the new traffic signal Koreatown residents were promised in response to Alessa Fajardo’s death as she was walking to school.

Alessa’s death highlighted a series of failures: by the driver who killed her and — more significantly — by the city of L.A., which long knew of dangerous conditions at the intersection where she was killed, but did not add (some) safety improvements until after her death…

But three years after Alessa was killed — and more than 30 months since LADOT recommended the signals be upgraded (with 4-way left turn signals) to make the intersection safer — the improvements have not yet been made.

Adding insult to literal injury, the driver apparently skipped town after initially stopping. There’s been an outstanding warrant for Indira Marrero since she failed to appear in court two years ago — despite the relative slap on the wrist of a misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charge.

Photo by Pixabay.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from disgraced CD14 Councilmember Jose Huizar, who left office under the cloud of racketeering and bribery charges.

Apparently emboldened by the controversy swirling around successor Kevin De León, Huizar popped up yesterday to subtly remind everyone of one of his more popular accomplishments, even though it wasn’t completed until long after he was gone.

Like Huizar, De León refuses to resign despite repeated calls to step down.

Although as shameful as De León’s conduct has been, at least he doesn’t face decades behind bars for his actions, or the lack thereof.

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She gets it.

The acting administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aka NHTSA, is calling for approving the Idaho Stop Law.

She argues that data shows the law, which allows bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields and red lights as stops signs, provides additional safety benefits to people on bicycles.

It’s already in effect in a handful of cities and states, while a modified version known as Stop as Yield — which does not allow for treating red lights as stop signs — is law in several others.

Although not California, where Governor Newsom vetoed it — twice.

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Today’s common theme is cops behaving badly.

A Canadian mountie faces charges for hitting a bike-riding suspect with his patrol car, after two men on a bicycles were seen making off with a large metal safe on a dolly.

And a 22-year old Aukland, New Zealand cop pled guilty to the off-duty death of a bike-riding man, while driving at well over twice the legal alcohol limit.

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

A white Illinois woman walked with probation after being allowed to plead down a felony hate crime charge to a single count of misdemeanor battery, for confronting three Black men riding their bikes along Lake Michigan, insisting their skin color meant they couldn’t be there without a permit.

Anger is growing in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a road raging driver was caught on security cam driving up on a sidewalk to hit a bike rider; both the driver and the victim left the scene afterwards. Always stick around to talk to the police after any assault, vehicular or otherwise.

A Toronto bike rider was lucky to escape from a road raging driver who swerved into him, before getting out of his truck to attack him. Laws may be different in Canada, but LAPD officers have told me that simply exiting a vehicle to confront someone is enough to subject a driver to assault charges.

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

Police in Springfield, Missouri are looking for a bike-riding woman and her companion, after they ignored No Trespassing signs to steal an 80 to 100-pound bench.

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Local

Pasadena has received a $36,500 site grant to improve bike and pedestrian safety.

 

State 

Orange County sheriff’s deputies will host a pair of free, all-ages ebike safety classes in Rancho Santa Margarita over the next two months.

Santa Barbara is removing the green bike lane markings from the center of the State Street Promenade. The bike lanes were intended to separate bike riders and pedestrians, but were ignored by people walking; now bicyclists and pedestrians will be expected to share the carfree street.

Tragic news from Fresno, where someone riding a bicycle was killed in a collision near the Fresno State University campus.

Apparently missing the point of a quick-build bike lane, San Francisco business owners are calling for more study and complaining about a loss of parking, even though the idea behind quick-build lanes is to try them out to see if they work.

Great idea. A resident-led rapid response group is working to call attention to traffic violence in Oakland, quickly organizing protests following deadly collisions.

 

National

Lifehacker offers advice on how to ride your bike in the rain.

Thrillist talks to the “experts” for a list of 16 bicycling essentials every new rider should own. None of which are actually essential.

A Tacoma, Washington bike drive bought in 370 bicycles to be refurbished and donated to people in need.

Fast Company looks at Denver’s wildly successful and popular $4.1 million ebike rebate program.

An Oklahoma man was sentenced to life in prison for the random drive-by shooting that killed a man riding a bicycle; he reportedly killed a stranger just to impress members of a street gang.

An Ohio man wants his coke possession charge separated from charges for the hit-and-run death of a 13-year old boy riding a bicycle, arguing that the drug bust came the next day — even though he was on his way to buy it when he killed the kid.

A Martha’s Vineyard letter writer complains about the two-week closure of a bike path for a three-day music festival, arguing that families and children are routed onto deadly roadways instead.

Lonely Planet says yes, it is possible to be a tourist in New York on a bicycle.

New York is offering a paltry $5,000 reward for the hit-and-run driver who killed a 13-year old boy, who leaped in front of his sister to push her out of the way as they walked in a bike lane.

 

International

Road.cc’s Near Miss of the Day isn’t, after a bike rider’s bikecam catches a van driver actually sideswiping him.

In a major setback for Vancouver bike riders, the city plans to rip out a contentious bike lane through a city park, so cut-through drivers can resume zooming through after being banned during the pandemic.

The conservative Times of London makes a dramatic U-turn by concluding that two-wheels are good, just nine months after demanding licenses and liability insurance for people on bikes. Although they still think cargo bikes annoy drivers.

American Anne Sacoolas pled guilty to a reduced charge of causing death by careless driving in the 2019 head-on, wrong-way driving death of a 19-year old British motorcyclist outside an RAF airbase known to house American spies, where her husband had worked. Sacoolas was able to use her husband’s diplomatic immunity to flee the country; it’s unlikely she will return to the UK for sentencing.

Brussels, Belgium now bans motorists from driving through the city center if that’s not their final destination.

We Love Cycling offers advice on how to cross European borders on a bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Ireland is making a bid to host the start of the Tour de France, possibly as early as 2026.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your new ebike could literally explode. Or when The Cannibal spent twice as long wearing yellow as Britain’s latest prime minister spent in office.

And why tote a bulky tent and sleeping bag on your next bike tour, when you can peddle your very own solar-powered ebike camper van for the low, low price of ten grand?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

8 years for Sebastopol killer drunk driver, permanent Slow Streets in K-town and Hollywood, and WeHo bike ride tonight

That’s more like it.

A Sabastopol vintner got a well-deserved eight years behind bars for the drunken crash that killed one man, and cost a 12-year old boy his leg as they were riding their bikes.

Although he’s likely to get out in a fraction of that time. But still.

Twenty-eight-year old Ulises Valdez Jr. was nearly twice the legal alcohol limit at the time of the crash.

The victims didn’t know each other and weren’t riding together. They just had the misfortune of sharing the road with someone too drunk to drive his massive pickup.

Valdez operated the Sebastopol-based Valdez Family Winery, which was founded by his late father.

Thanks to fartyshart for the heads-up. Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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LADOT is installing permanent Slow Streets in Hollywood and Koreatown. But somehow, they can’t seem to say where.

Maybe it’s a secret.

And no, the answer isn’t in the link.

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The West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition is hosting a bike ride through the city this evening.

Streetsblog says the ride will explore a pilot project to make Willoughby Ave safer for bike riders and pedestrians.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from longtime bike advocate Jon Riddle, who writes looking for volunteers for a Culver City Pride Ride at the end of this month.

I’m writing to share a volunteer opportunity that BikinginLA’s readers might be willing to support. I am working with Jim Shanman and Walk ‘n Rollers, assisting Culver City Pride in producing its Pride Ride & Rally on June 26th (see Culver City Pride for more information on the event). Last year we had well over 100 turn out for Pride Ride and this year we are expecting at least 300 cyclists of all ages and skill levels. The ride is modest—about 6 miles long, through flat, quiet Culver City neighborhoods. That said, we can really use a few more experienced riders to help keep cyclists safe and rolling along. Training ride leaders, ride marshals and experienced cyclists would be perfect.

We welcome anyone willing to lend a hand to sign up at the event’s volunteer page here.

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You never know what you’ll see when you ride a bike.

Even in the middle of Los Angeles.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1531778956352888834

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Megan Lynch argues that UC Davis doesn’t deserve its platinum bike-friendly status if it can’t keep students and faculty safe.

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Even baseball mascots get it.

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GCN puts an ebike to the test on Italy’s legendary Stelvio Pass to see if it can help average bicyclists make it to the top of the 9,000-foot hors catégorie climb.

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

No bias here. A petition is calling for the BBC to fire radio host Jeremy Vine for posting video showing a grocery truck driver pass within a few inches of a bike-riding cop in hi-viz, insisting the driver did nothing wrong because he didn’t leave his lane — even though the cop could have been killed.

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Local

The new home of West Hollywood’s Bike Shop LA may not be long for this world, after plans were announced for a small mixed-use tower at the location.

 

State 

Ventura announced a two-year, $5 million project to improve the Ventura River Trail.

Ojai property owners are being asked to voluntarily relinquish part of their sidewalks for new bike lanes and other safety improvements on Ojai Avenue, with the threat of eminent domain hanging over the holdouts.

Sad news from Goleta, where an 80-year old man was killed in a fall off his bike.

A 60-year old Bay Area man went carfree after trading in his minivan for a thousand dollar clean air credit, and now loves riding his cargo bike to Costco.

Road.cc suggests San Francisco should be the destination for Brits who want to ride hills.

 

National

A self-described bike expert lists the seven cycling skills you need to master. Most of which you actually don’t, though they could come in handy, depending on how you ride.

Electrek highlights nearly a dozen ebikes that got their start on Indiegogo, including Rad Power Bikes and LA’s own Cero.

Your next tandem bike could be carved from wood and stronger than steel.

Inc. says Peloton is sinking under the weight of its own exercise bikes, and needs to transform itself to focus on its affluent subscriber base.

Nice review in The Atlantic of Jody Rosen’s book Two Wheels Good: The History and Mystery of the Bicycle, saying it proves bicycles may be the one thing we all have in common.

The Salt Lake Tribune questions whether Utah can handle an influx of bike-riding tourists when the state just saw its deadliest month for bicyclists in its history.

US Marshalls have told the alleged killer of Moriah “Mo” Wilson to give herself up, saying it’s just a matter of time before they find her, while warning the rest of us that Kaitlin Armstrong should be considered armed and dangerous.

A 19-year old Chicago woman is in fair condition after she was shot by a man who had been yelling at her as she rode her bike; no word on whether they knew each other, or a motive for the shooting.

Once again, an innocent bike rider has become the victim of an elderly driver, as an eight-year old Minnesota girl riding bikes with her family was injured when an 87-year old woman failed to stop, despite the flashing lights on the crosswalk they were riding in; at last report, she was hospitalized in stable condition.

A drunk hit-and-run driver faces up to 15 years behind bars after pleading guilty to running down two bike-riding teenaged boys, killing one and seriously injuring the other.

A York, Pennsylvania man remains on life-support after he was beaten with his own bike earlier this month by a man who had just been released from jail; his attacker is now facing an attempted homicide charge.

 

International

Cyclist explains the mysteries of bicycle gear ratios.

A Toronto op-ed examines the jaw-dropping negligence behind the ever-increasing size off massive SUVs and pickups, with deadly consequences.

Heartbreaking news from the UK, where police settled with the family of a woman who froze to death in a cemetery after falling off her bike, because police gave up searching for her after just ten minutes without ever getting out of their car.

A new startup has begun delivering locally made e-cargo bikes to replace delivery vans in Nigeria.

 

Competitive Cycling

While we were all watching the Giro, 22-year old Belgian star Remco Evenepoel was quietly claiming his fifth win in a week.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could come from a two-time Formula 1 champ. Ride your bike through the most haunted forest in America.

And that feeling when you bet your dad he can’t balance a bicycle on top of a ladder on his chin.

And he wins.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Update: Bike-riding Guatemala native killed by hit-and-run driver in Koreatown crash, his brother suffers minor injuries

Yet another SoCal bike rider has been killed by a heartless coward, who left his victim to die in the street.

This time, in an early morning crash in LA’s Koreatown neighborhood.

According to a press release from the LAPD, the victim was riding to work with his brother around 3:20 am today when they were both run down from behind on westbound Olympic Blvd, east of Mariposa Ave.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, died at the scene. His brother was treated for minor injuries.

However, a crowdfunding campaign set up by the victim’s coworkers identifies him only as Leonidas, who died in front of his brother Wilder.

Police are looking for the driver of a white Jeep Cherokee, who fled west on Olympic.

The bizarre sequence of events began when the driver was parked on the north curb of Olympic Blvd. As they pulled away, the victim of an unrelated vehicle theft jumped on his hood, believing the driver had something to do with the earlier crime.

The driver sped off with the other man still clinging to his hood, before he fell off into the street.

Security cam video posted by KTLA-5 appears to show the crash occurring as the driver was attempting to get away from the man, which may have distracted him.

Both victims appear to jump up and chase after the driver in the immediate aftermath of the crash; there’s no word on when the victim succumbed to his injuries, or what caused his death.

Reflectors can be seen on their bikes, but they don’t appear to have had lights in the nighttime darkness. There’s also some confusion over whether the driver’s SUV was stolen, or whether he may have been involved in nearby tagging.

The crowdfunding campaign to send the victim’s body back home to Guatemala has raised over $9,400 of the $10,000 goal.

There is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in the City of Los Angeles. Anyone with information is urged to call West Traffic Detectives at 213/473-0234.

This is at least the 31st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County. It’s also the seventh in the City of Los Angeles.

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

Update: A late report from KNBC-4 says the brothers were just four blocks from their jobs at a Koreatown bakery, where Leonidas worked as a pastry chef, when they were killed.

Update 2: The victim has been identified as 39-year old Leonidas Accip Serech. The driver has not been publicly identified. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Leonidas Accip Serech and his loved ones. 

Are bikes green enough to change the world; KTown Block Party and CicLAvia; and firefighters stranded on 9/11 tour

Yes, your bike is green, whatever color bike you ride.

But the question is whether it’s green enough.

A writer for Bike Radar took a deep dive into the climate impact of different modes of transportation, concluding that a bicycle is by far the best choice, even when compared to walking.

And yes, even if it’s an ebike.

Here are their key conclusions.

  • Cycling has a carbon footprint of about 21g of CO2 per kilometre. That’s less than walking or getting the bus and less than a tenth the emissions of driving
  • About three-quarters of cycling’s greenhouse gas emissions occur when producing the extra food required to “fuel” cycling, while the rest comes from manufacturing the bicycle
  • Electric bikes have an even lower carbon footprint than conventional bikes because fewer calories are burned per kilometre, despite the emissions from battery manufacturing and electricity use
  • If cycling’s popularity in Britain increased six-fold (equivalent to returning to 1940s levels) and all this pedalling replaced driving, this could make a net reduction of 7.7-million tons of CO2 annually, equivalent to 6% of the UK’s transport emissions

That’s a big drop. But as they admit, going back to that rate of riding, from a time when many post-war Brits couldn’t afford a car or the gas to drive it, is a big lift.

More achievable would be replacing cars with bicycles and ebikes for half of all trips of five miles or less, which would result in a much lower but still significant reduction in greenhouse gasses.

By these calculations, cycling has the lowest carbon footprint of any mode of personal transport, even when compared to walking.

From a climate perspective, it makes sense for as many journeys as possible to be made by bike.

On an individual level, cycling instead of driving (or any other method of travelling) can make a positive impact on your carbon footprint.

But on a national scale, cycling has a limited role in addressing climate change. Because cycling is restricted to short journeys for most people, it can only replace a small fraction of the kilometres covered by cars.

Even if half of all sub-5-mile car journeys were replaced with cycling (a deliberately optimistic scenario) this would save around 7.7-million tons CO2e in the UK, equivalent to 2 per cent of UK domestic emissions in 2016. Not to be sniffed at, but not a silver bullet.

If that same 2% figure were applied to the US, it would save 102 million tons of CO2, based on 2017 figures.

That’s nothing to be sniffed at, either.

But it will take a better analytical mind than mine to calculate whether replacing half of all trips of less than five miles with bicycles, electric and otherwise, would be more or less than the UK’s 2%,

But even that would be a challenge in a country where cars are king, and even adequate bike networks are few and far between.

It’s not an insurmountable problem. But it’s not likely to change without leaders with the political will and courage to make it happen.

And right now, that’s the problem.

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Then again, bikes are pretty efficient, too.

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It’s a busy bike weekend.

First up is tomorrow’s carfree 6th Street KTown Block Party.

That will be followed on Sunday by the first post-pandemic CicLAvia on a 2.2-mile course through Wilmington.

Even if the pandemic is once again rearing its ugly head.

Also on Sunday, ride and dine with celebrity chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger with a bike ride through their favorite neighborhoods, followed by brunch at their Socalo restaurant in Santa Monica.

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The Bay Area firefighters and EMTs who set out recently on a cross-country bike ride to New York for the 20th anniversary of 9/11 are stuck in Jackson, Wyoming after the new Chevy Tahoe they were using as a support van broke down, leaving them stranded.

And General Motors put the lie to their promises of great quality and service, by saying it will be another six weeks before it can be repaired.

Which would mean they’d be starting back out on their trip two weeks after they were supposed to get there.

Hopefully GM will decide to avoid the bad publicity and figure out a way to do something sooner.

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Streets For All has been kind enough to post video of Wednesday’s virtual happy hour with California Assembly Transportation Committee Chair Laura Friedman, for those of us who missed it.

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Great to see the Cutters are still together after all those years after Breaking Away first hit the screens.

But they’re not going to get very far without any rubber on that bike.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

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

No bias here. A Flagstaff AZ paper offers advice on how to ride around the city safety, “without pissing anyone off.” Actually, the advice isn’t bad, even if the headline sucks.

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

Stockton police are looking for a man on a bicycle who allegedly set a Mexican restaurant on fire when they refused to give him a free drink.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says Metro didn’t exactly make the new and improved Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station bike and pedestrian friendly, skipping a promised bike lane in favor of more parking for cars.

Whittier business owners want to keep the city’s Greenleaf Ave closed to motor vehicles, and make permanent the Greenleaf Promenade that took its place for over a year.

A donation from Metro will allow Long Beach to double the number of bikeshare docks in the city.

 

State

Newport Beach ebike maker Electric Bike Company isn’t anymore, after city officials insisted their workspace wasn’t zoned for making bicycles; they’re now in a larger Costa Mesa facility with an expanded product line.

San Diego bike riders continue to call for change following a rash of bicycling deaths this year.

 

National

Men’s Journal recommends the best used bikes to buy now.

A safety startup wants you to pay 300 bucks for a cellphone-sized device to go on your bike, which promises to alert both you and drivers of any dangers they may pose. But only if their cars have the system installed, which they probably won’t.

A Texas driver faces a pair of manslaughter charges for an alleged drunken two-part crash in which he first killed a man riding a bike, then crossed onto the wrong side of the road a few miles later and killed a man driving a pickup.

Bicycling and pedestrian deaths continued to rise in Texas last year, continuing a five-year trend.

Life is cheap in Michigan, where a man will spend just ten lousy days behind bars for killing a bike-riding teenage boy, if he behaves while wearing an ankle bracelet after they let him out.

He gets it. An op-ed in the New York Times argues that electric cars may be a big improvement over gas engines, but any mode of transportation that sits idle 95% of the time is still a problem.

Actor Justin Theroux is one of us, riding his flat-barred roadie through his New York neighborhood.

That’s more like it. A 67-year old Maryland man was sentenced to 20 years behind bars for killing one man and injuring six others when he slammed his car into a group of bicyclists while under the influence of a controlled substance.

 

International

The Verge likes the second-generation Hummingbird, the world’s lightest folding ebike. But they’re not so crazy about the $6,200 price tag.

British police were following an alleged terrorist when he stabbed a woman walking a bicycle, as well as another man, before officers shot and killed him; 20-year old Sudesh Amman had been released from prison on a terrorism charge just ten days earlier.

There isn’t a pit in hell deep enough for the apparent vegan troll who has been tormenting a Welsh farmer online after the farmer killed his three-year old son by backing over the bike he was riding.

One man was killed, and several others injured, when a South African driver attempted to pass several cars on a blind hill, and slammed into eleven people on their bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Post-Olympic bike racing is back with the five-stage Tour of Denmark. And so is Remco Evanepoel, who claimed his first stage win since a horrific crash in last year’s Il Lombardia.

Cycling Weekly looks forward to the first week of the Vuelta, which kicks off tomorrow.

Outside profiles a team of Latin American immigrants who are shaking up New York bike racing.

Olympic gold medalist Jennifer Valente says if you want to succeed in cycling, have fun along the way.

A groundbreaking Aussie cyclist now has permanent brain damage after she suffered over 60 concussions during her racing career.

 

Finally…

Two thousand years after Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem, he could now use bikeshare, instead. Win gold in the Olympics, ride a gold bike in the Vuelta.

And don’t reach in and ride off with a driver’s car keys after an argument at an intersection

As much as we’d all like to sometimes.

………

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

Hit-and-run epidemic hits LA and San Diego, volunteers wanted for carfree K-town fest, and best bike traffic sign ever

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence. 

Monday was a rough day.

It was supposed to be my wife’s first day at her new job, after the company she’d been with for 20 years shut down in the first days of the pandemic. But it lasted just three hours before her new bosses decided they needed someone familiar with their systems, rather than training her as they had promised. 

So now we’re both back where we’ve been for the last 18 months, with her extended unemployment benefits expiring next month, just as the Delta variant is exploding. 

Good times. 

………

Today’s common theme is hit-and-run, sadly.

Starting with the heartless coward who backed over a 91-year old woman on the sidewalk behind his work truck in LA’s University Park neighborhood — then got out and watched her die for three minutes before driving away, without doing a damn thing to help.

And if that doesn’t demand a murder charge once he’s caught, I don’t know what does. As always, there’s a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, San Diego police are looking for the driver who fled the scene after running a Mission Bay red light and smashing into a man on a bicycle, dragging the victim and his bike several yards, and leaving him with life-threatening injuries.

The driver abandoned their truck nearby, and fled the scene on foot. Which always raises the question of whether truck was stolen.

Or they just want to be able to claim it was later.

Police in Riverside are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man who was seriously injured in a hit-and-run while riding his bike, which left him a facial injuries too serious for a photo. Seriously, we’ve said it before, but this is why you should always carry some form of ID that won’t get stolen every time you get on your bike.

And let’s not forget this hit-and-run that took the like of a bike-riding man in Ontario Monday night.

Modesto police are looking for the SUV driver who ran down a bike rider from behind and left him to die alone in the street.

In one of the most bizarre hit-and-runs ever, a pair of Kansas women apparently kidnapped the bike rider they had just crashed into, loading the victim into their car before dumping him somewhere else; police later found him safe, but suffering from significant injuries.

Police in New Jersey busted a 92-year old man who kept driving after hitting a 14-year old boy on a bicycle, telling investigators he thought he’d hit a tree branch. Because evidently, tree branches look a lot like 14-year old kids on bikes once you get that age.

A 71-year old New Orleans man turned himself in for a mid-July hit-and-run that took the life of a 74-year old woman artist riding a bike — but only after a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

Lest anyone think this is just is an American problem, a New Zealand driver is on trial for killing a bike rider while fleeing from the police, then trying to hide his damaged car under a pile of blankets.

Because that wouldn’t look suspicious at all, apparently.

Sadly, though, nothing will ever change until authorities start taking the crime seriously, and actually do something to stop drivers before they flee, like the cowards they are.

………

Streets For All is looking for volunteers to help host a two block, four hour, carfree block party in Koreatown a week from Saturday.

………

This is who we share the road with.

………

Can we please get this sign here?

Pretty please?

………

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

After a New York state senator nearly ran down someone riding a bike with his car, he naturally responded by introducing legislation to crack down on people on bicycles; Streetsblog responds that the danger on our streets doesn’t come from bike riders, but from the people in the big, dangerous machines.

Someone has been sabotaging a busy Virginia Beach VA bike lane for the past month, tossing thumbtacks into it in an apparent attempt to cause flat tires and possible injuries.

A Miami man faces charges for driving through a group of bike-riding kids, then intentionally running down a girl as she tried to chase him down.

Then there’s this —

https://twitter.com/amtillie/status/1422172825369157633

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

T.I. was busted when Amsterdam cops politely invited him into the backseat of their patrol car after the rapper rode his bike through an intersection — apparently against the light — and broke the mirror on the police car.

………

Local

LaVerne is considering a 510-foot bike and pedestrian bridge connecting the Pomona Fairplex with the city’s coming L Line, nee Gold Line, station. No word on what Shirley has planned.

LA County is proposing a $30 million, 2.6-mile bikeway along Rosemead Blvd in the Whittier Narrows area. Although you may have to give your email address to get past the paywall.

 

State

Fountain Valley-based Pedego is riding the crest of the pandemic bike boom, with a whopping $121 million in sales over the past 12 months.

A Beaumont man who already had a misdemeanor warrant now faces charges for carrying a loaded, unregistered handgun on his bike.

A 13-year old girl was hospitalized after she was hit by a driver while riding in a Moorpark crosswalk; no word on her condition.

San Luis Obispo’s popular Bread Bike is moving into a brick and mortar storefront after years of delivering their baked good by bicycle; no word on whether the two-wheeled deliveries will continue when customers can just pop in for a loaf.

 

National

What apparently won’t be included in the new bipartisan federal infrastructure bill is money dedicated to removing highways from urban areas; the intent was to restore damage from many existing freeways that destroyed what were then thriving Black neighborhoods.

A Streetsblog op-ed says support the Recreational Trails Program, but don’t fund it with money earmarked for safe sidewalks and bike lanes.

Men’s Journal falls in love with a pedal-less, throttle controlled e-balance bike, calling it “the coolest gift you can give your kid.” Um, no.

While drivers and state officials decry a massive mudslide that blocked Colorado’s I-70, bike riders are taking advantage of an unexpectedly carfree Loveland Pass.

Like most major American cities, Houston roads are for deadly for bike riders and pedestrians because they prioritized traffic speed over safety.

My bike-friendly hometown is better for hipsters than Berkeley, according to an “unironic” survey from Rent.com, but not as good as Seattle, Minneapolis and Tempe.

A Philadelphia reporter finally learns to ride a bike after decades of failed attempts.

 

International

He gets it. A writer for Road.cc calls the bike industry to task for focusing on speed and performance, at the expense of a large segment of their customer base.

Your next bike could be made from LEGOs, though it might be too small to ride. Even if it is fully functional.

A zen website suggests finding yours by exploring Edmonton, Alberta by bicycle.

The former leader of India’s Congress Party rode a bike to Parliament to protest the rising price of gas and cooking fuels.

 

Competitive Cycling

It’s the end of an era, as Tejay van Garderen, one of the few American cyclists to make a mark in WorldTour in the post-Lance era, calls it a career after 12 years.

The UK was knocked out of the men’s team pursuit in the Tokyo Olympics when Danish rider Frederik Madsen rode directly into a British cyclist who had fallen off the pace, then leapt up and started swearing at the hapless Brit; needless to say, the Fleet Street press was having none of it.

An Aussie cyclist was lucky to escape with bruises and road rash on his face and arms when the handlebars inexplicably snapped off his track bike at 40 mph, just one thousand meters into a four thousand meter race.

Rouleur looks at under-the-radar riders who could impact this month’s Vuelta.

 

Finally…

Stolen bike or hot car? Your next bike could be a funky, one-seat, four-wheeled, ped-assist ebike/car hybrid.

And your old wheels could be a chicken’s new merry-go-round.

………

Thanks to James B and Elizabeth T for their generous donations to help keep this site coming your way every day; any donation, no matter how large or small, helps and is deeply appreciated. 

………

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

Man killed in collision after apparently falling off his bicycle in Koreatown

A man was killed in a Koreatown crash early Wednesday morning in what police initially thought was a hit-and-run.

Investigators at first thought the victim had been hit by a driver who fled the scene before being run over by a second vehicle.

But concluded the second driver had been the only one involved after reviewing video from a nearby security camera.

Early reports indicate the collision occurred at the intersection of Wilshire Blvd and Catalina Street in Koreatown at 3:30 am Wednesday, near the site of the former Ambassador Hotel, now the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools.

According to KTLA-5, the victim, identified only as a Hispanic man in his 30s, was reportedly riding back and forth across Wilshire Blvd when he somehow came off his bike.

He was lying in the street when he was run over and dragged 30 feet by an oncoming car; he was apparently pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver stopped and cooperated with investigators.

The station places the crash scene a block west at Wilshire Boulevard just west of South Berendo Street; no explanation was given for the discrepancy.

The station also reports that coroners smelled alcohol at the scene, suggesting the victim may have been intoxicated, which could explain why he was was lying in the street. Although it does not explain why the driver failed to seem him or the bicycle next to him.

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

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

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson, Sindy Saito, David Drexler and John McBrearty for the heads-up. And my apologies for the delay in posting this.

Update: Bike rider killed by allegedly drunk hit-and-run driver in Koreatown

Yet another person has been the victim of an — allegedly — drunk coward who fled the scene of the crash.

According to multiple sources, the victim was riding south on Western Ave near San Marino Street when a driver struck him from behind just before 2 am.

The 26-year old driver fled the scene, but was arrested nearby after police found a white sedan with damage consistent with the collision. Fox 11 reports he was speeding at the time of the crash, and was found in his car obviously intoxicated.

The victim has been publicly identified only as a Latino in his 50s. He died at the scene.

He appears to have been riding a mountain bike with reflectors, but no lights are visible in the news reports.

A street view shows a four lane road on Western with center left turn lanes in both directions at San Marino, and no bike lanes. And little or nothing to slow a speeding drunk at that hour.

This is the 52nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 23rd in Los Angeles County; it’s also the eighth in the City of LA.

At least 19 of those 52 fatal crashes have been hit-and-runs.

Update: The victim has been identified as 48-year-old Los Angeles resident Mario Calderon.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Mario Calderon and his loved ones.

Morning Links: Stolen bicycle recovered, raw video of Koreatown incident, and bikeshare news

Let’s start with good news, for a change.

Last night I received word that the bicycle stolen at gunpoint from Ulises Melgar, which we discussed yesterday, has been recovered after being spotted in Hollenbeck Park.

The only things missing were the lights and a Garmin.

As a result, the crowdfunding campaign to replace Melgar’s bicycle has been frozen, and anyone who gave will be contacted about their donation.

No word on whether any progress has been made in apprehending the violent jerks who stole it.

………

News service LoudLabs posted raw video of the recent Koreatown incident.

As you may recall, several people pulled an aggressive driver out of his car after he hit a bike rider while plowing through a group ride that was corking an intersection, and held him down until police arrived.

The additional footage includes the full interview with a witness, as well as showing extensive damage to the car.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

……….

Today’s common theme is bikeshare.

The Bay Area’s Ford GoBike bikeshare took a beating in its first month, with bikes stolen, tires slashed and a bike dumped in a lake.

Dueling dockless bikeshare companies are spreading throughout the Bay Area, Sacramento and Santa Cruz.

A Seattle writer watches as a homeless person tries, and fails, to steal one of the city’s dockless bikeshare bikes.

Baltimore’s bikeshare is contending with the problem of stolen bikes; the Baltimore Sun reported less than a third of the 200 bikes were available for use when they checked.

And a real estate writer says developers now consider proximity to a bikeshare dock an amenity.

………

A new short movie examines the effects of Australia’s mandatory bike helmet law, while stressing that being against forcing people to wear helmets isn’t the same as being opposed to them.

………

Welsh cyclist Luke Rowe will be out of action for awhile, since it’s hard to ride with a broken leg; he was injured while whitewater rafting during his brother’s bachelor party.

An Aussie new site asks if Alberto Contador is a cycling legend, flawed genius or forever tainted. Short answer, yes.

……….

Local

The Washington Post looks at the overwhelming success of the Expo Line, while noting that opposition to building the line centered on race and class, as well as cost. I recall someone from the Westside’s upscale Rancho Park, who said no one from that neighborhood would ever take the train, which would only be used by maids and gardeners. And that same opposition was successful in derailing plans for the Expo Line bike path through the neighborhood, resulting in the infamous Trousdale gap.

The latest edition of Bike Talk discusses Vision Zero, Road Diets, and the Backlash Against Safe Streets.

A free three-mile ride sponsored by CICLE and Metro will take you on a tour of LA’s best Filipino restaurants along Temple Street in Historic Filipinotown on the 24th; reservations are required.

Several Santa Clarita firefighters are competing bicycling events in this week’s World Police and Fire Games.

 

State

If you ride the San Juan Creek Trail in San Juan Capistrano, prepare for some extensive detours over the next few years.

The annual Bike the Bay is your chance to ride San Diego’s Coronado Bay Bridge at the end of the month, even without a $210 million bike tube.

A San Diego man is posting satirical YouTube videos exposing the mythical war on cars.

This is who we share the roads with. After a Jurupa Valley motorcycle rider is nearly sideswiped by a driver, he records the man plowing into two stopped cars, then fleeing the scene — and follows him to Moreno Valley at speeds up to 90 mph.

 

National

Now you, too, can make your very own scraper bike with a “badass” sound system.

A Hawaii man says it felt like he was hit by a truck when he was struck by a bicyclist, after spending three nights in the ICU with two broken ribs, a lacerated spleen and internal bleeding.

Alaska Air is now officially the cheapest airline to fly with your bike.

No overreaction here. Police in Evanston IL arrested two 12-year old kids for the crime of running a red light while riding on the handlebars and rear pegs of a BMX bike while someone else pedaled. Yes, they were arrested for a traffic infraction. Or maybe just riding while black.

In a field where women are seriously under represented, a Michigan woman has been repairing bicycles for 33 years; she started a mobile bike repair business after closing her bike shop in 2004.

Bighearted New Jersey cops buy a ten-year old boy a new bike after they were impressed with his positive attitude when he was injured in a collision.

Former Delaware Governor Jack Markell is one of us; Markell just finished a 3,600-mile ride across the US to raise money for kids in the state.

A Pittsburgh-area cyclist finally gets his day in court, after spending the last year in jail awaiting trial on charges of riding his bicycle in the middle of the lane, just like riders are taught to do. Apparently able to read minds, the ADA handling the case alleges David Smith’s intent was to disrupt traffic, rather than ride safely.

A Louisiana engineer makes a persuasive argument over why and how bikes should be included in the traffic plan for the state capital.

A Good Samaritan alerts Florida officials to a reckless, and likely stoned, driver, allowing deputies to arrive less than a minute after he struck a bike rider.

 

International

The UK’s version of HuffPo lists the best apps for bicycling. Not all apply for US riders, however.

Road rage is on the rise, even among those obsessively polite Canadian drivers.

A 17-year old British man was apparently sprayed with acid while riding his bike near London’s Kensington Palace. Authorities referred to it as “an unknown substance;” however, the attack follows a spate of acid attacks on the city’s streets in recent weeks.

Good idea. The father of a fallen British bicyclist says children should be taught the Dutch Reach in school.

Caught on video: An English van driver intentionally swerves into a bike rider to keep him from passing. Skip ahead to the 2:50 mark; evidently, they don’t have video editing software in the UK.

The Guardian imagines what the perfect bicycling city would look like if it could be built from the ground up for bikes.

A Portuguese company shows how a relatively flat bike network can be designed, even for a hilly city.

The 14th and final stage of the Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme race finishes in Vladivostok, Russia today; organizers are working on how to get more women to enter the 5,700-mile race across Russia, and how to keep them in the race longer.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could have the lines of a 1920s motorcycle. Ten irredeemably uncool bike things guaranteed to piss off just about everyone.

And these guys give bike cops a whole new meaning.

Morning Links: Ugly incident in Koreatown, and lawsuit alleges driver killed Palos Verdes cyclist on purpose

Things got ugly in Koreatown Thursday night.

In a violent confrontation only partially caught on video, a swarm of people on a group bike ride pulled the driver of a BMW out of his car at 6th and Hobart in Koreatown. And forcibly pinned him to the street, holding him down until police arrived.

The video begins with the riders breaking the window of the BMW as the car’s trunk is already open, then shows several riders milling around as the driver appears to shout from his prone position on the street.

The LA Times fills in some of the missing details.

Apparently a group of roughly 50 people were riding their bikes through the Koreatown intersection when the traffic light changed. Rather than split the group, one or more riders tried to cork the intersection, blocking the drivers who had the green light.

The driver of the BMW attempted to go through the intersection anyway, and got into a shouting match with the rider blocking traffic. When the rider tried to grab the driver, he responded by stepping on the gas, plowing into the group and running over a bicyclist’s leg.

The driver then reportedly attempted to flee, but the riders in the group swarmed his car to keep him from leaving.

That’s where the video appears to begin.

While corking may be a common practice, it’s still illegal, even though police usually look the other way.

But as BikinginLA sponsor Josh Cohen points out, the driver could — and perhaps should — be charged with assault with a deadly weapon for aggressively driving into the group of riders.

Although chances are, he may have claimed he was only get away because he was frightened by the cyclists swarming his car.

As LAPD officers have explained similar situations to me in the past, however, the bicyclists may have crossed over the line the moment they broke the driver’s window.

Had they merely surrounded the driver’s car, they would have been within their rights to keep him from fleeing. Or they could have taken down his license number and let him leave, likely leading to a charge of felony hit-and-run.

But by damaging his car, and physically assaulting him by dragging him out of it and forcing him to the street, they’ve left themselves open to the possibility of criminal charges, as well as a civil suit for the damage to his car and any injuries he may have suffered.

Although both sides may have lucked out, since KCBS-2 reports that no one was ticketed or arrested at the scene.

Investigators may just wash their hands of the whole ugly mess, concluding that they both contributed to the confrontation.

Since the video only shows the second half of the incident, though, and not the driver’s actions that led up to it, it will only serve as fodder for the people who already think we’re all a bunch of lawless thugs. And seem pathologically incapable of separating the actions of a few from everyone else who travels on two wheels.

This looks like a case where no one wins.

Least of all the rest of us who had nothing to do with it, but may ultimately bear the burden anyway.

………

The family of fallen bicyclist John Bacon have filed a lawsuit alleging the driver who took his life did it on purpose.

Bacon was headed back home from a group ride last May when the 68-year old man was run down from behind in Palos Verdes Estates by the driver of a white pickup truck. The driver fled the scene after stopping briefly and calling for someone to call 911.

The driver, later identified as James Rahman, was caught on security video following Bacon’s bike at an uncomfortably close distance. The suit alleges Rahman honked at Bacon before swerving at him and striking him with the wing mirror of his truck.

However, no charges were ever filed, and no details of what happened were ever released.

In fact, Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has alleged that the local police never took the case seriously. It took an alert cyclist to spot the truck days later, and even then couldn’t get the police to respond.

He’s also written that several other bike riders in the area had reported being harassed by the driver of a truck that matched the description of Rahman’s truck.

But again, crickets from the cops.

Even though, if this lawsuit is correct, this wasn’t hit-and-run.

It was murder.

Update: I have been contacted by Joan Bacon, John Bacon’s wife, who wants to correct the information above indicating a lack of concern on the part of the Palos Verdes Police Department. 

I want to be very clear that I and my family are very grateful to Palos Verdes Estates Police Department and in particular to Detective Hellinga and Detective Reed for their year-long effort and hundreds of hours put into the investigation of John’s death… The Police Department kept me informed along the way, were very gracious and kind and I know did a great job. It is also important that you know the decision to not prosecute the offending driver involved in the crash was not the decision of the Palos Verdes Police Department but rather a decision made by the District Attorney’s Office.

You can read the full press release from the family’s attorney below.

………

Needless to say, readers responded to the LA Times’ recent hard-hitting editorial criticizing opponents of street safety projects by insisting they’re not selfish, and they really do care about safety.

And is anyone really surprised that the incredibly ugly comments to LA’s new video explaining the need for Vision Zero paint it as nothing more than propaganda and alternative facts?

Because actually taking it seriously would require caring about the lives of others, and placing someone else’s safety above their own convenience.

Which apparently is a bridge too far for some people.

Especially this guy, who’s willing to consider the lives of others, as long as it doesn’t cost him more than four minutes out of his commute.

………

Spoiler alert: If you still have the Tour of Utah on your viewing list, skip the last line of this section.

Marianne Vos won her third European road cycling championship.

A Colorado Springs CO newspaper examines the inaugural Colorado Classic beginning this Thursday, looking at both the men’s four-stage race and the women’s two stages.

US anti-doping officials remind Lance Armstrong that he’s been banned from cycling. And that could extend to his podcast if organizers of the Colorado Classic pick up his tab for covering the race.

Twenty-two-year old American pro Tyler Williams is hoping to rise to WorldTour status along with his Israel Cycling Academy squad.

Canadian pro Rob Britten held on to win the Tour of Utah after leading since the individual time trial in stage three.

……….

Local

A new rendering offers a flyover — and under — of the new Sixth Street Bridge scheduled to open in three years. Although that still looks like a steep climb up the spiral bike and pedestrian ramp.

The Ovarian Psychos annual Clitoral Mass ride was transformed into a Black Mass to protest gentrification in Los Angeles this past Saturday.

A man in his 30s was critically injured in a collision while riding his bicycle at Walnut Street and North Wilson Ave in Pasadena Saturday evening; as of Sunday morning, he was in stable condition. The 74-year old driver remained at the scene.

Hermosa Beach celebrated the 50th anniversary of its sister city program with a bike ride along the beach for middle school students from Hermosa Beach and Loreto, Mexico.

 

State

A young boy was dragged by a car while riding his bike through a Huntington Beach apartment complex Sunday morning. More proof that kids need safe places to ride their bicycles.

A Chula Vista mom turns detective to track down the hit-and-run driver who gave her bike-riding son a fake name and address after crashing into him.

San Diego officials accept most of the recommendations in the ambitious plan presented by the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, agreeing with 25 of the 32 proposals.

A former BMX champ is rebuilding his life after addiction and prison, and helping at-risk Fresno middle school students pedal their way to a better attitude.

 

National

A ten-year old Washington kid credits his new Mohawk-style helmet with saving his life in a crash.

Colorado land managers are struggling to deal with ebikes on mountain trails, where they are often banned — and easy to spot, since they go uphill faster than non-motorized riders.

A writer drives 1,000 miles to ride the legendary singletrack on the 100-mile Maah Daah Hey Trail in North Dakota.

The war on bikes continues, as a Denton TX driver apparently gets away with brake-checking a bicyclist.

Houston police promise to start enforcing the city’s three-foot passing law after writing less than three dozen tickets in 30 months. Maybe we can get them to come up here and enforce California’s three-foot law, since no one here seems to want to do it.

When a bighearted Michigan kid won a new mountain bike, he turned around and gave it to someone who needed it more.

A Staten Island website says don’t bother with Vision Zero, because bicycling fatalities have remained stable in recent years, despite a dramatic increase in ridership. And because bike riders break the law.

Illegal rental bike vendors are hustling tourists away from the only legal bicycle vendor in New York’s Central Park.

A new 20-year study from New York confirms the safety in numbers theory, clearly showing that safety improves as more bike riders take to the streets.

A North Carolina writer says yes, he screwed up while he was driving, but a pair of cyclists didn’t help their cause by swearing at him. On the other hand, he left crossed a father riding a bike with his kid in the child seat, and undoubtedly scared the crap out him; Mother Theresa would probably have a hard time keeping her cool under those circumstances.

Macon, Georgia’s six mile long pop-up bike lane network has been honored with an Excellence Award from New York’s Center for Active Design; the project resulted in a ten-fold increase in people riding to work or school.

 

International

Ottawa, Canada solves the problem of whether bicyclists can ride in the crosswalk by installing a bike crossing right next the crosswalk on a dangerous intersection.

Speaking of Ottawa, the city has discovered they can save $41 per meter — a little more than three feet — by building cycle tracks next to new roadways, rather than painting bike lanes on the streets.

London has already removed 130 dockless bikeshare bikes from the city’s streets for blocking sidewalks. Maybe it’s just me, but using the term “yellow plague” — or even “yellow bike plague — seems pretty damn tone deaf in reference to a Chinese company, even if that’s the color of the bikes.

A UK writer says it’s just politics, not geography, tradition or cost, that prevents cycling becoming a key transport mode. And that bicycling needs to be a key part of the Labour party’s transportation policy.

Sometimes the punishment really does fit the crime. After an English boy is caught on video trashing a bikeshare bike, he’s sentenced to learn how to fix it.

Caught on video: After a British bike rider was hit by a car, he responded by repeatedly punching the driver through an open window; the man who filmed it said he’d never seen anything so violent. That’s the fastest way to go from victim to criminal. So don’t do that. Ever.

E-mountain bikes are bringing France’s spectacular Vercors Massif mountain range into reach of average riders.

Beirut bicyclists are trying to revive cycling in what might be one of the world’s most bike-unfriendly cities.

A 186-mile supported bike tour through bad roads from Sierra Leone to Liberia is changing lives.

Not surprisingly, fines for scofflaw cyclists have surged in Australia’s New South Wales in the first year after instituting draconian fines for relatively minor offenses, including a jump from $337,000 to $1.99 million for not wearing a helmet.

A new ride aims at promoting unity among Malaysians, as many young people seem to have lost faith in the county.

Japanese bike riders can pump up their tires with free bike pumps at any police box.

A Thai website looks at the world’s longest elevated bikeway in Xiamen, China.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to steal a bicycle from the grounds of the Russian embassy. It might not be the smartest move to call the police to say you’re being followed, if the person following you is the father of the kid whose bike you just stole.

And if you’re going to flee from police after running a stop sign, make sure the cyclist you end up crashing into isn’t an off-duty cop.

 

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