Tag Archive for Los Angeles County

Update: Bike rider killed in collision with Long Beach city employee; 5th SoCal bike death in just 8 days

The bad news just seems to keep coming these days.

Because for the fifth time in just over a week, someone has been killed riding a bicycle in Southern California.

This time in Long Beach, at the hands of a city employee.

According to the Long Beach Post, the victim was struck by a city worker, driving a city-owned pickup, when the man on the bike allegedly ran a stop sign at 17th Street and Oregon Ave around 7:40 Friday morning.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Long Beach Press-Telegram reports the driver was headed south on Oregon, which would suggest the victim, who has not been identified, was traveling on 17th when he was struck in the middle of the intersection.

The crash was reportedly witnessed by another city employee, who remained at the scene with the driver. Police do not believe the driver was under the influence, speeding or driving distracted.

There’s no word on why the victim would have run the stop sign directly in front of an oncoming truck, which did not have a stop sign.

This is at least the 15th bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County, in what has been a very bloody start to the year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 22-year old Long Beach resident Ayomipo Lawal

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ayomipo Lawal and his loved ones. 

37-year old man killed in Highland Park collision while riding a bike on the 110 Freeway

Once again, someone has been killed riding a bicycle on a Southern California freeway.

The Citizen app reported last night that a man had been killed when he was struck by a driver shortly after midnight at South Ave 60 and the offramp to the 110 Freeway in Highland Park, although video from the scene appeared to show the highway.

Now The Eastsider confirms that the collision actually occurred on the northbound 110 itself, otherwise known as the Arroyo Seco Parkway. The website places the crash in the traffic lanes of the freeway between LA’s Hermon and Highland Park neighborhoods, north of Avenue 60.

The victim, publicly identified only as a 37-year old man, died at the scene. The driver apparently remained at the scene following the crash.

There’s no explanation for why the victim was riding on the freeway, where bicycles are prohibited, as they are on all freeways in the Los Angeles area. Let alone why he would have been riding in the traffic lanes.

This is at least the 14th bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County. It also appears to be the third in the City of Los Angeles.

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

 

Man killed riding bike in Lancaster hit-and-run; heartless killer got out to look at victim before driving off and leaving him to die

Once again, someone on a bicycle has been left to die in the street by a heartless coward.

According to the Antelope Valley Times, the victim, described only as a man in his 30s, was riding east on Avenue H east of Division Street in Lancaster when he was rear-ended by a pickup driver at around 9:02 pm Saturday.

He died at the scene.

The driver actually got out of his truck to examine his victim lying bleeding in the roadway, before simply getting back in his truck and driving away without attempting to aid the victim or call for help.

A witness attempted to follow the suspect, before losing him around Avenue E and 20th Street West.

The driver is described as a Hispanic man wearing a reflective vest and construction boots, while the suspect vehicle is described as a 1994-2000, dark colored GMC Sierra or Chevrolet Silverado, possibly red or green, with front end collision damage.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station traffic investigators at 661/948-8466.

This is at least the tenth bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Shamefully, drivers have fled the scene in four of those ten deaths.

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

Thanks to Joe Linton for the heads-up. 

Update — Bike rider killed in collision with Azusa motorcycle cop; 9th SoCal bike death this month

KCBS2/KCAL9 is reporting that a person riding a bicycle died after being struck by an Azusa police officer Monday night.

According to the station, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was stuck by a motorcycle cop at the intersection of Cienega and Sunflower Avenues around 9:10 pm.

Both the victim and the officer were taken to local trauma centers, where the bike rider died of their injuries.

The motorcycle officer is expected to recover.

Unfortunately, that’s all we know at this time.

There’s no word on how the collision occurred or who had the right-of-way, or if the officer was using lights and siren or responding to a call at the time of the crash.

Hopefully, we’ll learn more later.

This is at least the ninth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Update: Three days later, the victim has still only been publicly identified as a man. No further details about the crash have been provided.

Update 2: The victim has been identified as 67-year old Xueqi Li, no city of residence given.

Li was reportedly crossing Cienega Ave at Asherton Ave when he was struck by the off-duty officer, who was traveling east on Cienega on his way home. 

The officer remains hospitalized in stable condition. 

The collision remains under investigation by the CHP. Anyone with information is urged to call the Southern Division Investigative Services Unit at 323/644-9550.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Xueqi Li and his loved ones.

 

Bicyclist killed at PCH and Big Rock in Malibu; 4th Malibu PCH bike death in nine months, and 2nd at the same intersection

Southern California’s killer highway has claimed the the life of yet another person on a bicycle.

The Malibu Times is reporting that a bike rider was killed on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu Thursday afternoon — the same day another victim was killed on PCH in Huntington Beach.

And at nearly the same location another bike rider was killed just a month ago.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was struck by a driver at PCH and Big Rock Drive around 2 pm.

He was dead in the street by the time emergency personnel got there.

According to the Canyon News, the driver isn’t suspected of being under the influence, which suggests this was not a hit-and-run.

Traffic signals were upgraded at the intersection in 2014 to improve safety; clearly, it didn’t work.

Unfortunately, there’s no further information at this time. No word on which way the victim and his killer where going, or how the crash occurred.

This is at least the seventh bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

It’s also the fourth person killed riding a bike on PCH in Malibu in just the last none months. Just more evidence of a serious traffic safety problem in the beachfront city.

Correction: I originally misidentified the cross street as Black Rock, rather than Big Rock, for reasons that will forever escape me. Thanks to Andrew Goldstein for the heads-up. 

At least 83 people killed riding bikes in SoCal last year, no more “car oopsies,” and Sartre and Hackman are one of us

Let’s start with a followup to yesterday’s news.

As we noted, 18 people were killed riding bicycles in Los Angeles last year, a 20% jump over the year before. And ten more than the eight we had counted.

That news confirmed that running total of bicycling deaths maintained on this site was a dramatic undercount. Because too many tragedies on our streets never make the news, and the LAPD is often too slow in releasing reports of bicycling deaths.

If they ever get around to it at all.

Adding those 10 extra deaths to our totals comes out to 35 bicycling deaths in Los Angeles County last year, which compares to 34 in 2019, and around 30 in 2020, when we saw a similar problem confirming bicycling fatalities.

Orange County showed just seven deaths last year, which again seems like an undercount compared to 15 in 2020, and 13 in 2019.

San Diego County suffered through a horrible year, with 17 bicycling deaths, compared to just seven in 2020 and four in 2019.

The nine deaths in Riverside County fell in line with previous years, with ten in 2020 and eight in 2019.

The same is true for San Bernardino County, where seven people lost their lives riding bikes last year, compared to five in 2020 and eight the year before.

Ventura County showed a significant jump, with eight deaths in 2021, double the total of four for 2020, and six in 2019.

Finally, there appeared to be no bicycling deaths in Imperial County last year or the year before, compared to two in 2019. Although it’s easier to get light out of a black hole than news from Imperial County, so take that with a grain of salt.

But bear in mind these are only rough estimates, based strictly on reports in the press or announced by the police, the coroner or some other credible source.

Each death included here has been confirmed, eliminating any risk of an overcount; if anything, this is more likely to be an undercount. I’ve heard of several bicycling deaths over the past year that I haven’t been able to confirm, and so haven’t included them in these totals.

That leaves us with at least 83 people killed riding bicycles in the seven county Southern California region last year.

Eighty-three mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, friends and loved ones who were not here to greet the new year.

And likely more.

Maybe many more, when we finally see the official government totals in a few years.

Photo by Ted McDonald from Pixabay.

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The older term was more accurate.

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Gene Hackman is one of us.

And boy do I want to be like him when I grow up.

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A soaked Sartre on a foldie.

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Those vintage ice bikes we shared with you yesterday?

They’re still a thing, if somewhat more stable now.

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

No bias here. And apparently, no sense of irony either, as a proposed new Virginia law would would charge people on bicycles twice as much as motor vehicle drivers for rolling a stop sign, despite the people in the big, dangerous machines posing a much great risk to others. And just try impounding people’s cars for a simple traffic violation.

https://twitter.com/yitgordon/status/1480610900444778496

At least they’re honest about it. The BBC backtracks on an earlier story claiming new bike lanes are responsible for making London the world’s most congested city, correcting it to lay blame on a number of factors; a reporter admits that the “anti-cycling angle ‘gets more readers.'”

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

Reminiscent of the infamous Crimanimalz ride on LA’s Santa Monica Freeway more than a decade ago, over 100 people taking part in a Berkeley ride out took over the right lanes of the I-80 Freeway on Sunday, before they were escorted off by a CHP officer. As someone else pointed out, despite their scofflaw behavior, fewer people are killed by bicycle ride outs than everyday motor vehicle traffic. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Huh? A San Diego letter writer criticizes the Union-Tribune for using the widow of a fallen bicyclist to illustrate the need for safer bikeways, saying that safety was never raised as a reason for bike lanes on 30th Street, because everyone knows it was too dangerous to ride a bike there.

A 20-year old Merced woman is under arrest after she was found with a man’s stolen bicycle, which was taken when the man was smashed in the head with a hard object; her alleged partner in crime is still on the run.

San Francisco Streetsblog says a fix to the formerly unprotected bike lane used by an SUV driver to bypass stalled traffic last year, killing a pedestrian in the process, still wouldn’t stop anyone with its new car-tickler plastic bendie posts. Although that may not be quite the way they phrased it.

 

National

How not to bonk on your next mountain bike ride.

E-pickup maker Rivian has applied for an ebike trademark, suggesting a foray into bikemaking could be in their future.

A Houston paper says the local bike lanes in the auto-centric city are an “absolute joke and incredibly dangerous to any cyclist who decides to risk it and ride in them.So, it’s like most other major cities, then.

A writer for Chicago Streetsblog questions who we should really be building bike lanes for, concluding that they should be for inexperienced bicyclists who’d like to ride more, rather than more confident, experienced riders.

 

International

UK GQ recommends stylish and practical panniers for your bike. I’ll take the bright yellow leather ones, thank you very much. 

That feeling when a drunk Irishman breaks into your home and demands an ebike charger. Probably for the e-scooter he just stole to carry your television out on.

A German sociologist concludes that bicycles are becoming status symbols, since poorer people are more likely to drive to show they can afford it, while bike riders tend to be wealthier and more educated, and more likely to send a message by choosing to ride. Methinks he’s full of scheisse.

Life is cheap in Israel, where a professional soccer player was given early release for good behavior after serving just two years for the hit-and-run death of a 17-year old ebike rider.

Popular Bangladeshi actor Bappy Chowdhury is one of us, taking a spill after losing his balance while filming a scene on a bicycle.

An Indian man learns the hard way that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is, as he orders a $600 bicycle from a discount site for just $155 — and gets a box full of scrap.

No surprise here. A Singapore report shows an average of 560 serious crashes involving bicyclists in each of the past five years, compared to just 90 a year on bike paths and park connectors. Meanwhile, the island city-state requires ebike and e-scooter user to pass an online test and carry a certificate with them when they ride.  And no, I don’t know what a park connector is, either.

Most of Japan’s abandoned and second-hand bicycles end up in Cambodia’s thriving used bike market.

 

Competitive Cycling

A team of Bangladeshi bicyclists set a new Guinness record for a relay team by riding 1,037 miles in just 48 hours.

VeloNews says UCI is disrespecting women’s cycling by banning team kits, while disrespecting women’s cycling themselves by hiding the editorial behind a paywall.

It’s time to head to Austria and get your snow bike racing on.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your toddler arrives in a bike trailer like an aristocrat. Stop your kid’s balance bike by remote control.

And can we have these on every street?

Please?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breaking News: Bike rider killed in PCH collision near Big Rock Drive in Malibu; 3rd PCH bicycling death this year

It looks like LA County’s killer highway has claimed yet another victim.

KCBS-2 reports that someone has been killed riding a bicycle on PCH in Malibu, between Big Rock Drive and Topanga Canyon Blvd.

Video from the scene appears to place the crash on the westbound side of the roadway, where riders are forced to either share the lane with impatient drivers, or use the poor quality shoulder, which varies in width and is frequently blocked by debris and parked cars.

According to My News LA, the crash occurred around 2 pm Tuesday afternoon; the victim died at the scene.

Malibu State Senator Henry Stern had this to say after driving by the aftermath of the crash.

No other information is available at this time.

This is at least the 63rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

The victim is also at least the third bicyclist killed on PCH in Malibu this year.

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

Thanks to Yves Dawtur for the heads-up. 

$24 million settlement in 2014 Fiesta Island crash, LA County tackles racial bias in bike stops, and Culver City gets mobile

Evidently, justice delayed isn’t always justice denied.

It was seven long years ago when a wrong-way driver slammed into a group of 30 bicyclists on San Diego’s Fiesta Island, injuring ten people.

Theresa Owens was high on meth when she got behind the wheel, looking for a boyfriend she thought was cheating on her.

She was speeding on the 25 mph roadway, after turning the wrong way on the narrow, one-lane road, when she rounded a blind corner and smashed into the group of riders.

Six of the victims were seriously injured, with Juan Carlos Vinolo ending up paralyzed from the chest down, as well as suffering a long list of other injuries.

A jury divided the liability between Owens and the city in 2019, ruling San Diego was responsible for failing to maintain visibility on the roadway, despite knowing of the dangers.

They held the city responsible for 27% of the damages, while state law required the city to pay 100% of Vinolo’s past and future medical bills and lost earnings.

Yesterday that bill came due, when the San Diego city council agreed to a whopping $23.75 million settlement for Vinolo and his wife for the meth-fueled Fiesta Island crash.

Although something tells me they’d gladly give back every penny in exchange for the use of his legs again.

Meanwhile, the city could have saved a fortune just by trimming some bushes and reducing berms, instead of waiting until it was too late.

And maybe reworking the intersections to channel drivers so they can only turn in the right direction.

Thanks to Megan Lynch, Phillip Young and BikinginLA sponsor Richard Duquette for the heads-up. 

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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Los Angeles County responded to a recent LA Times investigative report that found biased policing of bike riders by LA County sheriff’s deputies.

The Times found that the overwhelming majority of bicycle traffic stops conducted by deputies were in areas where people of color make up the majority of the population, and with limited bike infrastructure.

Seven out of ten of those stops involved Latino riders, and 85 percent of the riders stopped were searched by deputies — even though those searches only turned up illegal items eight percent of the time.

Just imagine the outcry if drivers were routinely placed in the back of a squad car while police searched their belongings following a simple traffic stop.

Let alone white drivers.

The LA County Board of Supervisors responded on Tuesday by unanimously approving proposals to decriminalize bicycling violations, including

  • Developing a diversion program allowing bike traffic school in lieu of fines for traffic tickets, which was approved by the state a few years ago, and
  • Drafting a change to county code to legalize riding a bicycle on the sidewalk in unincorporated areas, although only on non-residential streets without bike lanes.

In addition, the supervisors ordered a review of biased policing of bike riders by the sheriff’s department.

Not surprisingly, though, the sheriff’s department, which has attempted to stonewall virtually every other effort at oversight, had no response.

Granted, these are just proposal to develop new rules, so far. But it’s a big step in the right direction.

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Newly bike-friendly Culver City officially kicks off Move Culver City this Saturday, featuring three new quick-build bus-bike lanes in the downtown area.

Quite a change from the not-too-distant past when Culver City cops would meet group rides at the city limits, and ticket riders for every real and imagined violation they could find, while they escorted them out of town.

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Streets For All has posted video of last night’s mobility debate between the candidates for LA’s CD13, currently held by two-term incumbent Mitch O’Farrell.

 

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Clearly, not even Tour de France winners are safe from dangerous drivers, as 2019 winner Egan Bernal was the victim of a far too close pass from a driver trying to squeeze into a non-existent gap.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

The president of a college-prep nonprofit spent every Friday for the past month riding his bike to talk with teachers and students at nearly 30 Orange County schools, covering 200 miles by the time he was done. Thanks to Sindy for the link.

A bike-riding homeless woman went to court, and won the right to keep living in a Fountain Valley park, despite repeated attempts to force her to leave.

San Diego continues to make strides to meet their climate change goals and reduce car use by eliminating parking requirements for businesses near transit or in densely populated areas.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a woman was killed when she allegedly rode her bike across the street in front of an oncoming driver. As always, a lot depends on whether there were any independent witnesses, besides the driver, who saw her ride out into traffic.

A Berkeley paper joins the Cal Berkeley student paper’s call to improve Telegraph Ave, and raises them by calling for making the iconic street carfree.

 

National

Last month’s Vision Zero Cities conference considered how the language used in ads and newspaper reports can hurt crash victims, who are inevitably blamed for their injuries.

An Arizona man is 6,700 miles into a planned 18,000-mile journey by bicycle to visit each of the more than 400 national parks in the US, although he may need to pick up the pace a little after hitting just 14 parks, leaving another 386+ to go. He’s attempting to raise $50,000 for conservation projects in the National Parks.

Speaking of national parks, Utah’s Zion National Park now has a new ten-mile bike trail on the east side of the park.

A Streetsblog op-ed says New York’s bike lanes need more protection than the usual plastic car-tickler bendy posts, which don’t keep anyone out.

A Washington Post op-ed says American bicycling has a racism problem, tracing the roots to discrimination against Southern Black bike riders around the turn of the last century.

Tragic news from Florida, where a 14-year old boy was found dead after he went missing while riding his bike on Monday; no word on the cause of death, though his school described it as an “accident.”

 

International

Montreal’s Bixi bikeshare had a record-setting year, with ridership up 74% as they packed the bikes up for the winter.

This is who we share the road with. A London woman mistakenly stepped on the gas instead of the brakes, jumped the curb and killed a man walking on the sidewalk, then lied to investigators by saying the man stepped out into the street in front of her. So naturally, the court let her walk without a day behind bars, and took her license away for a whole year.

Burglars broke into a British bike park and stole literally everything there was to take, from generators and Park Tools, to cash raised for a local air ambulance service.

He gets it. A writer for Britain’s Independent says we’ll never get to zero emissions until we admit we’re all climate hypocrites who want to stick to our comfortable, fossil-fueled lifestyles.

A member of the UK Parliament says the country’s lax hit-and-run laws give drivers an incentive to flee the scene rather than stick around and get tested for DUI. We have exactly the same problem in California, where lax penalties and minimal enforcement encourage drivers to flee, knowing they’re unlikely to ever get caught, or seriously punished if they are.

E-scooters in Paris will be forced to automatically slow down to just above walking speed in over 700 more crowded areas throughout the city.

Bicycle Dutch author Mark Wagenbuur has updated his classic explanation of how the Dutch got their cycle paths.

An Indian writer considers the benefits of getting your kids off their screens and onto bicycles.

He gets it, too. An op-ed by a New Zealand university professor explains why your next car should be a bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

The popular SoCal edition of the Belgian Waffle Ride gravel race hits the little screen with the new hour-long documentary This Is Not A Gravel Race premiering on Outside TV.

Britain’s Pfeiffer Georgi won the country’s road race national championship less than 12 months after breaking two vertebrae while riding in Belgium

The thief who stole Geraint Thomas’ bike was just 15 years old; Thomas said he was looking forward to checking his Garmin to see if the kid had any skills.

Track racing at the Velo Sports Center in Carson this weekend.

 

Finally…

Build your own DIY shaft-drive bike. Now you, too, can ride a hand-painted work of art, for the low, low price of 30 grand.

And we may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t…well, wait for it.

Thanks to Pops for forwarding the tweet.

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

53-year old man killed riding bike in alleged DUI crash in Baldwin Park

Too often, local news doesn’t show up in online searches.

That was the case last weekend, when a man was killed riding his bike in an alleged DUI crash in Baldwin Park Saturday morning.

Baldwin Park News reports the victim was riding on the 3400 block of Puente Avenue around 5 am when he was struck by 25-year old Riverside woman.

The victim was identified only as a 53-year old, Hispanic La Puente resident; he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver, Amelia S. Salazar, remained at the scene, and was arrested for vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and driving under the influence causing injury to another person.

There’s no word on how the crash occurred, or what Salazar is accused of using.

This is at least the 56th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

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

Thanks to C. Law for the heads-up.

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