Tag Archive for Newport Beach

LA media belatedly reports death of 80-year old NB bike rider, fed rules favor cars over people, and ride for Woon this Sat.

Maybe they should try reading BikinginLA first.

Or working weekends, anyway.

Last week, we reported on the tragic death of 80-year old Ernest Adams, who lost his life a day after he was run down by an allegedly intoxicated driver while riding his bike in Newport Beach.

No other media outlets reported his death at the time, other than a local Newport Beach blog.

That changed Monday, when a number of LA-area news outlets breathlessly reported that the Orange County Coroner had released the name of the 80-year old victim of the crash.

Except the coroner had posted Adam’s name online last Wednesday — the same day Tom Johnson’s Stu News Newport reported on his death, as well as the arrest of the 20-year old driver.

But maybe those other media outlets don’t have this site’s network of loyal readers to keep them on top of the latest news.

So we can do the same for you.

Thanks again to Bill Sellin and Lois for the heads-up, and giving us a nearly full week head start on nearly everyone else.

We’ll do our best to stay on top of the story, long after the rest have forgotten it.

And by we, I mean me.

And a year-old corgi who needs to start pulling her weight around here.

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Nice to see NACTO gets it.

As their tweet suggests, current federal rules require 100 people per day to cross an intersection before a crossing signal can go in.

Except many people won’t cross dangerous intersections precisely because they don’t have signals.

Chicken, meet egg.

It’s long past time to rewrite the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, aka MUTCD, to eliminate such dangerously ridiculous requirements.

And the Federal Highway Administration needs to hear from us — all of us — that people matter more than cars.

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Streetsblog’s weekly listing of livable streets-related events includes this notation about a walk/ride to honor Frederick “Woon” Frazier this Saturday; Woon’s alleged killer has yet to face justice for the hit-and-run that took his life.

Saturday 4/10 – On this date in 2018, 22-year-old Frederick “Woon” Frazier was killed in a horrific hit-and-run at Manchester and Normandie. Though the driver was ultimately apprehended, the case is still making its way through the court system. In the meanwhile, little has changed in the way of safety in that area; cars seem to be driving faster than ever along both busy corridors. To continue to push for both justice and safer streets, friends and family ask you to join them on a bike/walk for justice in honor of his memory. Meet up at 51st and Harvard at 11 a.m.

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Sarcasm is a powerful tool.

Although there’s always a few tools who don’t get it.

Although this is just a truncated version of the Onion’s cartoon. So be sure to click through to get the full effect.

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GCN wants you to take better care of your bike tools.

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

Nice guy. Portland, Oregon police busted a man who shot paintballs at a passing bike rider, then threatened park rangers with an ax.

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

Tallahassee police are looking for a would-be thief who rode his bike up to a bank patron using an ATM, then shot him in a botched robbery attempt; the victim was hospitalized in serious condition.

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Local

LA County Sheriff’s deputies report two men were killed in separate collisions around on PCH near Busch Drive in Malibu, at 10:35 pm Sunday. However, it’s possible that one or both of the victims may have been riding bikes.

 

State

Huntington Beach considers allowing ebikes on the beachfront bike path.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man was killed when he was run down by a motorist while riding his bike across the street; police stress that he was “outside of a marked crosswalk” when he was killed. Never mind that bike riders are neither required nor expected to use a crosswalk — and often blamed when they do.

 

National

Grist credits investments in bicycling infrastructure during the pandemic for the surge in ridership.

Forbes says ebikes are the growing choice for summer transportation.

No surprise here, as my bike-friendly hometown is one of Colorado’s top ebike adaptors.

A second-generation Vietnamese-American woman explains how bicycles are a tool for upward mobility, while addressing the anti-Asian racism she experiences riding in Denver.

The Houston Chronicle says the new bike plan for the city’s East End is every bicyclist’s dream, adding a total of 50 miles of bike lanes connecting the community.

Howard Hughes was one of us as a kid, building his own motorized bicycle as a 12-year old growing up in Texas.

A Chicago broadcaster looks back at the history of bicycling in the city, and the city’s role in it.

An op-ed in the New York Daily News makes the case for legalizing jaywalking; a bill under consideration in California would do exactly that.

A report from the New York mayor’s office says the pandemic was a disaster for Vision Zero.

A Pennsylvania man got a well-deserved one to nine years behind bars for a hit-and-run crash while driving with a suspended license, which critically injured a toddler being pulled behind her mother’s bicycle; the judge wisely added a request not to release him after serving the minimum sentence.

 

International

Mountain bikers in Windsor, Ontario are engaged in an ongoing battle with the city, which rudely insists on removing the DIY jump tracks they keep rebuilding.

An Ontario, Canada lawyer says the province needs to go back to the drawing board and clarify the new regulations for ped-assist cargo bikes, which are needlessly vague and confusing.

Cycling Weekly looks back over a hundred years to legendary Black cyclist Major Taylor’s journey to London; Taylor repeatedly won despite the racism and discrimination he faced.

Jason Statham is one of us, going for a London tandem ebike ride with his actress-model fiancé. And yes, the bike has pedals, even if it looks more like an e-motorcycle.

A British photographer spent his pandemic lockdown taking some remarkably evocative self-portraits riding through the English countryside.

Inspired by legendary bike-riding women, a woman from the UK defies convention by continuing to ride through France during her pregnancy.

Smart bikeshare is booming in Nigeria’s Oyo State.

Singapore bike riders will be required to pass a theory test before they’re allowed to ride a ped-assist bicycle, under proposed amendments being considered in the parliament.

 

Competitive Cycling

Native Frenchman and former French road cycling champion Nacer Bouhanni hits back against racist online comments since he was DQ’d for bodychecking British cyclist Jake Stewart in last week’s Cholet-Pays de Loire. Seriously, he may ride like a jerk, but there’s no excuse for that crap. Ever.

 

Finally…

A bicycle for people with far more dollars than sense. Don’t blame motorists for driving on a bike trail, they’re just confused and misunderstood.

And I love this, which translates to “Long live freedom on wheels.”

Amen to that.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

80-year old man riding bike killed by alleged stop sign-running DUI driver in Newport Beach Sunday afternoon

Sometimes the needless death of an innocent person doesn’t merit even a few inches in the local paper.

Let alone a passing comment on the nightly news.

On Monday, I started hearing reports of someone killed in a collision while riding a bicycle in Costa Mesa, based on posts from the notoriously unreliable Nextdoor app.

By Tuesday morning, the location had shifted to nearby Newport Beach, along with comments suggesting the driver had been arrested. But still no confirmation from the coroner’s office or any of the local news outlets.

Sadly, that changed with this cryptic press release from the OC Coroner.

The coroner reported that 80-year old Ernest Adams died at a Santa Ana medical center early Monday morning, following a collision somewhere in Newport Beach Sunday afternoon.

That was followed by a post on a Newport Beach news blog placing the 3:16 pm collision at 16th Street and Irvine Avenue in Newport Beach.

According to the site, multiple witnesses reported seeing the suspect blow through a stop sign before slamming into Adam’s bike; a street view shows a residential street controlled by a four-way stop, with bike lanes in three directions, next to Newport Harbor High School.

Twenty-year old Norwalk resident Alexis Garcialopez was reportedly arrested for DUI causing serious injury after failing a roadside sobriety test.

Hopefully, that will be upgraded to vehicular homicide in the wake of Adams’ death. Because after 80 years on this earth, he definitely deserved a better ending.

This is at least the 17th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ernest Adams and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Bill Sellin and Lois for the heads-up.

Newport Beach driver plows through demonstrators and hits bicyclist, and LAPD abandons bike after arresting rider

Apparently, bike riders aren’t even safe from drivers during a protest march.

A Newport Beach driver was apparently surprised to discover the city’s Balboa Boulevard filled with protesters demanding justice for George Floyd.

But instead of hitting the brakes, or simply turning around, like any reasonable person would, he plowed through the assembled crowd, parting people like Moses parting the seas, until finally hitting someone.

Make that someone on a bike.

Naturally.

There’s no word on whether the victim was injured.

Remarkably, though, a Newport Beach Police spokeswoman insisted it doesn’t seem to have been intentional.

Because evidently, it’s just so damn easy to plow through a couple hundred people without even slowing down by mistake.

And if that’s not enough, the cops let him keep — and use — his phone while they investigated.

Because it couldn’t possibly be evidence or anything.

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Speaking of the protests, we have a lot to catch up on since, uh, yesterday.

An LAPD officer demonstrates that sometimes hit-and-run drivers are the ones tasked with stopping people who flee the scene after crashes.

Although his decision is a little easier to understand considering what happened just a day earlier.

Especially if any damage to the car comes out of his or her pay.

Meanwhile, nothing like responding to protists over police violence towards black people with still more police violence, this time directed towards people on bicycles.

New York officials credit pulling the plug on the city’s bikeshare and rental scooters after curfew with calming looting and violent demonstrations. On the other hand, it’s also blamed for stranding numerous peaceful demonstrators, leaving them at the mercy of violent cops (see above).

Police across the US are using their bicycles as weapons and defense shields.

And if you’re missing your bike after getting arrested on Tuesday, a kind neighbor could be holding it for you.

Even though the LAPD should be responsible for securing bicycles belonging to anyone who gets arrested, rather than just leaving them behind to be stolen or tossed out with the trash.

They’re someone’s property. And have real monetary value.

Or would they just leave someone’s car sitting unlocked with the key in the ignition?

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Then there’s this, from off the northern Scottish coast.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Brilliant idea.

Speaking of the Netherlands, the country’ queen doesn’t need a car to get around. Or police and tear gas to clear a path, for that matter.

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The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

There’s a special place in hell for the jerks who found humor in filming a bike-riding woman in the UK as they sprayed her with some sort of orange condiment. Then again, the same is true for anyone who sprays or throws anything at someone on a bike. Let alone films it for their twisted entertainment.

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

Police in Mobile, Alabama are looking for a gunman who shot a man and woman in an apparently random bike-by shooting.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Congratulations to OC bike advocate and tandem aficionado Mike Wilkinson on the official unveiling of the new Tandem Classifieds website.

 

National

A new Democratic transportation bill would require Complete Streets in urban areas, and ban states from setting higher goals for traffic deaths.

Self-driving cars could just make traffic worse, not better.

Outside offers a video guide on how to change your caliper brake pads.

Gear Patrol has advice on how to buy a used bike on the internet — including to be careful on sites like Craigslist, where too many of the bike for sale don’t belong to the people selling them. Then again, it’s not the best place to look for a dog, either.

Gear Junkie rates the year’s best mountain bike helmets, while a European study rated the continent’s best bike helmets, not all of which you can find over here.

Nogales AZ border crossers are turning to bicycles to avoid the long lines waiting to cross into Mexico, and vice versa.

The New York Times says the benefits of ebikes far outweigh the disadvantages, especially during a pandemic.

 

International

An environmental website says bicycling is having a historic moment, so let’s not waste the opportunity to make it safer and more inclusive.

He gets it. The head of the UK’s equivalent of AAA says the country needs to radically rethink its approach to the street to encourage more people to walk and bike, including charging drivers for every mile over the first 3,000 — or 4,000 for people in rural areas.

British singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor is one of us. Although she might be regretting that right now after falling off her bike.

Scottish officials say speeding drivers are “deeply worrying” with more bike riders on the road, as the proportion of drivers exceeding the speed limit rises to one in three since the coronavirus lockdown began.

We already know Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov is one of us, as he marks World Bicycle Day with a bizarre parade featuring 7,500 green-clad bicyclists.

India’s Bicycle Mayors use World Bicycle Day to promote bikes as a viable green alternative to public transport during the pandemic. Even if the celebration had to be virtual this year.

Cambodian officials confiscated the bikes of environmental advocates intending to highlight concerns over a protected island, and demanded they sign an unspecified agreement, forcing them to walk back.

Manilla nixes pop-up bike lanes, telling inexperienced riders to just stick to the side of the road.

 

Competitive Cycling

French track sprinter Grégory Baugé says racism exists everywhere, including the highest levels of pro cycling. Which should be evident, if only from the light hue of the pro peloton.

He gets it. Writing for Bicycling, former editor Joe Lindsey says it’s time to just let Lance go and move on, already.

Or as a wise man once put it,

 

Finally…

At last, a bike riding app designed to avoid other people. Bikes aren’t the new toilet paper, they’re the new hand sanitizer.

And if you get a ticket for riding your bike 55 mph in a 40 mph zone, just frame the damn thing, already.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Update: Bike rider killed in Newport Beach crash; police won’t release details

A person was killed riding a bicycle in Newport Beach late Saturday night.

And for some reason, the Newport Beach Police Department refuses to release any details.

OnScene.TV is reporting that police received a call about a traffic collision at San Joaquin Hills Road and Newport Ridge Drive West at the entrance to the gated Newport Ridge community around 11:21 pm Saturday.

Raw video from the scene shows a very badly mangled bicycle, several hundred feet from what appears to be a man’s shoe. Assuming that it belonged to the victim, which is not clear from the video, it implies he or she was struck at an extremely high rate of speed.

The video also shows two vehicles inside the police tape, an older Honda Insight with visible damage and a Toyota SUV. That could suggest that the person on the bicycle was collateral damage in a crash between the two drivers, or that one of the drivers hit the victim while street racing.

A street view shows a gently curving four lane road on San Joaquin Road with a bike lane in each direction, and a 55 mph speed limit — a deadly configuration far too common in Orange County.

But again, we have too little information right now to know what really happened.

Hopefully we’ll learn more in the morning.

This is at least the 12th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Orange County since the start of the year.

Update: Unfortunately, there’s still no official confirmation of the crash, or any information about the victim. 

However, the Orange County coroner posted this announcement, which lines up with the city and time of the crash. 

But again no guarantee she was the victim of this crash.

Update 2: A Newport Beach website has confirmed that Aubrye Foote was killed in the collision. Her Facebook page identifies her as a loving mother and the owner of a local business. 

However, unconfirmed reports suggest that Foote may have been driving a vehicle, and was killed when she got out of her car after a teenage boy was struck while riding his bike. 

I’m also told the unidentified victim on the bike was killed, as well. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Audrey Foote and the other victim, as well as their loved ones.

Thanks to Bill Sellin for his work on this story.

Morning Links: DUI crash injures PCH bicyclists, drunken Mardi Gras bike wreck, and Beto’s dad was one of us

This is how I roll.

For now.

The good news is, the doctor said my knee replacement surgery went well, and I should get back to near 100%. Eventually.

The bad news is that the damage to my knee was so extensive that what is usually a two-hour operation took nearly four. And the recovery promises to be just as extensive and difficult as that implies.

And don’t get me started on the pain. Or constant sleepiness, nausea and confusion caused by the meds to control it.

Let alone the constant nickel and diming for medical services and devices that oddly aren’t covered as part of the surgery.  Even though I couldn’t have it without them.

But I’ll get there.

The only thing standing in the way is the willingness to do the work and fight through the pain to get to where I’m going.

And I think we bike riders know something about that.

But in the short-term, it’s seriously affecting my ability to think clearly and get any work done.

So instead of getting back to our usual Morning Links this morning, let’s go with a more limited edition to try and ease back in.

Call it Morning Links Lite.

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My biggest fear when life forces me to take time some off is that we”ll miss an important story while I’m not able to share it with you.

Which is exactly what happened this time.

Last Wednesday, Allyson Vought forwarded news of a DUI crash on SoCal’s Killer Highway in Newport Beach that left two riders seriously injured.

Our friends Dr. Sherri Bates  & Allison Prendergast were hit by a DUI driver at 8am in Newport Beach today on PCH near Superior Blvd. Not sure of direction of their travel. We do know that the driver tried to run away but was stopped by witnesses and later arrested. 

Gil Bates, Sherri’s husband, just spoke with the plastic surgeon. Sherri needs facial surgery to repair sinus cavity, eye-socket and nose. Could be done tonight if the swelling subsides. Most incisions can be hidden but one will be at eyebrow line. Her knee is sore and swollen but not serious. 

Sheri is going for a neck MRI in a little bit.

Meanwhile, Allison has a broken femur at the hip socket and torn lip. Will possibly have surgery tonight. Really bad so early in the morning.

Unfortunately, there was no way I could write anything from my hospital bed that night, or do anything more than the bare minimum after I was released the next day.

That was followed on Friday by this email from Jay Doyle of the Velo Allegro cycling club.

On Wednesday, February 27th, Sherri Bates and Allison Prendergast went for an early morning bike ride from Long Beach and headed south on PCH. They were riding side-by-side in the bike lane and as they approached and passed Superior Avenue in Newport Beach they encountered slowed and stopped morning traffic. 

A northbound van turned left between the stopped southbound traffic to enter a strip mall parking lot on the west side of the street. Due to the stopped traffic the van driver, as well as Sherri and Allison, did not see one another. As the van crossed the bike lane, Sherri and Allison had no time to react and they both slammed into the right side of the vehicle. Both Sherri and Allison took the brunt of the impact head and face-first.

Sherri and Allison had to be taken by Paramedics to the closest trauma center at Orange County Global Medical in Santa Ana.

Sherri needed to undergo facial surgery to repair her sinus cavity, right eye-socket and nose. She also sustained neck and head trauma. 

Allison needed to undergo surgery to repair a broken femur at the hip socket and torn lip.

As serious as these injuries were, thank God they were not life threatening. Both Sherri and Allison had successful surgeries and will be going home on Friday for many weeks of recuperation.

Allison is self-employed as a massage therapist and will be out of work for an extended period of time. A Go Fund Me account is being set up to assist her with her medical and personal expenses. As soon as more information is obtained regarding the account we will let you know. Any financial donation that you might be able to make to help Allison would be greatly appreciated.

Regarding the driver of the van, NBPD was able to identify his whereabouts within the parking lot area. The male suspect exhibited signs of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol and was arrested.

Accidents like this are tragic, especially when it occurs to fellow Velo Allegro family members that we know and love. Please, be careful out there! Unfortunately, our fate is in the hands of strangers driving past us on the road. We can only hope that they are sober, paying attention to the road, and giving us at least 3-feet of passing clearance. This is sad news but it could have been much worse. We wish Sherri and Allison a quick road to recovery and we hope to see them back on the bike soon. Get well soon! We love you guys!!

Unfortunately, I can’t find a crowdfunding page for either of the victims, but I’ll be happy to share any links once they come online.

And let this be yet another painful reminder that there’s no time of day when you’re completely safe from drunk and stoned drivers.

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This is what happens when attempts to encourage people to walk and bike to Mardi Gras celebrations meet an entrenched car culture in a community dedicated to laissez les bons temps rouler.

AKA, letting the good times roll.

A celebratory night in New Orleans was ruined when the adult son of a New Orleans cop slammed down a few drinks too many before getting behind the wheel of his car, and plowing into a group of people on famed Esplanade Ave.

The multi-block rampage, which took place just blocks from the popular Endymion Mardi Gras parade, left two people dead and three critically injured, along with another four less seriously injured.

Most, if not all of those, were believed to have been riding bikes at the time of the crash.

The driver, Tashonty Toney, tried to flee the scene on foot, but was stopped nearby by bystanders, who described him as “blind drunk.”

A witness said the 32-year old Toney had swerved his sports car into the bike lane on Esplanade to go around slower traffic, then stumbled out of his car after coming to a stop, and passed out on a street corner.

He later told police he had a drinking problem and should have gotten help.

No shit.

This came just two years after another driver plowed into crowds at the same Endymion parade.

Toney is being held on $510,000 bond.

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Stephen Katz forwards a reminder that unannounced Democratic presidential contender Beto O’Rourke’s father was one of us.

And it didn’t end well.

Prominent Texas Judge and cross-country cyclist Pat O’Rourke was killed while during a solitary recumbent ride on July 3rd, 2001, before having an El Paso bike trail named after him 16 years later.

Clearly, it hasn’t scared his son off.

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Who said women can’t compete with the men?

A Belgian women’s cycling competition had to be halted by race officials after the lead racer caught up with the back of the men’s race, despite giving the men a ten minute head start.

Unfortunately, she ended up finishing 74th when the peloton caught her after being forced to cool her pedals for so long.

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Speaking of Belgium, the country’s E3 Harrelbeke race once again rushes into sexist territory where wiser minds would fear to tred, following a number of regretful marketing misfires in recent years.

The poster for this year’s race features what at first glance appears to be a frog — but on closer examination turns out to be two naked, intertwined women painted green.

What that has to do with bike racing, we’ll probably never know.

Or, chances are, want too.

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And finally…

Who says bicyclists aren’t tough? Like riding 30 minutes to get help after a rattlesnake bite.

At 75 years old.

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Thanks to Bryan Z and Matthew R for their generous and unexpected donations support this site and help pay for my new knee.

I couldn’t have been more surprised by their kindness. Or grateful.

Update: Hit-and-run driver kills bike rider in Newport Beach, injures another

This time the killer didn’t have a chance to sober up first.

The Orange County Register is reporting that a bike rider was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Newport Beach last night.

The driver, identified as 23-year-old Taylor Evans, fled the scene after striking two people riding their bikes on northbound Newport Boulevard near Industrial Way at 1:19 am.

One of the two victims apparently died at the scene. The other suffered undisclosed injuries.

Neither has been publicly identified at this time.

No word on how the collision occurred.

Evans was arrested a few blocks away at Newport Boulevard near E. 16th Street as he tried to push his damaged SUV out of the roadway. He was booked on suspicion of felony DUI with bodily injury, hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter.

A street view shows a six lane, high speed arterial roadway with a painted shoulder on the northbound side below Industrial Way, and a wide parking lane above it.

This is the 31st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in Orange County. This is also at least the 13th bicycling death in Newport Beach since 2010, an average of nearly two a year.

Update: The City News Service has identified the victim as 41-year old Costa Mesa resident Jose Vasquez-Perez. The story also places the location as Costa Mesa, though the crash is being investigated by the Newport Beach Police Department.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jose Vasquez-Perez and his loved ones. 

 

Update: Boy killed killed by trash truck while riding in Newport Beach

Heartbreaking news from Orange County, as a young boy has been killed riding his bike in Newport Beach.

According to multiple sources, the boy was riding his bike at East 15th Street and Fullerton Ave around 1:30 this afternoon when he was struck by a garbage truck. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Daily Pilot reports he was eight-years old, while other sources list his age as between five and eight. According to KTLA-5, the truck belongs to Stanton-based waste and recycling company CR&R Environmental Services.

The location appears to be a typical residential neighborhood just a few blocks from Newport Heights Elementary School.

No other information is available at this time.

This is the 39th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh in Orange County. It’s also at least the 12th in Newport Beach since 2010.

Update: The Orange County Register confirms that the boy, who has not been publicly identified, was a third grade student at Newport Heights Elementary. Police say there is no evidence that the driver was impaired or speeding.

Update 2: The Daily Pilot has identified the victim as Brock McCann, a third-grader at Newport Heights Elementary School, whose family lives near where he was killed. 

The paper also places the collision site at 15th and Michael Place, just southeast of the original location. He had apparently gotten out of school just 15 minutes earlier, and was riding or walking his bike home. 

A gofundme account has raised over $44,000 of the $100,000 goal. 

Meanwhile, the LA Times reports that three bike riders and three pedestrians were involved in crashes nearby between 2010 and 2015.

And the Orange County Register says the CHP is still looking for witnesses; anyone with information is urged to cal CHP Officer Jeff Jones at 714/567-6000.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Brock McCann and his family.

Thanks to John Dammann and Jeffrey Fylling for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Glendale driver brake-checks cyclists; Newport Beach legal settlement could fix deadly intersection

In case you haven’t seen it already, the big story of the day was a driver assaulting two cyclists riding in Glendale.

CiclaValley broke the story, reporting that the incident happened sometime last week as friends of his were riding on Chevy Chase Drive.

In the video, you can clearly hear an impatient driver honking from behind as the cyclists ride just outside the door zone, even though the bike computer visible at the bottom of the screen appears to show they’re traveling at 27 mph.

The driver then buzzes them at an unsafe distance, in clear violation of the three-foot passing law, before slamming on his brakes and brake-checking the riders, nearly forcing one off the road while the other has to swerve dangerously out into traffic to avoid rear-ending the car.

Yet even though this is an obvious case of assault with a deadly weapon — in fact, Dr. Christopher Thompson got five years for a similar incident — CiclaValley implies the Glendale police have been slow to act, at best.

Using a car in a violent manner should be no different under the law than if the driver had taken out a gun and shot at the riders. And should be taken just as seriously, especially since there’s video evidence of the assault.

The one problem with using video like this to press charges, according to officers at the last meeting of the LAPD bike liaisons, is that it’s difficult to prove who was behind the wheel.

Yet even that is not a factor here, since KNBC-4 tracked down the driver, who freely admits he was the driver in the video.

According to his version of events, he honked as he passed — for reasons he failed to explain, just as he failed to explain the apparent punishment pass — then slammed on his brakes after he heard something hit his car, suggesting that one of the riders hit it as he passed.

Yet the video clearly shows that never happened.

There’s no sound of a smack against a car, which should have been clearly audible. And there’s no wobble of the bike, which would have been inevitable if the rider had reached out and hit a hard object as it zoomed by.

The unidentified man, who says he’s a former cyclist himself, portrays himself as the victim in this incident, and says he was just trying to get away from those scary men who were attacking him.

Even though he was the one who honked for no apparent reason. And he was the one who passed dangerously close, even though he was legally required to be well out of their reach. And he was the one who slammed on his brakes directly in front of the two bike riders.

KNBC is no doubt patting themselves on the back for tracking the driver down and getting an exclusive interview with him. But they should be hanging their heads in shame for failing to confront him about the obvious holes in his story, accepting at face value an excuse that is both implausible and demonstratively false.

As should the Glendale police for failing to take action to protect people who are using the streets in a safe and legal manner.

They will most likely claim this is a case of he said/she said, and try to wash their hands of the matter.

But the evidence is right there on the video. All they have to do is look at it.

This just in: CiclaValley breaks down the driver’s statement in great detail, and doesn’t find a lot of truth to it. Or any, for that matter.

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

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After the authorities refused to press charges, Philadelphia bicyclist posted video of a confrontation with a road raging hearse driver who hit him with the van’s mirror, and threatened him for the crime of kicking over a traffic cone.

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Most legal settlements involving cyclists include a payment to the victim to help recover his or her loses.

It’s not often one tries to keep it from happening again.

Torrance law firm AgnewBrusavich announced a settlement with Caltrans and the City of Newport Beach over the death of 58-year old cyclist Debra Deem in 2013.

According to the settlement, Caltrans will pay $450,000, while Newport Beach will kick in another $225,000. But more importantly, both agreed to help fix the deadly intersection where it happened.

Deem had been riding north on PCH in Newport Beach around 4:30 pm on August 27th when she approached the intersection at Newport Coast Drive, where a freeway-style exit lane allows drivers to turn right without slowing down, and forces riders to cross high-speed traffic in order to go straight.

She was hit from behind by an 84-year old driver exiting PCH, and died the next day.

According to the lawsuit, Newport Beach was well aware of the dangers to cyclists at that intersection; in fact, a 2009 Bike Safety Task Force identified it as the intersection most in need of safety improvements.

Now that may finally happen.

The settlement negotiated by attorney Bruce Brusavich requires the city to cooperate with traffic safety experts selected by him and Deem’s husband, Cycle Werks owner Paul Deem, to design improvements to the intersection. And Caltrans will be legally required to consider those improvements in good faith.

Though evidently, not required to implement them.

It’s too late to help Debra Deem. But maybe this settlement can keep it from happening to someone else.

………

More bad news from the world of bike racing, as Claudio Clarindo, the world’s 12th ranked ultra-distance cyclist, was killed in a collision while training in Brazil, and his riding partner severely injured. Clarindo was a five-time finisher in the Race Across America, aka RAAM.

……..

Local

Continuing the theme of angry drivers, a Santa Monica cyclist encounters a driver who apparently wasn’t pleased with where he was riding. Maybe the fumes from that Porter Ranch gas leak is making drivers crazy; twice in the last week I’ve had drivers get out of their cars to physically threaten me while I’ve been walking.

LACBC board member and BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass explains the new state laws affecting bike riders.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with bike advocate Wes Reutimann, executive director of Bike SGV, about the proposed bike park at the former Puente Hills Landfill; you can sign the petition to support it here.

 

State

California is finally getting rid of the outdated LOS (Level of Service) requirement for environmental rules; the previous rules meant that removing bike lanes didn’t require an environmental review, while installing them often did.

The inventor of the cardboard-based Kranium bike helmet is suing a consortium of investors in San Diego, alleging they lied about contacts with retailers and failed to pay what they promised.

A new $5 million development in San Diego’s Imperial Beach will cater to bike riders and pedestrians with cafes, a bike shop and water station.

Police in El Centro say they don’t have enough evidence to get a warrant to look for a bike tourist’s stolen bike, even though they tracked the bike’s GPS to a house; when no one answered the door, they apparently gave up. Seriously, you’d think a GPS reading saying the bike was inside would be enough for a search warrant, but what the hell do I know.

 

National

The City Metric website asks if road diets are the next big thing for American cities, then suggests car culture may be too deeply entrenched for that to happen.

Vancouver WA gets its first green lanes.

A proposed Nebraska bill would repeal the state’s outdated must-use law requiring cyclists to use a bike path if one runs parallel to the roadway, although it may have a difficult time moving forward in the legislature.

A Dallas writer says cyclists and runners need to work together to make roads safer in the face of their common enemy, the motorist.

Nice program from a Connecticut school, allowing students to earn credit towards buying a refurbished bicycle, as well as establishing a bike club and teaching them to fix bikes.

A New York study shows that split-phase traffic signals that allow cyclists and pedestrians to cross an intersection before motor vehicles are twice as effective in reducing injuries as the more common mixing zones that send everyone through at once.

 

International

C is for Coffee, D is for Drafting, as Cycling Weekly offers the A to Z of bike riding.

A British letter writer complains about bicyclists blocking the sidewalk by chaining their bikes to posts and railings. If bike riders are locking their bikes up wherever they can, maybe it’s a sign that there’s not enough safe bike parking in the area.

If you can afford an electric car, you can now silently sneak up on cyclists in British bus lanes, where bike riders previously only had to contend with noisy buses and cabs.

Drivers usually get a slap on the wrist for killing a bicyclist; a UK German Shepard just won a three-year battle to overturn his death sentence for biting one.

Cyclelicious looks at a crowdsourced, lock-free bike parking solution in Latvia. And one that could easily work here.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have an 18-speed front wheel drive, although pedaling while turning may be just a tad awkward. Getting out on your bike could improve your sex life.

And screw OKCupid and Tinder; all you need to find true love is Strava.

 

Weekend Links: 15 to life for heroin-fueled hit-and-run, and Northvale Gap Expo Line bikeway meeting

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover today, so grab your coffee and settle in.

And don’t forget, just three more days to nominate someone to win a new bicycle in our first-ever bike giveaway. So take a moment to tell us who you think deserves to win a free bike from Beachbikes.net today!

………

For once, the punishment fits the crime.

And not surprisingly, it comes from Orange County, where the DA and courts take traffic crime seriously, especially when it involves the loss of an innocent life.

Neil Storm Stephany, who killed 30-year old Fountain Valley cyclist Shaun Eagleson in a heroin-fueled 2014 Newport Beach hit-and-run, was sentenced Friday to 15-years to life behind bars.

Yes, life.

Despite signing a statement following a 2011 DUI conviction that he could face a murder charge if he killed someone while driving under the influence, Eagleson shot up with heroin before getting behind the wheel with two additional drugs in his system that may have amplified the effects of the illegal narcotic.

Witnesses reported seeing him weaving dangerously along PCH. But before police could respond, he plowed into Eagleson’s bike, leaving him to die in the street as he drove on; Stephany’s lawyer claimed he was too high to comprehend what had happened.

He also says the self-described substance abuse counselor had planned to enter rehab the next day, too late for everyone concerned.

Stephany’s actions, piled atop a long string of priors, left Eagleson’s wife without a husband, and dashed their plans to have a child together after she had long been told she would never be able to. And left his mother grieving a son taken away too soon, and hoping his killer never again sees the light of day.

As the judge put it in handing out his sentence,

Shooting heroin and getting into a car after being through several rehabs and after being warned of the consequences is mind blowing,” the judge said.

“Yes, Mr. Stephany (you) did not set out to kill again that day, but when you act with such disregard for the safety of others, this can happen.

The sad fact is that two lives were ended that day, and two families shattered. One life lost on the side of the road, through no fault of his own, and the other lost behind bars through his own actions, his parents left to grieve a son lost to drugs.

Despite the possible life term, it’s likely that Stephany will get out of prison one day. Whether he will come out a better man is highly debatable.

Thanks to Louis, Edward M. Rubinstein and our anonymous OC source for the heads-up.

Neil-Stephany-sentence

………

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton provides a full report on Wednesday’s meeting on closing the Northvale Gap in the new Expo Line bike path.

In a case of major irony, two of the proposals would run on Northvale Road, directly in front of the homeowners who fought to keep the bike path from running behind their homes. Although the street has a steep hill that could cause many riders to seek an alternate route.

It’s also ironic that the price tag to complete the .7 mile gap runs between $13 million and $52 million.

It was only six years ago that some cyclists rose up to oppose a $30 million plan to extend the beachfront bike path two miles from Will Rogers State Beach nearly to Malibu, bypassing the narrow section of PCH where riders are currently forced to take the lane in front of often speeding traffic.

At $15 million per mile, it would actually have been cheaper than the least expensive option for closing the Northvale Gap.

The obvious choice, given the hill on Northvale, is to place the bike path next to the train line, precisely where the small group of homeowners fought to prevent it.

But where the $52 million to pay for it will come from is a very good question.

As is whether building the most expensive sub-one-mile of bikeway in the city is the best use for funds that could build many more miles somewhere else.

………

Let’s help a guy out. And possibly help ourselves in the process.

Former San Francisco Bicycle Coalition staffer and current Bike the Vote LA volunteer Marc Caswell is conducting a study of the many Peak Hour Lanes throughout the City of Los Angeles to determine if they affect safety.

For my Masters in Urban Planning, I’m trying to determine if LA’s Peak Hour Tow Away Zones (PHTAZ) have an impact on street safety.

We know that the city has implemented these policies with no attention to safety — but simply to move cars. And they automatically preclude a street from the ability to have a bike lane (since the curb lane becomes traffic) — or from having pedestrian bulb-outs.  So, they are inherently prohibiting safety improvements.

But — I want to know if these unexpected, temporary, and erratic parking restrictions are creating driver confusion and/or increasing the rates of crashes — for all modes.

When I chose this project, I planned to map the crashes to the streets and assumed that the LADOT would have a map of all these zones — but they don’t.  They don’t even have a list.  I’ve had to use Google Street View and my own knowledge to find the 211 miles I’ve found so far…

But, now I need to open it up to the rest of the region and crowdsource the information.  So, I’ve published the map — and am calling on the public to help me identify the blocks I may have missed.

I have a public Google map here — with all the details and instructions.

Take a look. And if you see one missing, add it to the map.

The results could make a real difference in how our streets look in the future.

………

Recently, we featured a guest post from Harv describing his ride through the streets of NELA for some pre-Christmas shopping.

Today he offers his first attempt at a bike-building video, capturing what he calls a typical (for him) project, taking a vintage lugged steel road bike frame and making it into an urban bike to navigate the busy streets of LA.

And here’s the finished product.

ral assembled 2_003

………

In the USA Network’s new show Colony, the people of Los Angeles travel by bicycle following an occupation by invading aliens. Except for the bad guys, who travel in massive SUVs.

Sounds about right.

………

Local

The LACBC’s Eric Bruins explains why Metro needs to dedicate 10% of a possible Measure R sequel to funding active transportation.

The bike-themed Wheelhouse coffee shop is now open in Downtown’s Arts District.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton will talk parking, CicLAvia, Vision Zero, rail construction, bike lanes, bike-share, speed, safety, trade-offs and more on Sunday morning when he’s interviewed on classic rock station The Sound at 100.3 FM.

A podcast from Streetsblog USA offers a tourist guide on how to visit Los Angeles without a car and where to go if you do.

Calbike VP and former Long Beach bike guru Charlie Gandy discusses the power of asking.

 

State

Anaheim cyclists are invited to participate in a series of workshops for the city’s draft bicycle master plan starting this Tuesday.

An Oxnard bike rider was wacked in the back with a stick by two men, knocking her off her bike so they could steal her backpack.

California restores funding for a bike and pedestrian path needed to get Castroville students over a dangerous set of train tracks.

Horrible news from San Jose, as a bike rider was killed by a hit-and-run driver who hit him, then backed over him again in what police describe as an intentional act. That should result in at least a second degree murder charge once they find the bastard.

 

National

It’s six years behind bars for a Seattle man in the drunken death of a bicyclist; the driver admitted to downing four beers and an Adderall before driving. Meanwhile, a Delaware driver gets eight years for the drunken hit-and-run death of a bike rider — with his three kids in the car, no less — after downing as many as seven drinks before getting behind the wheel.

LA will soon get its first pro football team in decades. But how many of them will ride their bikes and drive beat up cars like the pro players in DC?

Savannah GA cyclists turn out to fight a proposed ban on bikes in a park used as a popular riding route.

 

International

The good news is, bicycling isn’t the world’s dirtiest sport; the bad news is, it seems like almost every sport has a drug problem. Even curling.

A cyclist travels Bolivia’s Death Road and lives to tell the tale.

Life is cheap in Toronto, where the death of a bike rider barely merits a weak caress on the wrist.

Bike commuting rates appear to be dropping in most English cities, with a handful of notable exceptions.

The crowdfunding campaign to buy Britain’s bike-riding Labour Party leader a new bike is now up to £5,745 — the equivalent of nearly $8200 — which is just a tad over the £475 goal. Cycling Weekly looks at five bikes he could buy with that.

A British Good Samaritan ran to help a cyclist who was hit from behind by a van, only to discover he was colleague from her work at a local hospital.

Fat bikes come to the Swiss Alps.

An Arizona man takes his first bike ride in 30 years, a three-day, 87-mile trip through the Champagne region of France just 16 weeks after surgery for prostate cancer.

A new Berlin-based bike registry offers near-impossible to remove titanium micro-tags to identify your bike if it’s stolen.

Great piece from a British woman who left her London flat last July to bike to, and through, the Middle East in order to better understand it. One key point in our refugee-fearing times — she says she hasn’t met a single Muslim with the slightest sympathy for ISIS on her travels.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t body check a security guard just because he asks you to rack your bike. Climb hills and drop your friends the easy way, while still passing your urine test.

And did someone lose a giant plastic orange?

 

Morning Links: Stephany convicted of 2nd degree murder, KCRW can’t find bike riders to discuss Mobility Plan

No surprise here.

An Orange County jury has found Neil Storm Stephany guilty of second degree murder in the heroin and Ativan-fueled hit-and-run death of cyclist Shaun Eagleson as he rode on the East Coast Highway just over a year ago.

And despite his attorney’s bizarre argument that Stephany can’t be held responsible because he was so high he had no idea what he was doing behind the wheel.

Stephany had been warned following a previous DUI conviction that he could face a murder charge if he killed someone while driving under the influence. Instead he shot up, got behind wheel and did exactly that; he was reportedly found incoherent with fresh needle marks at the time of his arrest.

He faces 15 years to life in prison when he’s sentenced on January 15th.

Despite one juror’s hope that this is a wake-up call for Stephany, it’s a little too late for that.

And for the man he killed.

Neil-Stephany-conviction-reduced

Thanks to Edward M. Rubinstein and our anonymous OC source for the heads-up.

………

Hats off to REI.

While other retailers are forcing their employees leave their families and work on Thanksgiving Day, the Seattle-based co-op will not only be closed on Thanksgiving, but will be shutting their doors on the following day, aka Black Friday. And telling their employees to go outdoors and enjoy themselves.

With pay.

………

A reader forwards this moving piece from a former bike racer suffering from an incurable, untreatable and progressively degenerative kidney disease, and her first tentative step back into cyclocross racing just for fun.

Definitely worth taking a few moments from your day to read.

………

Local

KCRW’s Which Way LA looks at the reactions to LA’s Mobility Plan 2035 in South LA and around Rowena Ave in Silver Lake, but can’t seem to find any bike riders to discuss it with.

A trio of USC students are working on a Bluetooth-enabled bike lock that will be permanently mounted on your bike, and lock by clamping around the rear wheel.

The LA Explorers Club is hosting an LA Noir Bicycle Tour this Sunday, taking riders back to the classic Los Angeles of the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s.

 

State

A group of Santa Ana kids are recognized for their work in bike advocacy at the California Bicycle Summit, while the city is set to receive $11.5 million in bikeway funding.

Bike Newport Beach discusses the need to teach young bike racers how to ride safely on the streets.

A La Jolla mountain bike rider was the victim of a brutal assault while visiting New Orleans, leaving him paralyzed from the shoulders down. And neither the police or the Big Easy press seem to give a damn. When I lived down that way, it too often seemed that rather than the City That Care Forgot, it was the city that forgot to care.

San Diego will begin work on the next link in the Bayshore Bikeway around the first of the year, the first of $200 million in new bike projects in the region over the next decade.

Coronado police warn that the annual grace period for student bike violations is ending. Note to CPD: Riding a bike in a crosswalk is legal under California law.

A Redlands bike rider was injured in a shooting as he rode past two men walking in the street.

Sad news from Sacramento, as a man dies eight days after he was hit by a car while riding his bike.

Apparently, bike friendly Davis has a bike parking problem.

 

National

Despite the recent bike boom, visits to bike shops declined 17% from 2012 to 2014.

Uber’s new Uber Rush delivery service is using a fleet of bike messengers to make deliveries in New York City, San Francisco and Chicago in an hour or less.

An engineering professor proposes a bikeshare system for the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Maybe he didn’t want to miss his favorite show. An Iowa rider loses three teeth when he was mugged by a group of men who wanted the TV he was carrying on his bike.

A St. Louis writer says bicycling can be bliss in the city originally built for horses and trolleys.

Science takes a backseat to football at the University of North Carolina, where bikes are banned from parking in front of the Genome Science building on game days.

Key West cyclists team up for the annual four-mile Zombie Bike Ride.

 

International

Go ahead and have that drink. A new study shows that while a third of injured cyclists have been drinking, drunk riders are less likely to get in wrecks and are no more likely to be injured than sober riders.

A Montreal bike messenger poetically says the key to survival is to float like a ghost into the spaces no one else is occupying.

The former head of Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service says the country’s legal system has failed cyclists, and calls for a change in the way bike cases are handled. Meanwhile, the head of roads policing for the British National Police Chiefs’ Council says it’s too risky to commute by bike in London.

The Scottish town of Dumfries puts it’s bikeshare system on hold following complaints that it’s too difficult to use. The story quotes my favorite Scot bike blogger as she helps raise the rabble.

Just as women’s cycling is starting to take off again, Switzerland is dropping their women’s team due to financial losses.

A leftwing German political party wants to encourage biking and walking by eliminating fines for red light violations in the law-abiding country.

The BBC looks at the legal loophole that allows Syrian refugees to cross the Russian border into Finland only if they are on a bike, and the absurd trade in flimsy children’s bikes it has spawned. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

A Rwandan cyclist was killed in a mid-race collision after he dropped off the back of the peloton.

Seriously? South Australian officials warn that allowing bikes on sidewalks will result in huge costs to local government, as well as lawsuits against cyclists. And Aussie Liberals seem misnamed as they threaten to roll back the state’s 1-meter passing law.

Philippine cyclists flaunt the country’s Carmegeddon to advocate for a piece of the road. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying 64 tabs of Lorazepam, aka Ativan, on your bike, put a damn light on it and stay off the sidewalk. Talk about casting a big shadow; a little ingenuity and elbow grease, and you, too can frighten the neighbors into thinking a rogue elephant is on the loose.

And this is what happens when you don’t have any women — or men capable of thinking with the larger head — in your marketing department.

Colnago-tweet

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