Tag Archive for Northvale

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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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: Expo bike path meeting tonight, and bikes may or may not be banned from Camp Pendleton

Less than one week to nominate someone you know to win a new bicycle.

Read more about our first-ever bike giveaway, and tell us who you think deserves to win a free bike from Beachbikes.net today!

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Don’t forget tonight’s meeting to discuss closing the nearly one-mile gap in the new Expo Line bike path through the NIMBY Northvale wasteland.

I’ve got another commitment that will keep me from attending, so feel free to forward your thoughts on the meeting.

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Riders making their way between Orange County and San Diego may soon have to find a new way to get there.

Or maybe not.

Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious forwards news that as of February 1st, Camp Pendleton will be closed to anyone without a sponsor and a valid reason to enter the base.

But whether that will include bike riders remains to be seen, despite the anti-bike hysteria in the comments.

The base is currently the only approved route for bicyclists connecting OC with North San Diego County, since riders are banned from the 5 Freeway. Its scenic views and relatively low, though sometimes heavily armed, traffic also makes it a very popular route for recreational riders and group rides.

Closing the base to riders would almost certainly force the state to open the freeway to bicyclists, which is the case in other areas where there is no alternate riding route. Although I can’t imagine anyone willingly trading the quiet roads of Camp Pendleton for a rock and glass-strewn shoulder with semis buzzing by at 70 mph or more.

It may turn out to be much ado about nothing, as a message from the base indicates that no decision has been made regarding bicycle access after the 1st. There have been similar scares in the past with no action taken restricting riders.

However, it does serve as a reminder that, like with the VA grounds in West LA, bicyclists are guests on federal property, and expected to act accordingly; Pendleton has their own rules that riders are expected to observe.

And while one commenter worries about bike-borne ISIS terrorists sneaking in to attack the base, it’s the people on two wheels who have faced the greatest danger.

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Just a touch of schadenfreude yesterday, as I watched a car driving in a bike lane nearly get doored by a driver who didn’t bother to look before throwing his door open.

And no, neither of them seemed to have a clue what just happened.

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Local

CiclaValley questions the necessity of closing a large portion of the LA River bike path to put up flood control barriers, and the effect it will have on businesses in Frogtown and Elysian Valley.

Bikabout offers a 12-city bucket list of where they want to wander by bike this year, including the City of Angels and our own CicLAvia.

The LA Times wonders which NFL stadium plan would screw up traffic the least; the Inglewood site got the nod from the NFL. The owner of the stadium should be required to pay for a rail extension to serve the site, as well as safe cycling infrastructure and bike parking facilities to provide an alternative to driving to the games and other events.

Santa Monica police will once again be on the lookout for traffic violations that put bicyclists and pedestrians at risk this Saturday, regardless of who commits them. So be on your best behavior while riding through the city this weekend.

Long Beach will host its second Beach Streets ciclovía on a still-secret route through the Downtown area on Saturday, March 19th, less than two weeks after the next Valley CicLAvia.

 

State

People for Bikes quotes the reactions of six Californians on Caltrans’ new guidelines for protected bike lanes, including LADOT maven Seleta Reynolds and BikeSD’s Sam Ollinger.

Bicycling says to give hoverboards a wide berth now that they’re banished to the bike lanes, since you never know when they’ll burst into flames. The magazine also talks to the amazing Jo Celso, the San Diego pro cyclist who beat Hodgkin’s to come back stronger than ever.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d steal a truckload of bikes and helmets from an Oakland nonprofit serving East Bay children.

 

National

A new survey says one in ten Americans would steal a bike for $10,000; for a billion, 12% of men would be willing to kill you. Then again, I’ve run into some drivers who seem willing to do it for free.

A Portland writer panics over plans to allow mountain bikers into city parklands.

Cheyenne WY considers eliminating the city’s largely ignored bicycle licensing requirement; only one person bothered to register a bike under the current law last year.

A New York writer says a Vision Zero law protecting pedestrians and bicyclists isn’t necessary because, you know, accidents happen and drivers just can’t be held responsible for killing someone.

A Baltimore bicyclist tried to use his bike to defend himself from a group of attacking teenagers.

Horrific testimony from an Alabama cyclist in the trial of the driver who ran down her two riding partners; the driver claims the sun was in his eyes, though she disputes that.

More evidence that bicycling benefits Parkinson’s patients, as a patients’ symptoms disappear during a Maryland spin class.

 

International

A university professor is riding across Canada virtually. Which isn’t the same thing.

A Toronto driver will serve the next three months behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider, weekends only. This has got to be a joke, right?

A Brit bike shop owner laughs at some of the absurd gear the industry tries to push on us.

Now that’s more like it. A prolific British bike thief has been given a lifetime ban from even coming within 13 feet of bicycle unless he can prove he owns it.

A road raging driver from the UK gets nearly five years for the death of a 69-year old bike advocate following an argument; the Afghan vet, who suffers from severe depression and PTSD following his service, says he doesn’t even remember making contact with the victim’s bike.

Madonna’s ex is one of us, too.

Copenhagenize says yawning bike riders are the best sign of a bicycle-friendly city.

India plans to build smart cities to address the country’s many urban ills; a writer says smart thinking about bicycles needs to be part of the process.

Caught on video: A dashcam view catches a truck driver fleeing the scene after toppling a bike rider; fortunately, the cyclist bounces back up to his feet.

 

Finally…

It’s one thing to get pissed off at a driver; spitting and hurling racial abuse is another matter. Seriously, if you’re going to ride your bike to a friend’s house when it’s 8° outside, put some damn gloves on.

And that’s one way to do it, as two boys each take a pedal to share a single bike.

 

 

 

Morning Links: All hands on deck for Expo Line bike path, hit-and-run goes global, and Culver founder one of us

Someone you know needs a new bicycle. Just click here to read about our first bike giveaway and nominate someone who deserves to win a free bike from Beachbikes.net.

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Streetsblog’s Joe Linton writes that there will be an all-hands-on-deck meeting next Wednesday to discuss closing the Northvale gap in the new Expo bikeway.

After neighborhood NIMBY’s in the upscale Cheviot Hills neighborhood failed to stop the train, they turned their attention halting the bike path, expressing fear that bike-riding burglars and two-wheeled peeping Toms would soon terrorize the area.

Which is only a slight exaggeration.

Meanwhile, funding dried up amid disputes over where to locate the path, and where — or if —there should be access to the neighborhood.

Linton writes that Councilmember Paul Koretz, who has made it his life’s mission to keep bikes off Westwood Blvd, is working to close the gap in what would be the only continuous bikeway from Downtown to the Beach.

There will undoubtedly be many people opposing the bike path going through their neighborhood, so as he notes, if you live, work, bike, or breathe in this part of West Los Angeles, you need to be there to voice your support.

It takes place from 6 pm to 8 pm at the Palms-Rancho Park Branch Library, 2920 Overland Ave.

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Clearly, hit-and-run is a worldwide problem.

A New Hampshire cyclist was lucky to escape with bruises when he was hit by a driver who sped away; police later arrested the suspect for hit-and-run, as well being a felon in possession of an unlicensed gun.

A British man faces “substantial” jail time for driving away after killing a cyclist while speeding at over twice the 30 mph limit.

And an Indian driver is under arrest for fleeing the scene after running down a man who was riding home from work.

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Local

CICLE will host a learning to ride class for adults on the 17th.

The founder of Culver City was one of us. Before coming to California, Harry Culver rode in 53-day, 4,120 mile bike race ending at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Long Beach begins work to improve access for bikes and the disabled at Alamitos Beach.

 

State

Calbike poses six detailed questions about the governor’s new budget, and says he stalls on climate change.

Caltrans buys an Encinitas strawberry field to convert it into a park and ride and freeway access ramp, as well as community gardens and open space; the facility will include bike lockers and a bike lane that connects to bike paths planned for the area. Maybe they should call it a bike and ride.

San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood gets a road diet and buffered bike lanes to improve safety after a close vote by the neighborhood planning committee.

Next time you’re in Morro Bay, check out the new bike park that opened over the holidays.

Fresno will shut down a freeway for a day and turn it over to bicycles for the California Classic century ride.

Sad news from Vacaville, as a woman died of injuries she suffered in a collision while riding her bike last month.

 

National

The co-chairs of the Congressional Bike Caucus – yes, there is one — introduce a rare bi-partisan bill to allow communities more flexibility to use federal funds for bikeshare programs.

Fast Company looks at the nation’s five best bike lanes.

Nike sponsors Portland’s new Biketown bikeshare program.

A Seattle radio host continues his anti-bike rants, this time saying if officials really care about bike safety, they should ban bike riders from going through a parking lot they’re legally entitled to use, since a protected bike lane will be built nearby. It’s not safety he’s concerned about; it’s really about the money and lost parking spaces for a bike lane he opposes.

Vermont considers a bill that would require right-turning drivers to yield to bikes, and allow motorists to cross a yellow line to pass a bicycle.

North Carolina cyclists say a proposal requiring them to ride on the right half travel lane will increase the risk of serious crashes.

A trio of brothers followed the course of the infamous Sherman’s March to the Sea in the Civil War, riding 340 miles from Atlanta to Savannah. Hopefully they didn’t slash and burn along the way.

 

International

A Vancouver cyclist was killed in a bizarre accident when he was hit by a piece of trash tossed by a dumpster diver.

The founders of Vancouver’s Modacity write in praise of slow cycling, saying the slower a city’s bicyclists ride, the more mature its bike culture.

A Toronto paper questions whether Vision Zero can succeed in the auto-centric city.

No surprise here. Bikes were the most stolen items in Britain last year.

Cycling Weekly looks at the Cannibal as the legendary Belgian cyclist turns 70.

Riding through the coastlines, deserts and mountains of Spain’s Andalusia region.

Bicycling is booming in Mumbai.

Bike riding in New Zealand is getting safer as it gets more popular.

The mayor of Taipei will ride his bike 21 hours tomorrow to promote the Velo-City Global Conference to be held in his city next month.

 

Finally…

How does someone fail to see a stopped bus before crashing your bike into it? When a bus company driving instructor says running over cyclists is a public service, you’ve got to wonder what he’s teaching his students.

And a five-year old rides to the rescue in his pajamas.

 

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