Tag Archive for Orange County

Updating traffic violence news, Healthy Streets LA turns in 120,000 signatures, and OC applies for bikeway grant

Happy first day of summer! And belated Juneteenth and Father’s Day greetings! 

Maybe one of these days I’ll actually catch up to the calendar. 

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Let’s start by updating a pair of tragedies we mentioned yesterday.

First is an Illinois county judge who was killed when he was rear-ended by a 73-year old driver. Today brought news that he had been riding with his wife on a roadway rated by the state as unfriendly for bikes, yet which was inexplicably recommended by Google Maps; he was also a board member for a statewide bike advocacy group.

We had also mentioned that a Buffalo, NY woman was killed when a driver plowed into a group of three bike-riding women; today we learned the victim was popular singer-songwriter in the area. Police believe the crash occurred when the driver suffered some sort of medical emergency.

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This is just a fraction of the 120,000 signatures they’re ready to turn in for the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposition.

Don’t forget tomorrow’s 2:15 pm special public meeting of the LA City Council’s Public Works and Transportation Committees to discuss a proposal to adopt the wording of the ballot proposition before it goes to a public vote this November.

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This could be a big plus for OC bike riders.

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The estimable Will Campbell struck out in an effort to bike to the new Sandy Koufax statue at Dodger Stadium.

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Lionel Mares forwards photos from Saturday’s ride along the LA River with LACBC and California Sate Senator Maria Elena Durazo and LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman.

Speaking of the LACBC, any donations to the bike advocacy group will be matched dollar for dollar by Warner Bros. Discovery for the next month, up to a total of $25,000.

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An inspiring new video demonstrates how an adaptive athlete helped Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s “deepest, darkest” mountain bike trail welcome adaptive bike riders.

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

Denver area sheriff’s deputies are looking for a man with a long criminal record who allegedly swerved his pickup onto the shoulder of a highway to attack a group of bicyclists Sunday morning, critically injuring one woman; deputies found his abandoned truck that night, after he had stopped briefly to dislodge a bicycle stuck underneath it.

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Local

Former LACBC board member and Laemmle Theaters owner Greg Laemmle is hosting his popular Tour de Laemmle this Sunday, welcoming anyone who wants to join him in riding to the recently sold Laemmle Playhouse 7 one last time.

The star of the documentary Q Ball was released from prison after 24 long years; he had been sentenced to life behind bars for his third strike conviction after Long Beach police found him in possession of a gun when they stopped him for riding his bike without a light. Otherwise known as a pretext stop, giving cops an excuse to stop and search someone.

 

State 

Food giant Mondelēz International got the munchies, and gobbled up Emeryville-based maker of Clif Bars for a whopping $2.9 billion. Yes, that’s billions with a B.

 

National

File this one under bad ideas. President Biden is considering a temporary pause in the already too low federal gas tax, which hasn’t been raised in 29 years. There are better ways to address the pain of high gas taxes than cutting funds that support transportation spending. Like tax rebates funded by a windfall profits tax on oil companies.

No, that wasn’t former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki making fun of Donald Trump after Biden fell off his bike.

Bike Hacks offers tips on how to feel safe and confident on the road while riding at night.

A Portland man has filed suit against the city, alleging he was injured by a flashbang grenade and beaten by police during the 2020 racial justice protests, and unable to reclaim his bicycle after it was seized by officers.

A new entry-level, retro-style cruiser ebike from Seattle bikemaker E-Velo is specifically designed for riders under 5’10” tall. Although I would hardly call $3,500 “entry-level.”

Pittsburgh has installed the city’s first advisory bike lane, which channels drivers into a shared center lane, while allowing them to briefly move into the bike and pedestrian lanes on either side — just like the one that was unceremoniously ripped out in San Diego.

This is who we share the road with. Six people were injured, three critically, when a New York cabbie hit a bike rider after rounding a corner, then jumped the curb, slamming into several pedestrians and pinning two women against a wall; once again, police suspect the driver may have suffered some sort of medical episode.

Police in Tupelo, Mississippi struggled to identify a man who was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike Friday, before members of the public came up with his name several hours later. One more reminder to always carry ID with you when you ride — preferably something that won’t get stolen if you’re incapacitated.

 

International

A new Colombian law named for a 13-year old victim of traffic violence killed riding his bike commits the country to improving traffic safety through the safe systems approach, while reducing speed limits and adopting UN regulations for vehicle standards and licensing.

Canadian musician DJ JaBig is entering the final leg of a 10,000-mile ride through the US to raise funds for World Bicycle Relief; he’s less than $1,000 short of his $16,500 goal.

Bath, England decides to trade up, replacing two golf courses with a new bike park.

Angry bike riders complain about ice cream trucks illegally parked in the protected bike lanes on London’s Westminster Bridge.

Israeli approved plans to crack down on bike and e-scooter riders for crimes like riding distracted and not wearing a helmet.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly talks with Alexey Vermeulen, who bailed on a brief road cycling career to earn six figures as a gravel privateer.

Win a bike race, celebrate with a dip in the pool in full kit.

And avoid that awkward sprint to the finish with a spirited round of Rochambeau.

 

Finally…

Why wait for bikes to hit the road when you can run them down in the shop? That feeling when a stray bike wheel shuts down the entire subway.

And once again, a bike rider is a hero. If only to our feathered friends.

But wait, there’s more!

Thanks to TEOTWAWKI, aka TRutt, for the heads-up.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Update: 67-year old man killed riding bike in Santa Ana collision Sunday morning; 4th SoCal bike death in last 8 days

More bad news on Southern California streets.

Multiple sources are reporting that a man was killed riding a bicycle in Santa Ana Sunday morning.

The victim, identified only as a 67-year old man, was apparently riding south on Bristol Street when he was struck by a driver traveling east on Edinger Ave around 8:30 this morning.

He was taken to a local hospital, where he died from his injuries.

The driver remained at the scene, and police don’t suspect they were speeding or under the influence.

The intersection is controlled with a traffic signal in each direction, with bike lanes on Bristol above Edinger. There’s no word on who may have had the green light in the moments before the crash.

Anyone with information is urged to call Santa Ana PD Cpl. W. Hadley at 714/245-8216.

This is at least the 44th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and already the seventh that I’m aware of in Orange County.

The victim was also the fourth bike rider to die on SoCal streets in just the last eight days.

Update: The victim has been identified as 67-year old John Story

My deepest sympathy and prayers for John Story and all his loved ones.

 

40-year old man riding ebike killed in San Clemente hit-and-run; 2nd SoCal bike rider killed in hit-and-run in two days

Another day, another Southern California bike rider left to die in the street.

In a paywalled story, the Orange County Register is reporting that a man riding an ebike was killed by a hit-and-run driver in San Clemente early Tuesday.

Forty-year old Capistrano Beach resident Joshua Gene Cervantes was riding north on Avenida La Pata near Avenida Pico when he was run down by an unidentified driver around 1:25 am.

He died at the scene, despite efforts to resuscitate him.

The driver fled after the crash, abandoning his car a short distance away.

There’s no word on how the collision occurred, or whether Cervantes was struck while riding in the bike lane on Avenida La Pata, or while crossing the intersection.

His death comes just just over 24 hours after a 41-year old bike rider was killed in a Colton hit-and-run.

This is at least the 40th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

Cervantes is also the 14th SoCal bike rider killed in a hit-and-run this year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Joshua Gene Cervantes and all his loved ones. 

Fullerton man riding DIY ebike killed in possible hit-and-run; 5th Southern California bike death this week

Please make it stop.

After a terrible start to the year — and one of the worst weeks in memory — yet another bike rider has lost his life on the mean streets of Southern California.

And once again, it may have been a hit-and-run.

My News LA is reporting that 58-year old Fullerton resident Ivars Borsteins was found lying in the street at Malvern Ave and Basque Ave in Fullerton around 9:30 pm Thursday.

Borstens was discovered suffering from serious injuries, next to a mountain bike that had been converted to an ebike.

He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police are investigating the crash as a possible hit-and-run, but acknowledge it’s possible that Borstens may have fallen off his bike for some reason.

Officers stressed that Borstens’ bike had been modified to add an electric engine, rather than manufactured as an ebike. There are any number of conversion kits on the market that can turn any bike into an ebike.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Fullerton Police Department at 714/738-6812.

This is at least the 23rd bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Orange County. It’s also the fifth SoCal bicycling death in just the last week.

If this turns out to have been a hit-and-run, it would be the eight fatal bike hit-and-run since the first of the year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ivars Borsteins and all his lived ones.

 

Former motorcycle champ Jason Aguilar killed in Laguna Beach mountain biking crash; 5th OC bike death of 2022

Somehow, we missed this one earlier this month.

According to CycleNews, former motorcycle champ Jason Aguilar died following  a fall while mountain biking with friends in Laguna Beach on Saturday, February 5th.

He was just 25 years old.

Aguilar, the 2017 MotoAmerica Superstock 600 Champion, was rushed into surgery to relieve bleeding on the brain, but suffered catastrophic brain damage due to a lack of oxygen.

He was kept on life support until February 8th so his organs could be harvested for transplantation to others.

Close to a hundred mountain bikers later turned out for a ride in Aguilar’s honor.

This is at least the 19th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 5th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jason Aguilar and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Bill Sellin for the heads-up. 

Man riding commuter bike killed in Santa Ana collision; 2nd bike death on Santa Ana’s 1st Street in just 10 days

Something is seriously wrong in Santa Ana.

For the second time in just ten days, someone riding a bicycle has been killed in a collision, less than a mile apart.

According to the Orange County Register, a man riding south on North Figueroa Street was struck by a driver while crossing First Street, just east of Harbor Blvd, around 7 pm Monday evening.

County News TV reports the victim died at the scene. He has not been publicly identified at this time.

The driver of the minivan remained following the collision, and police do not suspect he was under the influence.

A street view shows a six lane roadway with a center turn lane on 1st, with the intersection controlled by just a stop sign on Figueroa.

Raw video provided by County News shows the van, with relatively minor front end damage, coming to a stop on 1st, with what appears to be a commuter bike sprawled in the roadway.

(I’m not embedding the video, because it shows blurred views of the victim’s body lying in the center lane near the bike, which is not something his family or friends need to see.)

The victim’s death can likely be blamed on the lack of a crossing signal or crosswalk at Figueroa, which should have provided a safer alternative to busy Harbor Blvd. But clearly didn’t.

This comes ten days after another bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run just six-tenths of a mile away at West First and South Newhope Streets. That victim has not yet been publicly identified, either.

Two deaths so close together, both in terms of time and distance, suggests serious problems on the deadly corridor.

This is at least the 16th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and already the fourth that I’m aware of in Orange County, which would usually have less than half that number so early in the year.

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

Bicyclist killed in Santa Ana hit-and-run; half of all SoCal bike victims this year killed by hit-and-run drivers

Once again, someone riding a bicycle has been killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver.

This time in Santa Ana.

According to County News Service, the victim was found near West First and South Newhope Streets around 4:42 pm Saturday, suffering from injuries constant with being struck by a driver.

Despite the efforts of first responders, the victim, who was has not been publicly identified, died at the scene.

Police believe the victim was riding east in the bike lane on West First when the driver of a red Kia sedan ran them down from behind, then fled the scene.

Unfortunately, there’s no further description of the car or the driver. But whoever did it should face a murder charge for making a deliberate choice to leave an innocent victim to die in the street.

Anyone with information is urged to call Santa Ana Police Investigator Bao at 714/245-8223.

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

Half of those SoCal victims have been killed by drivers who didn’t have the basic human decency to stick around afterwards.

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

52-year old man killed riding bike on PCH in Huntington Beach; 2nd Orange County bicycling fatality in past 6 days

SoCal’s killer highway has claimed yet another life.

And once again, in Huntington Beach.

According to the Daily Pilot, 52-year-old Kelly Carrington was riding on Pacific Coast Highway, just north of Seapoint Drive, when he was stuck by a 79-year old driver headed north on PCH around 11:20 last night.

He was dead before police arrived.

The driver, who has not been identified, remained at the scene. Both he and his wife suffered minor injuries, and were taken to a local hospital.

Police don’t believe he was under the influence.

Investigators say only that Carrington was in the roadway when he was killed, making it unclear whether he was riding in the traffic lane or crossing the roadway.

It’s also possible that he was riding on the shoulder, and only briefly entered the lane to avoid some obstacle.

Anyone with information is urged to call Huntington Beach traffic investigator Doug Demetre at 714/536-5670 or investigator Vishal Rattanchandani at 714/ 536-5231.

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

His death comes just six days after a 71-year old man was killed in a Fountain Valley hit-and-run while riding his bike.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kelly Carrington and his loved ones. 

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.

73-year old Laguna Beach homebuilder and nonprofit founder killed in apparent solo ebike crash

Sad news from Laguna Beach, where a prominent local resident was killed while riding his ebike.

According to the Laguna Beach Independent, 73-year old Norman Rest was found lying in the roadway bleeding profusely Monday evening, after apparently crashing his ebike into a dumpster.

The collision took place sometime before 5:44 pm near Canyon View Drive and Buena Vista Way. Rest reportedly went into full cardiac arrest as he was being treated by paramedics, and died after being taken to a nearby hospital.

The story notes that he was riding without a light, but it’s not clear at this time how long he may have been lying there after crashing his bike.

Canyon View appears to have a steep hill; if he was riding downhill, he could have picked up considerable speed before slamming into the dumpster.

It’s also possible that he could have been crowded off the roadway by a passing car, or that the dumpster could rolled into the street or been hidden behind a curve or some other obstacle.

Rest embarked on a career as a builder after building his own three-story home in Laguna Beach when he was just 21-years old. He went on to found a local sailing club with his father, and was co-owner of Lido Paddle Sports.

That led to co-founding a nonprofit organization with his wife last year dedicated to using paddle boarding to promote mental health for military vets and first responders.

This is at least the 60th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Orange County.

The last bicycling death in the county was also a solo crash, after a young mother of two crashed her ebike while riding with her family on the San Juan Creek Trail in San Juan Capistrano.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Norman Rest and all his family and loved ones. 

 

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