Tag Archive for Pomona

LADOT drops DTLA bike lanes in favor of parking, Pomona thinks bike lanes are for kids, and LAFD on bikes

One quick note.

I renewed my annual membership in the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition last night.

With the LACBC facing financial difficulties stemming from the coronavirus crisis, as well as major financial mismanagement by the previous executive director, who shall forevermore go unnamed here, it’s more important than ever to join or renew your membership

Or just make a donation to keep the LACBC fighting for your right to ride safely on our streets. 

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I have a confession to make.

Ever since the company my wife works for — correction, worked for — shut down for the coronavirus lockdown, never to return, I haven’t been able to dig into the details on bike projects the way I’d like.

As much as I enjoy having her around, I miss those nine hours or so to myself everyday to gets things done.

Fortunately, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton is here to take up the slack.

Because one of those projects, which I mentioned here last week, would install bus lanes, along with left-side protected bike lanes, on one-way 5th and 6th Streets in DTLA.

But what I didn’t realize was that those bike lanes are only planned for just over half of the 1.3 mile project.

As Joe explains it,

Overall this is a good project. It’s a worthwhile improvement over what is out there today.

I did get a little frustrated about bike lanes on these streets. The city is adding left-side bike lanes (a one-way street best practice – like bike lanes on Spring and Main Streets) but only on about 0.7-mile of the overall 1.3-mile project – just over half the project. The issue is parking – there are two blocks of on-street parking that would need to be removed. While I personally would favor removing that parking, I understand it’s not easy politically.

I am still frustrated though that the city is basically throwing out 7 blocks of bike lanes because just 2 blocks are difficult. I wrote a letter to try to get the city to do the remaining 5 easy blocks of bike lane – which would connect Pershing Square with the downtown library.

That’s right.

LADOT, which is supposedly tasked with implementing the mobility plan, bike plan, Vision Zero, and the mayor’s Green New Deal plan to dramatically reduce driving in the city, is skipping a full seven blocks of bike lanes in favor of two lousy blocks of car parking.

In Downtown Los Angeles, no less, which UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup describes as having more parking per acre than any other city.

No, anywhere.

Which pretty much tells you where people on bicycles rate in the city’s transportation hierarchy these days.

Like several steps below cars. And maybe a step or two above road kill.

Fortunately, Joe’s not one to soft pedal something like this.

He suggests emailing city officials to politely request that they install additional bike lanes, at least on the five blocks where it doesn’t require the removal of parking spaces, and wouldn’t inconvenience anyone.

And he even provides a sample letter, while stressing that you should put it in your own words.

Email addresses:

  • councilmember.huizar@lacity.org
  • mayor.helpdesk@lacity.org
  • seleta.reynolds@lacity.org
  • and bcc Joe Linton at linton.joe@gmail.com)

Sample letter:

Honorable Councilmember Huizar, Mayor Garcetti, and General Manager Reynolds –

I write to you in support of adding bus and bike lanes to the greatest extent possible on 5th and 6th Streets downtown.

BSS is repaving these streets starting June 15th. LADOT announced that bus lanes will be added from Figueroa to Central, and left-side bike lanes will be added from Spring to Central.

Thank you all for your role in bringing much needed bus lanes, which will improve transit, air quality, equity, and quality of life for Angelenos.

Thank you all for the needed bike lanes, which will improve safety and health. I urge you though to extend the bike lanes further than the current announced length. It appears that LADOT is skipping seven blocks (Figueroa to Spring) of bike lanes to preserve two blocks (Hill to Spring) of parking.

At a minimum, the city should install a left-side bike lane for the missing five blocks – from Hill to Figueroa – where there is sufficient space and no parking removal necessary. Adding this bike lane would keep cyclists safer, as well as keeping us out of the bus lane, making the bus lane more effective.

Sincerely,

[name]
[street address]

I’ll send my email later today. And I hope you will, too.

Because there’s no reason our safety should take a backseat to a parked car.

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Apparently, bike lanes are for kids in Pomona. Or at least, they now come under the Youth Services budget.

Thanks to Eric Griswold for the heads-up.

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Who needs a firetruck or paramedic unit when you’ve got bicycles?

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Bike Angeles takes a hi-def bike tour of the UCLA campus.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the link.

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This is exactly what Los Angeles isn’t doing right now.

But should be.

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Austrian mountain bikers Fabio Wibmer & Vali Höll are finally back to shredding after the country ended its lockdown and reopened the trails.

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Local

LA-based former pro Phil Gaimon shares his eating habits with Bicycling. And no, it isn’t just cookies.

A Santa Clarita bike rider was sent to the hospital after getting hit by a driver at Newhall Ranch Road and Santa Clarita Parkway on Monday; no word on the victim’s condition. Although it would be nice if story mentioned that the car even had a driver.

Creed star and Black Panther antagonist Michael B. Jordan is one of us, going for an “invigorating” LA mountain bike ride on Sunday, one week after his impassioned speech at a Black Lives Matter protest.

 

State

Advocacy group Bike Bakersfield is back in business 16 hours a week after shutting down for the coronavirus lockdown.

Calbike considers the planned Central Valley Bikeways Project, intended to connect several Central Valley cities with California’s high speed rail. Assuming the rail project actually gets built, that is.

The Sonoma bicyclist killed in a hit-and-run a couple weeks ago has been identified as a 35-year old Romanian entrepreneur, who was killed when a passing pickup driver struck him in the head with the truck’s wing mirror; the damaged truck was found a few miles away, but the driver still hasn’t been arrested.

 

National

The Associated Press catches up with the worldwide bike boom, saying Target and Walmart have been cleaned out of bicycles.

Thanks to kindhearted community members, a seven-year old Missouri girl with limited mobility in her legs can ride along with her dad in a custom-built sidecar attached to his bike.

This is why you don’t try to recover a stolen bike yourself. A Wisconsin man is lucky to be alive, and may still lose his arm, after he was shot while trying to reclaim his stepson’s stolen bicycle; a 17-year old teenager has been charged with the crime.

A new bike and pedestrian path has opened along a Tarrytown NY bridge, providing an iconic view made famous by the 18th Century Hudson River School of artists, as well as a grate view of the river 102 feet below. And no, that’s not a typo.

Fortune says bikes will have a new place in city life in New York, and around the world, as life rebounds from the coronavirus crisis.

 

International

Cycling News looks at the pros and cons of buying a gravel bike.

The Share the Road Cycling Coalition and The Centre for Active Transportation have posted a recording of their webinar Making Space: Biking out of the pandemic online. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

A Toronto man is biking 46 kilometers — the equivalent of 28.5 miles — or running 4.6 kilometers every day for 46 days to honor George Floyd, who was 46-years old when he was killed by a Minneapolis cop. Or ex-cop, now.

A British Parliamentary advisory group has concluded that e-scooters are inherently unsafe, while a European group says the risk is no greater than riding a bicycle.

According to an English author, one bright spot in the Covid-19 pandemic is the rise of bicycles, and the role they play in art and society.

A former bike shop owner, soon to be prime minister, negotiated a huge increase in active transportation spending, committing 10% of the country’s transportation budget on bicycling and another 10% on walking; two-thirds of the remaining 80% will go to public transit.

Bikes continue to boom in Kolkata as an alternative to mass transit in the age of Covid-19.

Chinese tech giant Tencent is building a carfree city of the future on reclaimed land in Shenzhen, centered on a green corridor for buses, bikes and autonomous vehicles

Taiwanese bikemakers and parts suppliers — including Giant, the world’s largest bikemaker — are pedaling faster than ever to catch up with the booming worldwide demand.

Seoul, Korea is planning to build another 14 miles of bikeways within the next year as the city plans a bike path network to “cut congestion, fight pollution and reduce energy use.”

People caught violating Japan’s strict new bike laws just twice in three years will have to take a traffic safety course, or pay the equivalent of a $460 fine.

Jakarta, Indonesia is bringing back their weekly Car Free Day, but limiting it to bike riding and walking, with no food services or other vendors.

Horrifying Twitter thread from Australia, where an aboriginal man was allegedly beaten by police for the crime of riding without a helmet and bike lights.

 

Competitive Cycling

After beating cancer twice and surviving getting hit by a truck while riding across the US, 40-year old endurance cyclist James Golding insists he’s going to win the Race Across America, even if he has to wait another year, after this year’s RAAM was canceled.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to jack a truck, don’t leave your bike in the back once you dump it. Your next e-mountain bike could take a selfie.

And doesn’t everyone take their pet chicken riding with them?

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Thanks to Scott R for his generous donation to help keep this site coming your way every day. Donations are always welcomed, especially now.

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

Morning Links: 63-year old bike rider killed in Pomona drive-by, Culver City bike petition, and free bike tourism doc

Tragic news from Pomona, where a 63-year old man riding a bike was killed in a drive-by shooting early Thursday morning.

Pomona resident Robert Arthur Fausto was shot at 12:49 am by the occupants of a small blue car, and pronounced dead at the scene.

Shootings like this usually turn out to be gang related, although the victim’s age might argue against that in this case.

Either way, he’s one more needless victim of violence. And one death too many.

Thanks to Henry Fung for the heads-up.

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LACBC neighborhood chapter Bike Culver City wants your signature on a petition calling on the city to stand by its ten-year old promise to complete a bike network and build infrastructure by the end of next year.

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J. Patrick Lynch forwards a new documentary from a Pittsburgh public TV station, as they take a 335-mile ride along the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath from Pittsburgh to DC.

Or as he put it, “Lots of interesting places and people, pared with some stunning scenery.”

The video is available free until the end of this month.

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Local

US News & World Report — yes, it’s still around — questions why Los Angeles is so dangerous for bike riders. Then fails to answer the question, and digs about as deep into the subject as scraping your fingernail through the dust.

You’re invited to help form a “ginormous” human bike sculpture at the Rose Bowl next month.

The Santa Monica Mirror credits LACBC neighborhood chapter Santa Monica Spoke for working with the city to improve safety for pedestrians as well as bicyclists through Leading Pedestrian Intervals.

A new 47-unit housing complex rising in Long Beach will have just 40 parking spaces, along with bike storage and a bike lounge where residents can work on their bicycles.

State

Just what the world needs. A $7,000, 45 mph ped-assist e-mountain bike made by a California company that would qualify as an electric motorcycle under state law, and requires a license, license plate and helmet. And isn’t likely to be allowed on any public trails.

La Jolla has unveiled new artistic bike racks as part of a redesign of the Children’s Pool Plaza. Thanks to Robert Leone for the links.

Santa Barbara is starting a weekly series of Cycling Without Age rides to help older people experience the joys of bicycling.

Palo Alto will take another crack at bikeshare, after last year’s pilot program failed due to staffing problems.

San Francisco settled for an undisclosed amount with a bike rider who was injured when a cop pulled his car into the bike lane he was riding in.

A Bay Area writer hopped on an e-scooter, and rode as far from civilization as he could before the battery gave out. Or until it locked up when it didn’t show up in the app anymore.

After months of discussion, Marin County finally approves allowing ebikes on paved bike paths and multiuse trails in county parks.

National

Bicycling talks with the person behind a parody instagram account that pillories sexist cycling ads.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says there’s no such thing as just one bike you’ll love riding for the rest of your life.

A new children’s book examines the perils of bicycle face and riding while female.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an 87-year old Texas man’s customized adult e-tricycle; it was his his only form of transportation after his eyesight started to fail.

A Queens NY newspaper says bike riders should stay in their lane, and not speculate about how a fatal bike crash happened or say bad things about the driver. Which might be valid if the NYPD didn’t have a long established bias against bicyclists, and a history of wrongly blaming bike riders for crashes. Which inevitably leads people to question their conclusions.

If you’re going to honor a fallen Philly pastry chef, a dessert-themed scavenger ride and bike rodeo makes sense. And calling it the ProfiteROLL, a stroke of genius.

A Virginia couple will ride across the US to raise funds to fight preeclampsia in honor of their son, who died just days after being born prematurely; they’ve raised over $5,000 of the $9,000 goal.

Charlotte NC plans to trade a traffic lane for the city’s first protected bike lane.

International

A new foldout bar end bike mirror is designed to give you a rear view when you need it and fold away when you don’t.

Good question. A Canadian paper asks what good is a dedicated bike lane if drivers park in it?

A bike rider says breaking his arm in a fall restored his faith in his fellow Londoners, and convinced him the world hadn’t gotten as mean as it seems.

Bicyclists in Manchester, England could soon get a winding, snake-style bike and pedestrian bridge as part of a $180 million bicycling and walking transportation plan.

Ebikes are boosting bike sales in Germany, with sales up 36% in the last year; one out of every four bikes sold in the country is electric.

Competitive Cycling

After finally getting around to banning Tramadol from the pro peloton, pro cycling’s governing body is looking to ban all corticosteroids next year; some — such as the asthma spray that raised questions about Chris Froome — have been allowed under a therapeutic use exemption, or TUE.

SoCal’s Coryn Rivera will wear the stars and stripes as she competes in Europe this year, after winning the US national championship last summer.

The Highland Community New says there was plenty of great racing at this year’s Redlands Classic; too bad almost no one showed up to watch.

Finally…

When riding the 1,600-mile Baja Divide on two wheels is one wheel too many. And the bike-riding wizarding world of fire investigation.

Update: Bike rider killed in early morning crash with a truck driver in Pomona

A man has been killed in a collision with a truck while riding his bicycle in Pomona this morning.

Unfortunately, that’s about all we know right now.

According to KCBS-2, the victim, described only as a man in his 40s, was struck and killed by the driver of a semi-truck in the 2800 block of Pomona Boulevard, a block east of the 57 Freeway, at 4:22 am.

The driver reportedly remained at the scene of the crash and was cooperating with investigators.

No other information is available at this time.

A street view shows a wide two lane street with a center turn lane in an industrial area, and a wide parking lane that would probably have been empty at that hour.

Meanwhile, a brief video from KCBS-2 says the victim was thrown a significant distance from the crash site, suggesting that the driver may have been traveling at a relatively high rate of speed.

This is the eighth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third Los Angeles County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 49-year old Robert Evans; no hometown was given.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Robert Evans and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Henry Fung for the heads-up. 

Morning Links: Rough days for SoCal cyclists, RAAM champ critically injured, and Pokémon goes Ovarian Psychos

It’s been a rough few days for SoCal cyclists.

A bike rider was hospitalized after being struck by a car in Pomona Monday night; no word on the victim’s condition. Thanks to Joe Linton for the heads-up.

A 16-year old girl is in critical condition after being hit by a Dial-A-Ride Bus while riding in Riverside with her mother; KABC-7 shows her mangled bike.

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Sad news from Ohio, as Danny Chew, two-time winner of the Race Across America, was paralyzed from the waist down after a solo fall while riding with a friend near Lodi, Ohio.

Chew was riding around 20 to 25 mph when he drifted off the road as the result of a dizzy spell, and broke his neck crashing into a drainage ditch. His long-term prognosis following emergency surgery won’t be known for several days.

A crowdfunding site has raised over $37,000 to help pay his medical bills.

He is an eight-time RAAM finisher, once crossing the US in eight days, seven hours, and 14 minutes as a solo competitor, and just 200,000 miles from his goal of riding one million miles on his bike.

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Three-time Vuelta winner Alberto Contador predicts Columbia’s Nairo Quintana will win this year’s race, though second place Chris Froome still has his hopes up.

Froome insists over half of the peloton should have been eliminated for missing the time cut-off, which would have left just 71 riders to finish the race.

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Local

Former LA City Controller Laura Chick endorses Jesse Creed in his race to oust incumbent Paul “No Bikes On Westwood” Koretz from the city council. Meanwhile, Josef-Bray Ali is hosting a fundraiser this Monday in his race to unseat Gil “No Bikes Anywhere” Cedillo.

Curbed races to Dodger Stadium to find the fastest way to get there from Union Station; the bicycle finished a close second to the car. But didn’t have to pay those parking fees, either.

Harrison Ford may be one of us, but doesn’t seem to have the hang of roof racks yet. Thanks to Steve Herbert for the link.

CiclaValley feels the call of the Great White North.

Pasadena’s Public Health Director will tell the city’s Complete Streets Coalition that their work aligns with public health efforts at the coalition’s monthly meeting tonight.

That didn’t take long. Just weeks after the Raleigh bike store opened in Santa Monica, thieves broke in early Monday and stole five e-bikes worth nearly $20,000.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson urges everyone to come out to support bike safety efforts in NIMBY haven Palos Verdes Estates at tonight’s Traffic Safety Committee meeting.

 

State

An Anaheim man has ridden across the country 64 times to raise funds to fight multiple sclerosis.

Santa Ana is offering eight hour Confident Cycling classes the next two weekends.

A writer for a North San Diego County paper calls for curb protected bike lanes to replace the painted lanes in the wake of a hit-and-run that left a cyclist seriously injured.

Sacramento police make their 41st bait bike arrest of the year to fight back against bike theft. Los Angeles doesn’t even have a bait bike program.

 

National

A health website attempts to raise a panic about the harmful effects of bicycling, which turns out to be nothing more than the old discredited fears that too much riding may make you a candidate for those ED commercials.

CNET recommends a $45 waterproof, 1080p action cam.

A new $250 smartphone attachment will allow you to control your phone and answer calls without taking your hands off your handlebars. Or you can get all that built into your helmet.

A Boulder CO designer has created a simplified bikeway map that includes ratings for difficulty.

Wichita KS changes the law to make biking under the influence a less serious offense than DUI.

A Dallas cyclist nearly gets into a fight with an aggressive driver who tells him to get on the sidewalk.

An Arkansas mountain bike park draws 1,000 cyclists a week; it will be the site of the International Mountain Bicycling World Summit in November.

An Ohio man gets four years in prison for blinding a 72-year old bike rider in one eye with a paint gun; however, he could be out in as little as six months with good behavior. Another reminder to always wear some form of eye protection while you ride. And have a good lawyer on speed dial.

New York’s Vision Zero is too ambitious, according to a writer the Post, who proposes making it Vision 123 instead.

The New York Times discovers the Rolling Coal movement, and drivers who think they have a God-given right to belch soot and smoke in the face of bike riders and pedestrians.

Solange Knowles is one of us, as she takes Ed Droste on a bike tour of her adopted hometown of New Orleans.

 

International

Yahoo offers typo-filled advice on how to ride your bike around the world.

Bike Radar lists the ten best movies about roadies. No, not those roadies.

City Lab takes up the issue of whether traffic dangers and population outweighs the benefits of bicycling, after the recent report from the Financial Times, and concludes the real danger is sitting on your ass. Thanks to Jon and Patrick Murray for the FT link.

An Ottawa columnist says separated bike lanes aren’t enough to protect cyclists, while another urges the city to embrace Vision Zero and consider all traffic deaths preventable.

Montreal considers improving safety for bicyclists by narrowing lanes, reducing speed limits and moving stop lines back to make room for bike riders at traffic lights.

A London bike lawyer says the police response to the recent Jeremy Vine case offers hope that they might finally take incidents involving other riders seriously.

Caught on video: A London cyclist catches a bus driver using his phone to place bets on soccer while driving.

A recent Polish immigrant tells the horrifying story of the vicious gay bashing he suffered while riding his bike in a Dublin park, and the suggestion from the investigating officer that he somehow provoked it. And what the hell difference would it make if he did?

Welsh cyclists — and anyone else — now have the legal right to propose new biking and walking routes, and local leaders are required to listen.

Apparently, road rage is no different in Mumbai than anywhere else.

 

Finally…

That’s not a bike, it’s a pedal-powered seismograph. Throwing your bike at police officers after stealing hash browns from McDonalds is not a generally accepted usage.

And let’s all go for a musical Pokémon bike ride.

Especially since the video seems to feature LA’s Ovarian Psychos.

Pokemon

Ovarian Psychos

Update: Pomona bike rider killed by suspected drunk driver early Saturday morning; 5th cyclist killed in the city in 17 months

This is not the news we wanted to start the weekend.

According to the Daily Bulletin, a bike rider was killed by a suspected drunk driver in Pomona early this morning.

The victim, identified only as a man in his 40s or 50s, was riding north on Garey Avenue when he was rear-ended by a white 2011 BMW 3351 just north of Philadelphia Street at 2:32 am. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died shortly later.

The driver, 25-year old Chino resident Rick Kyujin Lee, was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving causing death and vehicular manslaughter.

The Daily Bulletin says the victim was riding on the right shoulder, while KABC-7 places him near the shoulder. However, a street view shows a typical four lane street with a center median, but no apparent shoulder; he may have been hugging the curb to the far right.

If they haven’t yet, someone will inevitably question in the comments why anyone would be riding a bike at that hour. Of course, bike riders travel at all hours of the day or night for all kinds of reasons, just as drivers do; it’s possible the victim may have been leaving work or coming home from a night out, or just out for a late night ride.

Given the frequent lack of follow-up, we may never know.

That said, the early morning hours after the bars close is one of the most dangerous times to ride due to the high number of drunks on the road at that time, requiring riders to be extra alert.

There’s also no mention of whether the victim had lights and reflectors on his bike, as required at that hour. However, the police and press usually go out of their way to mention the lack of lights if a rider wasn’t using them.

And the victim could have been lit up like a Christmas tree and still been unable to avoid a driver apparently unable to control his car and keep it from drifting to the right.

This is the 54th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 22nd in Los Angeles County. And it’s the 5th bike death in Pomona since the death of Ivan Aguilar in February of last year, suggesting that the city may have a serious safety problem.

Update: The victim has been identified as 57-year old Luis Raymundo Espinoza-Moreno.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Luis Raymundo Espinoza-Moreno and all his loved ones.

 

 

 

Update: Pomona cyclist killed in collision with Foothill Transit bus

Word is just coming in that a bike rider was killed in Pomona this morning.

According to an announcement from the Pomona Police Department, the victim, identified only as an adult in his 40s, was hit by a Foothill Transit bus on White Ave between Orange Grove and Holt Avenues. The bus line serves cities in the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys.

No other information is available at this time.

This is the eighth confirmed bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in Los Angeles County. It’s also the fourth bike-related fatality in Pomona in the last 12 months.

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

Update: A report from KABC-7 places the time of the collision at 5:45 am, and the location as the intersection of White Ave and Alvarado Street. The victim was pronounced dead at Pomona Valley Medical Center.

Update 2: The San Bernardino Sun and Inland Valley Daily Bulletin report the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was a 42-year old man. They also place the location two blocks south of Alvarado, near the intersection of White Ave and Chester Place.

The papers report the bus was traveling north on White at the time of the collision; no information was available on which direction the victim was riding or how the collision occurred.

The incident is still under investigation; a nearby resident reports that someone moved the bike closer to the victim from where it originally landed to a location closer to the victim, where it was run over by a passing vehicle, which will undoubtedly complicate the investigation. 

Anyone with information is urged to call the Pomona Police Department’s Traffic Services Unit at 909-620-2081.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

Update 3: According to a blog post from the Seegmiller Law Firm, the victim has been identified as 42-year old Villa Park resident Steven Slater. The site also reports some passengers on the bus suffered soft tissue injuries in the collision. Thanks to West Seegmiller for the heads-up.

It’s a very sad commentary on today’s media when an attorney scoops every press outlet in identifying the victim of a collision.

Update: Bad news on a beautiful day; cyclist killed in Pomona shooting, another rider seriously injured in Tarzana

Just a quick note to take the shine off this beautiful Sunday.

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A bike rider was shot and killed in Pomona last night.

According to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, 45-year old Pomona resident Jose Cerda was riding on Lexington Avenue just west of Garey Ave around 9:30 pm when a vehicle pulled up next to him and one of the occupants opened fire, shooting him several times.

Cerda was pronounced dead at the scene.

He was just the first of three people killed by gunfire in the city overnight, in what would appear to by a series of drive-by shootings.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Pomona Police Department Detective Bureau at 909-620-2085.

Update:  According to the LA Times, no one has been arrested yet in any of the shootings; no word on whether police have any suspects or if the shootings are related.

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I’ve also gotten word of a serious collision involving a bike rider in Tarzana last night.

An email from reliable source says he was driving with his family along Reseda Blvd near the 101 Freeway overpass around 5:50 last night when he came upon the immediate aftermath of collision involving a bike and a car.

He arrived before the paramedics, and said the victim, who was not wearing a helmet, appeared to have been gravely wounded with a serious head injury.

Thankfully, the driver had remained at the scene; the window on the small car was completely smashed. Judging from the damage and position of the car, he said it did not appear to be a hit-from-behind collision, but couldn’t tell from what he saw how it might have happened.

As a frequent rider in the area, he reports the area is very congested with heavy vehicle traffic due to the freeway offramp, and that riding there can be challenging. despite the presence of a bike lane.

I haven’t been able to find any confirmation of the collision yet; however, knowing the source, I have no reason to question what he saw. Not surprisingly, he says he and his entire family were traumatized by what they witnessed.

Once again, it sounds like prayers or best wishes are in order, whatever you’re most comfortable with.

Thanks to Bro Dave for the heads-up.

Update: Sgt. Stephen Egan, the bike liaison for the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division, reports that the collision occurred at 5:50 pm Saturday at the intersection Reseda and Collins. The driver was making a turn when he hit the rider; which way he was turning or what street he was turning onto is not clear at this time. 

The victim was transported to a local hospital with severe head trauma.

MB reports in the comments that the victim was wearing a helmet, but it was evidently knocked off by the force of the impact.

Update 2: Bad news. I’ve just gotten word that the victim died of his injuries last week. I’m trying to get more information.

Charge filed in death of bike-riding Cal Poly Pomona student Ivan Aguilar; is the university really at fault?

A bike-riding college student is dead.

The driver who took his life faces a relative slap on the wrist.

And the campus where he was killed appears to be doing little or nothing to protect cyclists on campus.

Instead, Cal Poly Pomona seems to be hiding behind California’s devastating 85th Percentile Law to justify plans to raise speed limits on campus, making it even more dangerous for anyone on foot or two wheels.

Or at least, that was the gist of a Twitter conversation I had with representatives of the school Wednesday morning.

The outpouring of grief that followed the death of Cal Poly Pomona student and cyclist Ivan Aguilar should have spurred immediate action to tame what is reportedly dangerously out of control traffic on campus, where numerous students have reported feeling unsafe walking or biking.

Yet four months later, no changes have been made to protect students and faculty — not even on the street where Aguilar lost his life. And none are currently planned.

In fact, the school’s new 2013 traffic study doesn’t even include the words bicycle, bicyclist or pedestrian, according to a story by Beau Yarbrough in the Daily Bulletin.

Kind of makes it hard to make meaningful improvements when nothing is considered except speeding motor vehicle traffic flow.

Although to be fair, they have talked about bikes.

Key word being, talked.

But traffic plans that don’t even consider non-motorized transportation show just how out of touch campus leaders are. And how far the school has to go to make it safe for anyone, let alone everyone, whether on two feet, two wheels or four.

Apparently, those students are right to be afraid.

Especially when the death of a popular and promising young man leads to nothing more serious than a misdemeanor charge with a maximum penalty of just one year in county jail.

According to the Daily Bulletin, CPP Civil Engineering student Gonzalo Aranguiz Salazar will face a charge of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence.

In other words, pretty much the mildest charge authorities could file under the circumstances, while still holding someone accountable for the death.

Is that justice?

I have no idea.

I’ve yet to see any description from any source of how the collision occurred. No word whatsoever on how fast the driver was going, or if he broke any traffic laws leading up to the impact with Aguilar.

Apparently, it’s on a need to know basis.  And no one with knowledge of the investigation seems to think you or I need to know.

We’re just expected to accept that the charges are fair and appropriate given the top secret circumstances.

Sort of like we’re supposed to trust that campus administrators have the safety of their students at heart, on a campus that does not include a single inch of bicycling infrastructure.

Beverly Hills, meet your collegiate counterpart.

In all honesty, I’m not sure Salazar is the one who should be facing charges.

But you can’t charge a college with living in the auto-centric past and favoring motorists at the expense of every other road user. As much as it may be deserved.

But something tells me Cal Poly Pomona won’t make the list of bicycle-friendly universities anytime soon.

Update: Gottobike forwards a quote from American bike racer Ted King that seems oddly appropriate to this discussion:

It is impossible to find solutions when you’re busy making excuses.

And Boyonabike reminds me of something I let slide from the Daily Bulletin story about the Salazar charge, and shouldn’t have. 

The story quotes Megan Chaney, director of Clinical Programs and Experiential Learning and Associate Professor of Law at the University of La Verne College of Law, explaining why a misdemeanor charge may be appropriate in this case.

“A lot of time when somebody plows into somebody in a crosswalk or an intersection, it’s just an accident,” Chaney said Wednesday. “We put the onus, the responsibility on the driver, not the pedestrian, unless they’ve done something really horrible….”

“You’re allowed to look at the radio; that’s why you’ve got a radio. You drop your water bottle and look down to pick it up,” she said. “You really weren’t acting with any sort of criminal culpability. “

That’s the problem.

As a society, we’ve chosen not to hold drivers responsible for all but the most extreme actions behind the wheel. The collisions that result from carelessness, distraction or relatively minor violations of the law are excused as mere accidents, and left for the insurance companies to deal with, with little or no consequences for the drivers involved.

And that’s why we continue to have 30,000 +/- deaths on American streets each year.

It may be the current legal standard. 

But actions that result in the death or serious injuries of others should never be accepted. Or excused. Motor vehicles are, by their very nature, dangerous machines, and their operators can and should be expected to use the same caution behind the wheel that we expect from those involved in any other hazardous situation.

When life is taken more seriously than simple convenience on our streets, then — and only then — will anyone be safe on our streets.

Update: Cyclist killed near Cal Poly Pomona; third Pomona bicycling fatality this year

What the hell is happening in Pomona?

News is just breaking this morning of yet another bicycling fatality in Pomona, the third so far this year — putting it on the near one-a-month pace more typically shown by San Diego and Orange Counties. Not a city of just 150,000.

According to KABC-7, the rider, who has not been publicly identified, was reportedly riding east on Valley Blvd near Dupont Street just after midnight when he crossed over the westbound lanes and was hit by a white Mercedes Benz. The driver, 25-year old William Johnson of Beaumont, allegedly drove on for some distance before stopping to call the police.

The victim died at the scene. The station reports that the area is very dark at night; no word on whether he had lights or reflectors on his bike.

The location is near DeVry University and not far from Cal Poly Pomona, where Ivan Aguilar was killed riding to campus earlier this year; another rider died in an apparent fall in March.

KTLA-5 identifies the bike as a Schwinn 10-speed, which was badly mangled in the crash. The car had a dented hood and broken windshield.

And no, KTLA, the driver’s actions are not exactly what a motorist should do in the event of a collision. Drivers are expected to remain at the scene of a collision and render aid to the victim, not leave him bleeding in the street, then call police after driving away.

Yes, there are circumstances in which motorists are allowed to drive to a safer location before stopping; whether that happened here is unclear at this time.

Johnson has been interviewed by the police, and has not been placed under arrest at this time. The investigation is still ongoing, and anyone with information is urged to call Pomona police at 909-620-2081.

This is the 15th 16th bicycling fatality in Southern California so far this year, and remarkably, the ninth in Los Angeles County; that compares to just two in L.A. County this time last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers go out to the victim and his family. 

Thanks to Alan Thompson and Kevin Yuskoff for the heads-up.

Update: the Banning-Beaumont Patch says the still-unidentified victim was in his 40s.

Update 2: Details continue to trickle in, as the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin describes the victim as a Hispanic man in his 40s. The paper also notes that the collision take place just west of a billboard with Metro’s new Every Lane is a Bike Lane safety campaign; for whatever reason, it didn’t help this time.

Update 3: I’ve just become aware of another bicycling fatality which occurred in Apple Valley on March 1st, in which 56-year old Kevin Olin was rear-ended while riding in a bike lane. That raises the total number of 2013 Southern California bicycling fatalities to 16.

Breaking news — bike rider killed in apparent fall; second Pomona cyclist to die in three weeks

News is just breaking of yet another bicycling fatality, the third in Southern California this weekend.

According to the San Bernadino Sun, Pomona police are investigating the death of a bike rider near Ganesha Park sometime Sunday evening. KCBS-2/KCAL-9 reports the victim apparently died as the result of a fall.

No other details are available at this time.

And yes, I’m getting very tired of writing that.

This is the 10th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 4th in the last two weeks. Tragically, half of those deaths have occurred in Los Angeles County; this is also the second cyclist to die in the city of Pomona in just the last three weeks, following the death of Ivan Aguilar on the Cal Poly Pomona campus last month.

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

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