Tag Archive for rear-end collision

San Diego bike rider gravely injured, waking the two-wheeled giant of LA politics, and biking to school in the rain

It’s the last ten days of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Thanks to Michael W and Dan W — no relation — for their generous donations to help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

I often ask you to support other people and causes throughout the year. But this is the only time all year I actively ask for your financial support for this site. 

So take a moment now to give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

It’s okay, we’ll wait. 

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Bad news from San Diego.

A 51-year old man suffered life-threatening injuries when a driver rear-ended his bicycle, after he allegedly left a bike lane and veered into traffic, although it’s possible he may have been trying to make a left turn.

The crash occurred around 5 pm Monday in the 5900 block of University Ave in the Redwood Village neighborhood.

Sadly, police said the victim is not expected to survive.

Let’s hope they’re wrong.

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As Streetsblog’s Joe Linton makes clear, Southern California “rarely misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity when it comes to bike lanes.”

Including bike lanes already been approved by Metro, Los Angeles and/or Caltrans, but never installed.

Even when the cost is nothing more than a few cans of paint.

Recently, there has been a frustratingly continuous drumbeat of planned bikeways being left off of large-scale southern California construction projects.

There are a host of reasons for the omissions. Numerous agencies are involved, though it’s mostly Metro, Caltrans, and L.A. City Public Works Department bureaus. The effect is the same: missed opportunities for interconnected facilities that would move the southland closer to becoming a safe and convenient place to get around by bike.

He goes on to cite a long list of recent projects where previously approved bike lanes were either downgraded or omitted entirely.

From the infamous Northvale Gap in the E Line — nee Expo — bike path, to the upcoming Van Nuys Blvd light rail project, which was supposed to include nine-miles of bike lanes along the rail route, but will now preserve that road space for cars.

And that doesn’t include countless other bike lanes that government officials have already committed to, but which have been unceremoniously shelved, often with little or no fanfare.

Here’s Linton again.

What is exasperating is that agencies already have approved bike plans – often the result of a great deal of advocacy pressure from cyclists. L.A. City adopted its Mobility Plan in 2015. Metro approved its Complete Streets Policy in 2014 (and received national recognition for it.) That policy builds on Metro’s 2014 First/Last Mile Strategic Plan. Even Caltrans recently released its own Statewide Complete Streets Policy.

Bike riders press to get bikeway facilities included during project planning processes, often to be told that there just isn’t space or funding or staffing or something-or-other for bikeways. Then, even when agencies (often reluctantly) approve bikeways as part of larger plans, they are dropped in full or in part during construction – as if bicycling is just not a valid way to get around, and as if the safety of bicyclists just isn’t quite worth following through on.

The bottom line, though, is that crap like this only happens because we let them get away with it.

As I’ve stressed before, the bicycling community is the sleeping giant of Los Angeles politics.

Don’t believe me?

In the 2010 bike plan that was unanimously approved by the city council, the city estimated that 434,161 Angelenos ride their bikes at least once a month.

From the 2010 Los Angeles bike plan

That’s more than the entire 407,147 votes cast in the last mayoral election, which put Eric Garcetti back in office for his final term.

Never mind the estimated 786,918 people who ride every summer, or the 1,356,754 who ride sometimes. Let alone the overwhelming majority of people in Los Angeles who say they’d like to ride a bike more, if they only felt safer on the streets.

So let’s wake that sleeping Giant.

We have the perfect opportunity to be heard, and to make a real difference in this city with the upcoming 2022 elections — the first time since 2013 we will be electing someone other than the disappointing, and soon to be disappearing, Garcetti. Not to mention half of the city council, including a number of open and contested seats.

It’s up to us to make enough noise that we can’t be ignored.

And then hold their feet to the fire once they get elected.

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As George Bernard Shaw once wrote, “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

Which applies perfectly to all those drivers who insist you can’t ride a bike in the rain. Let alone drop off your kids at school.

And to which Streets For All founder Michael Schneider responds with actions, not words.

Okay, so he explains with words, too.

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There’s a bike path in there somewhere. Let’s see how long it takes the county to clear it this time.

Since they didn’t do so great before.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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Here’s your chance to ask for bike lanes in Larchmont.

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Good to hear from our old friend Opus the Poet, even if the news he shared wasn’t.

There was a YouTube creator hit on an e-bike in a hit and run.
Suspect vehicle was a black SUV of unknown make, model, and year. Victim’s insulin pump was destroyed in the wreck, to give an idea of how violent the wreck was.

It starts around the one minute mark. Unfortunately, while Hartford lives in California, she doesn’t say where the crash happened.

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

San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Rudick discovers that some Sprouts security guards didn’t get the memo when it comes to letting shoppers into the store with a bicycle. Adding insult to injury, one even told him to get a car.

A British Columbia man got 21 months behind bars for deliberately running down a bike-riding neighbor he’d been quarreling with, leaving the other man with serious injuries.

A British petition to force bike riders to use bike lanes and wear numbered bibs has drawn 10,000 signatures, which will require a government response.

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

A man in Mad City, Wisconsin fled on his bicycle after attacking another man with a baseball bat following an argument in a convenience store. Although there’s no explanation for why he had a baseball bat with him on his bike in the first place.

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Local

Spectrum News 1 offers five things you need to know about illegal street racing and takeovers, like the tidbit that street racing collisions have tripled in Los Angeles this year — including the death of a USC student killed by street racers this past weekend.

 

State

A San Clemente mountain biker was the victim of an off-road hit-and-run when he was knocked down on a trail by a man riding an electric motorcycle, who fled the scene.

The founder of Bike Index says OfferUp refuses to do anything to curb scammers, after a man ran off with a San Marcos man’s bike in response to an OfferUp ad, after handing him a bag supposedly full of cash to buy it.

 

National

A new report from the Coalition for a Prosperous America says the US must build back bike manufacturing in this country if we want the pandemic-induced bike boom to continue; over 97% of bikes sold in the US come from outside the country, with over 86% coming from China alone. Just like virtually every other American industry these days. Thanks again to Keith Johnson. 

A green business site calls ebikes the “uncelebrated heroes” of last-mile delivery.

Seattle attorneys are filing suit against the city and a local railroad over injuries to several bike riders resulting from a 1.4-mile gap in the Burke-Gilman Trail, as local business owners and trucking companies fight plans to close it. Maybe if we did that here, we might not have such a problem with all those disappearing bike lanes.

Seattle’s Rad Power Bikes announced plans to raise prices across the board on all their ebikes in response to the ongoing supply chain issues.

The woman who killed a prominent San Antonio surgeon in a drunken crash as he was riding his bike has been sentenced to a well-deserved 15 years behind bars.

A Massachusetts man who raised over $70,000 for cancer research, as well as raising funds for an Israeli charity for people with disabilities, now needs help with his own disability after September crash while riding his bike left him a paraplegic; a crowdfunding page has raised over $103,000 of the $250,000 goal.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old Florida man has ridden 3,500 miles on his bike this year.

 

International

Momentum reports cities around the world are sacrificing parking spaces to make room for people on the streets. Including people on two wheels. Unlike a certain SoCal megalopolis we could name.

A new combo bike cam promises a 80 lumen tail light, combined with a camera capable of recording 9.5 hours of 1080p video and audio; it’ll set you back $182 on Kickstarter right now.

No bias here. Politico says Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has lost the love of Parisians in her efforts to transform the city into a “green cyclist’s utopia.” Even though she was just re-elected last year after already setting much of the changes in motion.

A German court is set rule on whether an alleged bike-riding Russian hit man killed a former Chechen commander in a Berlin park on orders from Moscow.

Over 3,000 people have signed a petition calling on Lisbon, Portugal to keep a bike lane until another safe alternative can be found, while more than 1,000 turned out for a demonstration demanding it stay in place.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews offers a series of photos from the 2021 Cyclocross National Championships in Chicago, as a where a first lap breakaway led to six riders spending the rest of the race chasing eventual winner Eric Brunner.

 

Finally…

Who knew Best Buy sells ebikes — or that we’re a day late and $500 short. That feeling when you’ve spent your career torturing bikes and the people who make them.

And maybe consider adding an air horn or two for extra safety and entertainment on your bike.

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

Ex-NBA star Shawn Bradley paralyzed in bike crash, Lime gets colorful, and calls for all bikes to be included in Fed rebate plan

Let’s start with the bad news.

Former NBA star Shawn Bradley, one of the tallest men to play pro basketball, announced yesterday that he’s now paralyzed after he was struck by a driver while riding his bicycle.

The 7’6″ center played 11 seasons in the NBA, the last eight with the Dallas Mavericks, where he became a cornerstone of the team.

According to Bradley, he was just a block from his home in St. George, Utah, when he was run down from behind eight weeks ago.

He suffered a traumatic injury to his spinal cord and underwent surgery to fuse vertebra in his neck. There’s no word on where the paralysis starts, but it implies he may be paralyzed from the neck down.

There’s also no word on whether his condition is permanent. Doctors predict an extremely difficult recovery, while the eight week delay in announcing the injury suggests he may have waited in vain for signs of improvement before going public.

And there’s no mention made of the driver, or whether any charges will be filed.

But as many people have commented on social media, it would have been very hard not to see a seven and a half foot man on a bicycle directly in front of his or her car.

Bradley now plans to use his injury to promote bicycle safety.

And yes, this is exactly the cost of traffic violence.

Meanwhile, Slate gets it, writing that Bradley’s crash is no more a “bicycle accident” than a shark attack is a swimming accident.

Thanks to Opus the Poet and Anthony D. Morrow for the heads-up.

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Lime is unveiling colorful, new and improved e-scooters in the City of Angels.

The new Lime scooter ​features upgrades that make it slightly heavier than the current G2.5 fleet, leading to more stability and durability during rides. Larger wheels and improved suspension lend to a smoother ride, particularly when riding over bumps. The upgraded battery can support up to 18.6 miles on a single charge, versus 14 miles with the older fleet. Other features include:

  •  Dynamic brake on front wheel and drum brake on rear wheel
  • Bicycle-style brake lever on handle bars
  • Motor lock on front wheel when not in use
  • Bluetooth-enabled locking cable that can be attached
  • Folding kickstand, optimized for stability

 

The company also wants to give you a deal to check it out.

To help riders get acclimated to its new scooter fleet, Lime is running a promotion for those who spot one of the first scooters to be deployed this week. From today until Wednesday, March 24th, if riders in LA share a photo of the new scooter design on social media with #LimeisRedLA, Lime will provide the rider a promocode for a free unlock.

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C|net examines the proposal for a $1,500 federal rebate on the purchase of a ebike.

However, a couple people wisely pointed out in yesterday’s comments that any rebate should apply to regular bicycles, as well as ebikes.

Because regular bikes offer exactly the same social and economic benefits as ebikes, with less damage to the environment from power generation and discarded batteries.

Although more ebikes still represents a massive improvement compared to motor vehicles.

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This is what can be done with a little imagination.

Thanks to Shadow Teams for forwarding the tweet.

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How to ride a bike with no hands, in case you failed to master the skill in your youth.

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

No bias here. The BBC is criticized for a “one-sided” report on London’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods — the equivalent of Slow Streets in the US — that was “devoid of any fact-checking.” Meanwhile, a Parliament member claims LTNs are “more contentious than air strikes on Syria.” Scroll down if that last link doesn’t land in the right spot.

London’s Kensington and Chelsea districts deny pleas for the return of a popup bike lane that was unceremoniously ripped out after just seven weeks last December, even though the public supports it by a two-to-one margin.

A red light-running driver nearly takes out a Singapore bike rider crossing legally in a crosswalk, with the green light.

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

It takes a major schmuck to punch a 14-year old New York boy in the face, then ride off with his cellphone.

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Local

LAist looks at what legalizing speed cams would mean for Los Angeles.

Transportation PAC Streets For All unveils their public policy positions for a greener, more sustainable and equitable Los Angeles.

Long Beach community members remember longtime bike advocate Mark Bixby and four others who died in a plane crash ten years ago; credit Bixby with fighting for bike lanes on the new Gerald Desmond Bridge.

 

State

A Santa Barbara woman takes an “easy, breezy” afternoon ride on the city’s new bikeshare program.

Los Altos approves the Bay Area city’s first two-way cycle track.

Better late than never. Livermore police have belatedly decided that a fallen bike rider wasn’t at fault after all when she was fatally right hooked by a truck driver, who fled the scene following the crash; they had originally blamed her for riding in the crosswalk, which is perfectly legal under California law.

 

National

The new Kit Critic for VeloNews explains how and why she breaks all the bikewear rules.

Evidently, it’s not just Los Angeles. We’ve spent the last couple days discussing the dangers of speeding drivers; now a new study from Portland lays the blame for a rash of pedestrian deaths at the feet of drivers who can’t seem to keep their feet off the gas.

Kindhearted cops in Walla Walla, Washington gave a new bike to a high school student who needed transportation to get to his job; the Walla Walla Area Crime Watch has donated 180 bicycles to people in need in the last six years. And yes, it’s entirely possible that I included this item just for the chance to keep repeating Walla Walla.

Houston students may be learning virtually, but an elementary school book bike is proving to be a huge hit to keep students engaged and learning.

Cannondale’s new Times Square ad campaign promotes ebikes, while Brompton tackles agism.

A Philadelphia op-ed says Vision Zero is crucial to the city’s future.

Awful news from Miami, where an entertainment and technology expert and experienced bicyclist tried to beat a drawbridge on his bike and didn’t make it, falling to his death.

 

International

Road.cc offers advice on how to buy a bike cam, and recommends their picks to record your rides. Seriously, a cam mounted to your bike or helmet is the best legal protection if anything happens when you’re riding — and the best way to keep from getting blamed for it.

Wisely or not, Montreal leaves Covid fears behind and makes plans to revive the city’s edition of the World Naked Bike Ride this July.

Comic actress Rebel Wilson is one of us, riding a bicycle around a London hotel ballroom to promote her new role while showing off her newly svelte-ish figure.

Mark Reilly, one of the UK’s most respected framebuilders, passed away recently; he was just 53.

Apparently, bike shop burglaries are a problem in the UK, too

Three professional Kashmiri cyclists pooled their money to open a mountain bike shop.

 

Competitive Cycling

A new Aussie documentary celebrates Phil Liggett as the voice of cycling.

 

Finally…

That feeling when being an ex-president doesn’t spare you from your wife’s criticisms about your bike riding. That feeling when the bike boom has nothing to do with all those bike helmets flying off the shelves — maybe literally.

And if you don’t want to get caught, maybe try stealing bicycles from a different damn trailer park every now and then.

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

32-year old man riding bike killed in collision with SUV driver near El Cajon

A man was killed riding a bike on a country road east of El Cajon Wednesday night.

And for a change, investigators were quick to blame the driver.

According to multiple identical stories from the City News Service, the victim was riding a cruiser bike on east Willow Glen Drive, west of Dehesa Road near the Singing Hills Golf Resort, when he was run down from behind at 7:20 pm.

The helmetless victim, who has been identified only as a 32-year old man, died at the scene.

A CHP spokesman said the eastbound driver, a 48-year man from El Cajon, somehow drifted to the right, striking the victim’s bike at around 45 mph and hurling him to the roadway.

The driver remained at the scene; police don’t believe drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash. However, there’s no word on whether the driver’s phone was examined for evidence of distracted driving.

There’s also no word on whether the victim suffered a head injury; if not, it really doesn’t matter whether or not he had a helmet. And a crash at that speed was likely not survivable, with or without one.

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

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

Man killed riding bike in early morning Lancaster collision Friday

Friday was not a good day for Southern California bike riders.

Just a few hours before a San Diego bike rider was killed in a solo crash, another man lost his life riding a bike in Lancaster.

According to the Antelope Valley Press, the victim, identified only as an adult man, was riding east on Ave I east of 55th Street West at 4:44 am when he was run down from behind by a man driving a Honda SUV.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A street view shows a two lane roadway with a narrow paved shoulder, and no street lighting.

There’s no word on whether the victim had lights on his bike two hours before sunrise, or if there was some other reason why the driver failed to see a grown man on a bicycle directly in front of him.

Sheriff’s deputies say the driver did not appear to be under the influence, and speed did not appear to be a factor.

Which is only partially correct; speed is always a factor in a fatal crash, even if the driver was not exceeding the posted speed limit; slower speeds make collisions both more avoidable and more survivable.

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

This is at least the 42nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the tenth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

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

Yucca Valley bike rider killed in rear-end collision yesterday; 50th SoCal bicycling death this year

It should be safe to ride a bike on the shoulder of a roadway in broad daylight.

But that wasn’t the case yesterday morning, when a man was killed while riding his bike next to Twentynine Palms Highway in Yucca Valley.

According to Z107.7 News, 52-year old David Delorisses Rodriguez was riding on the eastbound shoulder just east of Prescott Ave when he was rear-ended by a driver around 10:31 am.

Rodriguez was taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree in full cardiac arrest, where he died of his injuries.

The driver remained at the scene.

A street view shows a 4-lane desert highway with a crumbling paved shoulder. The roadway has a 50 mph speed limit; California drivers typically exceed such limits by 10 to 15 mph.

This is the 50th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in San Bernardino County. That compares to 61 in SoCal this time last year, and seven in the county.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for David Delorisses Rodriguez and all his loved ones.

 

Suspected DUI driver kills adult trike rider and her dog in Garden Grove

No one is safe from intoxicated drivers.

Not women on adult tricycles. Or the dogs they carry with them.

That’s exactly what happened last night in Garden Grove, as  suspected DUI driver killed a cyclist, and her little dog, too.

According to the Orange County Register, a woman believed to be in her 50s was riding her adult tricycle eastbound on Chapman Ave near Faye Ave, carrying a small dog in the bike’s basket, when she was struck from behind by a pickup around 9:45 pm.

One of the Register’s photos from the scene shows damage to the hood of the truck, suggesting she was thrown onto it by the force of the impact, while KTLA-5 says the dog was thrown several feet away, still inside the basket.

No word on whether she was using lights or reflectors after dark.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene; she has not been publicly identified. Her dog died later at an Orange County Animal Services clinic.

The driver, 58-year old Rita Faye McLaughlin of Santa Ana, remained at the scene, and was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI after failing a field sobriety test.

Anyone with information is urge to call the Garden Grove Police at 714/741-5800.

This is the 33rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in Orange County; that compares with 10 in the county this time last year. It’s the first bicycling death in Garden Grove since November, 2012.

Update: A comment from the victim’s sister identifies her as 55-year old Suzi V. Ramage, along with her dog Sonny. 

It’s the second family member she’s lost to a drunk driver; her son was killed in 2003.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Suzi V. Ramage and her loved ones.

 

Bike rider killed in Garden Grove collision

A rare three-week stretch without a SoCal cycling fatality was broken last night, when a Laguna Hills cyclist was killed while riding in Garden Grove.

According to the Orange County Register, 47-year old Brian Winfrey was riding on the right shoulder of Euclid Road near Wakefield Ave around 7 pm Monday when he was rear-ended by a white Honda CRV traveling south on Euclid. Winfrey was transported to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where he was pronounced dead about an hour later.

The paper reports that the 48-year old driver, who has not been publicly identified, remained at the scene. No arrest was made, and no citations have been issued; drug or alcohol use is not suspected.

Which raises the question of why the driver would not have seen and reacted to an adult cyclist wearing a bright yellow reflective vest, who should have been clearly visible and out of the way of traffic.

Hopefully, authorities will check her phone records to ensure she wasn’t driving distracted at the time of the collision.

Anyone with information is urged to call Garden Grove traffic Jason Perkins at 714/741-5823.

This is the 68th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th in Orange County; in addition, six other riders have been fatality shot this year, two in OC.

Remarkably, it’s just the second SoCal cycling fatality this month, and the first since 20-year old Jeremy Kidder was killed in Buena Park on November 5th.

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