Tag Archive for Riverside County

Update: Man killed riding bike Monday in early morning Palm Springs collision

A man was killed riding his bike in Palm Springs early Monday morning.

And nearly 20 hours later, we still don’t know any more than we did before.

According to multiple reports, the victim was struck by a motorist around 4:45 am at Ramon Road and Compadre Road. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died.

There’s no information at this time about the victim, or how the crash occurred. Police are still unsure if either the driver or victim were under the influence.

Video from the scene shows heavy damage to the center of the hood and windshield, suggesting the victim was struck directly with some force.

The driver was arrested on unrelated charges. He was not publicly identified.

The Palm Springs Post reports the victim was the fifth person killed riding a bike in the city in five years.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Traffic Division of the Palm Springs Police Department at 760/323-8125.

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

Update: The victim has been identified as 58-year old Palm Springs resident Nelson Esteban. 

Still no word on how the crash occurred, or why the driver was arrested. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Nelson Esteban and his loved ones.

38-year Maria Estrada killed riding a bike in unincorporated Nuevo Thursday night, first SoCal bike death this year

It took less than two weeks for the year’s first person to lose their life riding a bicycle on the mean streets of Southern California.

My News LA is reporting that a woman riding a bike was killed in unincorporated Nuevo Thursday night.

Although how or why seems to be unclear at this time.

Thirty-eight-year old Perris resident Maria Estrada was riding with another person when she was apparently run down by a motorist around 7 pm last night.

The crash occurred on the 30700 block of Montgomery Avenue, just north of Nuevo Road. A street view shows a two lane rural roadway forking off from Nuevo Road, with a narrow paved shoulder on either side.

Unfortunately, that’s all we know at this time.

There’s no word on the driver, or barely even a mention that the vehicle that hit her had one. There’s also no word on the other bike rider.

Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP’s Riverside office at 951/637-8000.

This is the first bicycling fatality I’m aware of in Southern California this year, and the first in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Maria Estrada and all her loved ones. 

Bad year for SoCal bike deaths, urban roads get deadlier, and Transportation Comm’s new vice chair is one of us

Last year was another terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year for SoCal bike riders.

But at least it was better than the year before.

Maybe.

According to our latest count, at least 82* people lost their lives while riding a bicycle in the seven county Southern California region last year, just two less than the previous year.

Although that figure is likely an undercount; I’ve heard of a half dozen or more deaths this year that I wasn’t able to officially confirm, but which undoubtedly happened.

It’s also the same number of SoCal bicycling deaths reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 2019, the last year before the pandemic, when 81 SoCal riders also lost their lives.

The total for last year reflects the 26 bike riders I counted killed in Los Angeles County last year, which again is likely a dramatic undercount.

A total of 35 bike riders lost their lives in LA County in 2021, which was over twice the total of 17 that I had counted; I also counted 15 in 2020, compared to 27 reported by the NHTSA.

Which suggests that the local media is failing to report a number of bicycling deaths in the Los Angeles area, for whatever reason.

I also counted 14 bicycling deaths in the City of Los Angeles last year, which is in line with verified totals of 18 and 15 in 2021 and 2020.

Further afield, San Diego County suffered 12 deaths last year, which was a significant improvement over 17 in the previous year, though much higher than the 7 and 8 people killed riding bikes in the county in 2020 and 2019, respectively.

Meanwhile, Orange County appeared to have their worst year in recent memory, with 17 people killed* riding bikes last year, compared to just 7 in 2021, 15 in 2020, and 13 in 2019.

Although it is important to note that only the totals for 2020 and 2019 have been verified by the NHTSA; 2021 data isn’t currently available through their website.

Riverside and San Bernardino Counties also showed increases last year, with 11 bicycling deaths in Riverside County, and 10 in San Bernardino County. Ventura County suffered 4 deaths — half the previous year’s total — while Imperial County recorded none for the third year in a row.

Here’s a quick recap of bicycling deaths for each of the seven counties.

Los Angeles County

  • 2022 – 26
  • 2021 – 35
  • 2020 – 27
  • 2019 – 38

Orange County

  • 2022 – 17
  • 2021 – 7
  • 2020 – 14
  • 2019 – 13

San Diego County

  • 2022 – 12
  • 2021 – 17
  • 2020 – 7
  • 2019 – 8

Riverside County

  • 2022 – 11
  • 2021 – 9
  • 2020 – 8
  • 2019 – 5

San Bernardino County

  • 2022 – 10
  • 2021 – 7
  • 2020 – 6
  • 2019 – 7

Imperial County

  • 2022 – 0
  • 2021 – 0
  • 2020 – 0
  • 2019 – 6

Ventura County

  • 2022 – 4
  • 2021 – 8
  • 2020 – 4
  • 2019 – 4

Source: 2021-2022 BikinginLA, except 2021 LA County data from Los Angeles Times; 2019-2020 NHTSA FARS data

While compiling records of this sort is necessary to bring about desperately needed changes to our streets, it also reduces human tragedy and loss to a statistic.

So if you want to see the people behind these numbers who we’ve so needlessly lost, start here and just keep scrolling.

Photo by Ted McDonald from Pixabay.

Correction: A comment from Dawn made it clear that I had miscategorized a story about her father’s August death in Irvine. 

*After correcting the error and adding it back into the totals for OC, that made 17 people killed riding their bikes in the county last year, and 82 in Southern California, instead of 16 and 81, respectively, as I had originally written.

My apologies for the mistake. 

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On a related subject, rural areas are becoming safer, while urban environments are growing ever deadlier.

And the photo at the bottom of this thread goes a long way towards explaining why.

https://twitter.com/WarrenJWells/status/1610779366476353538

https://twitter.com/WarrenJWells/status/1610843949924777984

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Promising news about the new LA City Council Transportation Committee members we mentioned yesterday, at least two of whom have taken bike tours with the new BikeLA (formerly the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, or LACBC).

Meanwhile, new CD11 Councilmember and Committee Vice Chair Traci Park is one of us, as well.

Now if she just votes that way, we should be in good shape.

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Transportation PAC Streets For All is hosting their next virtual happy hour next Wednesday, featuring my councilmember, CD4’s Nithya Raman.

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

A former contestant on the UK’s version of The Apprentice criticizes plans for traffic filters on Oxford streets, saying you won’t be able to drive more than 15 minutes in any direction — and somehow manages to get the whole thing wrong.

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

A British Columbia man faces charges for stealing a truck and using it to smash through a gate, then hoping on a bicycle to make his escape after the truck was disabled in the crash. Which raises a lot of questions, like whether the fact that he wasn’t charged with stealing the bike means he just happened to have it with him in case he needed to pedal away from the crime scene.

There’s a special place in hell for the Kiwi ebike rider who faces charges for repeatedly kicking a wheelchair-bound handcyclist in the head for no apparent reason, unless he was upset that she could go faster than he could on his ebike. Which is a ridiculous reason to do something so horrific.

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Local 

Protected bike lanes are usually intended to improve safety, but Burbank residents wanted the new quarter-mile protected bike lane on Leland Way in order to halt graffiti and drag racing.

A travel magazine recommends touring West Hollywood by ebike, but apparently can’t distinguish between WeHo and nearby Beverly Hills.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

Even an automotive website questions whether the newest generation of electric SUVs are too big, too heavy and too fast. Depends on whether the goal is to get from here to there, or to send as many people as possible to the promised land.

Forbes looks at five trends this year that could impact the future of transportation. Although the modest state and local tax rebates for ebikes pale in comparison to the massive federal benefits for electric car buyers.

A writer for Adventure Journal geeks out over an 1880s ad for a Penny Farthing from Boston’s Columbia Bicycle Company. Then again, he’s not the only one geeking out, since I have a version of that ad on a t-shirt.

House Beautiful recommends the best bike storage racks for your home or apartment.

Singletracks considers the ethics of editing trails to preserve them or remove hazards.

Digital Journal addresses one of the burning questions of our time — how to take your dog with you when you ride your bike.

My friends at West Seattle Blog managed to scoop the local news media about hit-and-run and vehicular homicide charges against an alleged killer driver who fled the scene after running down a 63-year old man riding his ebike home from work.

An Arizona man has made a remarkable recovery following the crash in a Show Low, Arizona master’s race that killed one man and seriously injured several riders; 37-year old Shawn Michael Chock was quietly sentenced to 26-1/2 years behind bars for second-degree murder and felony aggravated assault.

Denver announced the return of the city’s highly popular ebike rebate program at the end of this month, although at a reduced level, with $300 vouchers for buyers or regular ebikes, and $500 for e-cargo bikes.

North Carolina’s Department of Transportation is giving away bike helmets to organizations to give away to people who need them.

St. Petersburg, Florida, is remaking a dangerous residential boulevard with barriers at four intersections, forcing motorists to turn while allowing pedestrians and bike riders to pass through, and effectively turning it into a bicycle boulevard, even if they don’t use the term.

A kindhearted Florida man spends his days refurbishing and assembling bicycles so children in need can get to school, and adults can ride to work.

 

International

Calgary bicycle advocates are calling for safer bike infrastructure, after reports of snow and ice clogging bikeways and creating a hazard for riders. Here in SoCal, our snow and ice comes in liquid form, but still creates hazards on days like this. So be careful out there. 

Bike Portland goes riding in London. Which I deeply regret I didn’t get a chance to do when my wife and I visited earlier this century.

British foldie maker Brompton will begin sourcing more parts from other countries, over fears that tensions between China and Taiwan could result in supply chain disruptions.

If you’re already wanted on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear, maybe illegally riding your bike on a pair of UK highways isn’t the best idea.

The newly crowned world darts champ credits a broken hip suffered in a bicycle crash when he was 15 year old with setting him on the path to pointed greatness.

The Guardian follows along as an Australian woman attempts to set a new record by riding 2,500 miles in 13 days.

No surprise here, as a new Aussie study shows the biggest barrier to biking is a fear of cars. Personally, I’m not afraid of cars. But the people driving them scare the shit out of me.

 

Competitive Cycling

Four time Tour de France champ Chris Froome will finally get a chance to go for five after his Israel Premier Tech team got one of two wildcard invitations to the race, with the other going to Norway’s Uno-X.

A ‘cross fan captures the chaos after Ryan Cortjens crashed at the Superprestige Diegem, and apparently forgot to get the hell out of the way.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can build your very own DIY 6-passenger, throttle-controlled ebike. That feeling when no one wants to steal you bike, even if you want them to.

And who says you need two wheels to mountain bike?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

31-year old Margarito Castro killed riding bike in high speed San Jacinto hit-and-run; driver arrested for voluntary manslaughter

Evidently, Sunday was a bad night for bike riders in the Inland Empire.

Less than two and a half hours before an unidentified man was killed in a Chino Hills hit-and-run, another man lost his life in San Jacinto.

And that driver also fled the scene.

According to My News LA, 31-year-old San Jacinto resident Margarito Castro was in the center lane waiting to cross State Street at Dillon Ave around 8:21 pm when he was struck by 21-year-old motorist Savaughn Jojuan Colon Barnes of Hemet.

Barnes was traveling south on State “at a high rate of speed” when he crossed into the center lane, striking Castro before speeding away.

Castro died at the scene.

Barnes was taken into custody at an apartment building four miles away on the 1900 block of Acacia Ave in Hemet, after a witness to the crash gave police the license plate number of his car.

He’s being held on $100,000 bail, after being arrested on suspicion of voluntary manslaughter and hit-and-run resulting in death.

Anyone with information is urged call the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station at 951/654-2702, or dispatch at 951/776-1099.

This is at least the 77th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the tenth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

Castro is also the 26th SoCal bike rider killed by a hit-and-run driver since the first of the year.

Update: I just got this response from Castro’s older sister.

Castro’s family is raising funds to pay for his funeral. So far, they’ve raised $3,000 of the $15,000 goal.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Margarito Castro and all his loved ones.

Deputies kill knife-wielding Cabazon salmon bicyclist, a call for banning right on red, and Metro fare meeting tonight

Riverside County sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a knife-wielding parolee after spotting the man riding salmon in Cabazon Saturday afternoon.

The victim was killed when he pulled a knife, which was found at the scene, while attempting to flee from the cops.

However, if the description is accurate, it’s questionable whether the victim actually posed a risk to the officers as he tried to escape.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

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She gets it.

Los Angeles Times columnist Robin Abcarian calls for following Berkeley’s lead in banning right turns on red lights to protect pedestrians and people on bicycles.

“Permitting right turns on red has always been a dangerous idea, which is why, when the first traffic lights and traffic laws rolled out, it was not allowed,” Jessie Singer told me in an email Thursday. Singer literally wrote the book on how “accidents” happen in America. “It is no coincidence,” she continued, “that in New York City, the most pedestrian-dense city in the U.S., right on red has long and largely been disallowed.”

The practice is inherently dangerous to pedestrians because, as Singer puts it, it “leaves the sanctity of the crosswalk and the life of a pedestrian in the hands of a fallible driver.”

Drivers can wait a few extra seconds to make their turn. Even if they’d likely think its the end of the world.

Read it on Yahoo if the paper blocks you.

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A reminder that Metro is hosting a virtual open meeting this evening to discuss a new “simplified” fare structure that could result in a dramatic increase for many users.

The new fare structure would eliminate weekly and monthly passes, instead charging a flat $2 per ride — a 25¢ increase over the current $1.75 fare.

It would also eliminate the current free transfers by charging the full fare for every ride, with a daily cap of $6.

So if your typical roundtrip involves a single transfer in each direction, you’d pay $2 for each outbound leg, for a total of $4, and $2 for both return legs after hitting the daily cap.

That compares to the current $1.75 each way with free transfers, for a total of $3.50 a day — an increase of $2.50, which would represent a steep jump for many users.

It would also have a weekly cap of $20, which would only benefit daily riders with at least one transfer.

To make matters worse, it would also automatically adjust for inflation every four years, further increasing the already too-high fares.

In other words, the “simplified” fare structure is little more than a dramatic fare increase — exactly the wrong decision at a time when we need to encourage more transit use to get people out of their cars.

Let alone the opposite of the free fare system they promised to study.

Streets For All says Metro should reconsider the proposed fare structure, while it’s also opposed by the Alliance for Community Transit, aka ACT-LA, and Strategic Actions for a Just Economy.

I couldn’t agree more.

You can email Metro through this link. And click here to attend the Public Hearing at 5pm today.

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Walk Bike Glendale sends an alert that a highly flawed plan for a bike and walk path along the Verdugo Wash is headed to the city council for approval tomorrow.

The organization reports the current proposal doesn’t include plans to connect to Crescenta Valley Park north of the basin, because of a “small but loud group of opponents who don’t want to see ‘others’ coming into their neighborhood.”

Nope, nothing offensive about that.

The knee-jerk NIMBY reaction is reminiscent of the Trousdale Gap in the Expo Line bike path, which skipped the section along the railway behind the Cheviot Hills neighborhood after residents expressed fears ne’er-do-wells would ride their bikes up to peer in their windows and make off with their flatscreen TVs.

Because people in cars never, ever just drive up and burgle homes, apparently.

Now the gap is finally scheduled to be closed in 2025, at a cost of tens of millions of dollars more than if it had been built along with the rest of the pathway.

The same thing is likely to happen with the Verdugo Wash, as city leaders slowly discover the mistake they’re about to make.

And the highcost to fix it.

The group recommends attending the meeting if possible, or if not, emailing anajarian@glendaleca.gov, pdevine@glendaleca.gov, dbrotman@glendaleca.gov, easatryan@glendaleca.gov, akassakhian@glendaleca.gov.

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The Ballona Creek bike path was closed at Sepulveda following last week’s rains.

Hopefully it’s dried out and open again now.

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‘Tis the season.

An Aurora, Colorado man’s family plans to continue his life’s mission to fix up and donate used bikes after he passed away unexpectedly last week; the nonprofit Second Chance Bicycle Shop has donated over 4,500 bicycles to disadvantaged youth, veterans and people experiencing homelessness.

A Pittsburgh PA father is teaming with his two young kids to collect and refurbish unwanted bikes, and donate them to children in need.

A youth development program in Pennsylvania gave 40 bicycles to kids in need, with hopes of giving a similar number in the spring.

A kindhearted Alabama brother and sister gave their $3,000 ebike to a 51-year old Applebees worker with Asperger’s syndrome, after reading that he had to ride his bicycle two hours each way to get to and from work.

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Maybe this remote controlled bike-riding skeleton and his ghostly canine companion would have gotten your attention on Halloween.

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A “real-life Mowgli” who fled his Sudanese village to live in the jungle after being bullied over his microcephaly can now ride a bicycle for the first time, after a documentary about him went viral.

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It only makes sense that Aaron Copeland, the dean of American composers and the author of Appalachian Spring and Fanfare for the Common Man, was one one of us.

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Too bad we can’t actually ride on clouds, where all we’d have to duck is birds, planes and alien spaceships.

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

No bias here, as a New York councilmember says the best way to encourage bike commuting is to discourage it by taxing, licensing and regulating riders.

No bias here, either. British bicyclists are urged to stop riding two-abreast and let drivers overtake them because nearly two-thirds of drivers don’t understand recent bike safety changes to the country’s Highway Code. Once again putting all the responsibility for safety solely on the people on two wheels, because of the ignorance of motorists.

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Local

The New York Times takes a deep dive into plans to remake the concrete-lined Los Angeles River, including starchitect Frank Gehry’s misguided plan to cap the river and hide it under a series of overhead parks, rather than return the channel to it’s natural state.

This is who we share the road with. Six people were hospitalized when a man trying to escape from police drove through a street carnival in South LA before fleeing the scene; a 23-year old man was arrested on Sunday.

Congratulations to Santa Monica College on being renamed a Silver-level Bicycle Friendly University by the Bike League.

 

State 

A San Diego program that has provided 400 low-income residents with a free ebike is now going statewide; participants need to provide their own bike insurance, and will own their bikes after just two years.

Once again, parking protected bike lanes confuse easily disoriented drivers, this time in downtown San Luis Obispo.

Visalia plans to improve safety by upgrading existing bike lanes to Class IV buffered lanes, as well as improving intersections.

UC Davis students are calling for improvements after a massive 46% increase in bicycling crashes on campus this year — a problem UC grad student Megan Lynch has repeatedly called to our attention.

 

National

Your next ebike could have a sidecar.

Cycling Savvy offers a tutorial on how to choose the right bicycle lights.

Singletrack says these are the gifts mountain bikers really want; the magazine also posts a gallery of “drool worthy” custom bikes.

A new study concludes over 11,000 Americans were injured riding their bikes under the influence of drugs over a two-year period, with 36.4% on meth, 30.7% on weed and 18.5% using opioids, while close to a quarter also had alcohol in their system. Although that’s less than 5% of the estimated 260,000 bicycling injuries over the same period, never mind that drunk and stoned drivers are a much bigger problem

USA Today says ebikes are affordable, practical and good for the planet, even if America may not be ready for them.

The man and woman killed by a driver in a drunken, serial hit-and-run while riding mountain bikes in Las Vegas were a couple from Kansas, who had just moved to Vegas four months earlier after ten years together.

Kansas City celebrates its commitment to build a relatively modest 15 miles of bike lanes in each of the next two years. Which is still more than Los Angeles has built in some years.

A small Vermont company has introduced a plastic-free stainless steel water bottle, which they insist will deliver an adequate flow of water even if you can’t squeeze it.

The New York Times examines the problem of bike theft by focusing on the sometimes violent thieves of Burlington, Vermont.

 

International

Momentum considers some of the world’s worst bike lanes. Remarkably, without stopping in Los Angeles.

Who enforces the law against dooring a bike rider, when the offending driver is a cop? A Victoria, British Columbia police officer in a marked patrol car apparently opened his door without looking, sending a passing bicyclist to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Bicycling continues to be a risky activity in Trinidad and Tobago, where pleas for safer infrastructure go unanswered.

An Israeli man on an around-the-world bike tour became just the latest long-distance rider to have their bike stolen in the UK.

Dublin, Ireland’s oldest bike shop is shutting down due to rising costs after 105 years.

Yanko Design says the app-controlled Keyless O-Lock from Copenhagen-based LAAS is the smartest and easiest way to keep your bike safe. Even though it only disables the rear wheel, but does nothing to keep someone from carrying your bike off.

The AP recommends adding the Col de la Colombière in the French Alps to your bike bucket list, saying the picturesque towns and stunning scenery make it worth the effort.

A Munich museum is displaying 70 stand-out bicycle designs from two centuries of bicycling.

A 72-year old woman rode her bike from Sweden to Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt to protest climate change at the COP27 climate conference underway now.

Women on bicycles are “greasing the wheels of change” on the streets of Khartoum, where women riding bikes violate the norms of the Sudanese city.

Australia will require sensors on large trucks to detect bike riders and pedestrians starting next year, eight years after a coroner investigating the death of a woman riding a bike recommended their use.

 

Competitive Cycling

A sports site ranks the world’s top professional men’s cyclists, with Tadej Pogačar unsurprisingly taking the top spot.

 

Finally…

Tossing a bicycle onto train tracks is not among the recommended uses for it. That feeling when a car fares worse than the bike it hit.

And you know you’re a NIMBY when a “giant ugly” bike hanger is more distressing than the big, ugly cars it replaced.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Update: 48-year old Riverside man riding bike killed in alleged drunken hit-and run; driver followed and arrested

Once again, a Southern California bike rider has been murdered by a drunken hit-and-run driver.

Allegedly.

According to My News LA, the driver fled the scene after running down the victim in Riverside Saturday night.

But for a change, the driver was captured a short time later.

The victim, identified only as a 48-year old Riverside man, was crossing Indiana Ave on La Sierra Ave on his bike when he was run down by a speeding driver traveling east on Indiana; there’s no word on what time the crash happened

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

Witnesses followed the driver, who was arrested on suspicion of DUI. He was identified as a 40-year old man from Corona, but no name was given.

This is at least the 49th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

Sixteen of those deaths have been hit-and-runs.

Update: KCBS-2 puts the time of the crash as around 10:10 pm.

Update 2: The victim has been identified as Riverside resident Jerry Hodges. The driver has still not been identified. 

Update 3: The Riverside Police Department has identified the alleged driver as 40-year old Corona resident Jose Luis Cacho Jr. He was released on $75,000 bond after being booked on vehicular homicide, hit-and-run and DUI charges.

Cacho was also charged with violating probation on a previous DUI conviction. That raises the question of why he hasn’t been charged with murder, since he would have received a Watson notice informing him that would be possible if he killed someone while driving drunk anytime in the future. 

Maybe that’s a question we should ask Riverside County DA Michael Hestrin

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jerry Hodges and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Accident News Now and Eric Lewis for the heads-up. 

Wrist slap for fatal Jurupa Valley hit-and-run, prelim for killer hit-and-run socialite, and bank robbing cyclist talks to BBC

This is why people keep dying on our streets.

A Riverside County judge rewarded a killer hit-and-run driver with his choice of 364 days in jail, work-release or home vacation confinement, for the crash that killed 30-year-old Rigoberto Guzman Jr in Jurupa Valley three years ago, followed by what the DA described as “a torrent of lies.”

Pizza deliveryman Andrew Scott Walters struck Guzman as he was riding his bike, then got out and pulled Guzman’s bike out from under his car before driving away, leaving the injured victim lying in the road when he was struck and killed by another driver — assuming he wasn’t already dead from the first crash.

Walters went so far as to call 911 to report seeing an injured man down in the road, without bothering to mention his own involvement.

He then went back to the Pizza Hut he worked at, where he explained the damage to his car by telling his boss that a drunk homeless man had hurled his bicycle at him “out of nowhere.”

No, really.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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This is who we share the road with.

Hidden Hills socialite and philanthropist Rebecca Grossman faces a preliminary hearing for the alleged street racing death of two young boys, who had the misfortune of crossing the street with their family while she was speeding down it.

Grossman, co-founder of the famed Grossman Burn Center, was reportedly driving at speeds up to 81 mph on residential streets, while repeatedly switching lanes with another driver, when she slammed into the boys as they rode their skateboard and scooter in the crosswalk.

She faces two murder counts, two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, and a single charge of hit-and-run driving resulting in death.

Which proves the over-privileged can be just as idiotic and deadly as the rest of us.

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No surprise here, as Streets For All has endorsed Eric Darling to replace Mike Bonin in West LA’s CD11; Darling has stood out from the other candidates for his stands on safe and livable streets since the start of the campaign.

The street safety PAC has also endorsed Bob Wunderlich for Beverly Hills City Council, along with John Mirisch.

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The BBC talks with former US Olympic hopeful turned bank robber Tom Justice, who used his cycling skills to make his getaway from over two dozen banks.

He still rides his bike, even after nine years in prison and more than a decade out, but with a La Grange jersey these days.

Chicago Magazine took a deep dive into his story in 2019 if you want to learn more.

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Buena Park continues work on a plan to install a road diet and bike lanes on Dale and Whitaker.

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If you build it, they will come.

This is what the newly bikeable Paris looks like these days. And what Los Angeles could, with just a modicum of effort from city hall.

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But only bicyclists ignore the right-of-way, right?

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

The Texas car shop owner who posted video of himself rolling coal at a bike rider, then denied knowing anything about it, now says he’s really, really sorry. But only after the video went viral, leading to calls to boycott his shop.

No bias here. Someone in the UK altered a road sign with their own handwritten message telling bike riders to ride “single file you Lycra wearing twats!”

After a British bike rider filmed a driver using his phone behind the wheel, the driver chased him, including driving up on the sidewalk at one point, as the terrified bicyclist begged people to call the police.

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Local

We’re #1! The Los Angeles – Long Beach region once again takes the title as America’s smoggiest metro area. So try not to breathe so much on your next ride. Your lungs will thank you.

Streetsblog looks at the new “protected” bike lanes on westbound 1st Street from Boyle Heights to Little Tokyo. Although once again, the protection is only in the form of little plastic bollards that won’t stop anyone from crashing through.

The Ballona Creek bike path will be closed for maintenance between National and Sepulveda through Friday.

 

State 

Residents of a San Diego apartment complex voiced their anger over new bike lanes in the Rancho Peñasquitos neighborhood, which they say were striped in the dead of night with no advance warning. Although that’s hard to believe, since the parking spaces that were removed to make room for the bike lanes would have been full of cars at that hour.

Hats off to a Santa Barbara Eagle Scout, who built a mountain bike trail for students at his old elementary school.

San Francisco takes the next step towards a safer, less-polluting future by permanently banning cars from JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park.

Questions remain over San Francisco’s Slow Streets program, as the city keeps four of its car-lite corridors, while some residents want them gone.

Sad news from Sacramento, where a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run while riding in a bike lane; another person riding in the bike lane at the time was uninjured.

 

National

A fascinating new study shows colorfully painted street surfaces can cut crashes involving vulnerable road users by a whopping 50%.

The Bike League belatedly addresses April’s Distracted Driving Month, noting that one in five traffic deaths is the result of distracted driving.

Police in Mt. Vernon, Washington are looking for a man and woman who fled on foot after crossing onto the wrong side of the road and driving up on the sidewalk, where they slammed into a family riding their bicycles, injuring both parents before crashing into several parked cars.

This is why people keep dying on our streets, part two. A Las Vegas food delivery driver faces her third DUI in recent years after she ran into a child riding a bicycle, leaving the kid with moderate injuries. Although the two “popular food delivery service providers” she claimed to work for disavowed any knowledge of her. One more example of authorities keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late. 

A Utah bike rider is asking the same question every hit-and-run victim asks — “I just want to know why they didn’t stop.”

Denver is putting money where its bike-friendly policy is, with all Denver residents now eligible for a $400 rebate on the purchase of an ebike, with an additional $500 for an e-cargo bike, while qualified low income residents can get a $1,200 rebate.

The Denver Post says Colorado’s new Safety Stop Law, aka the Idaho Stop Law, exposes the animosity between bicyclists and drivers. But you’ll have to sign up or subscribe to find out how or why.

Great idea. A Missouri bike and pedestrian advocacy group got a handful of state legislators on their bikes to ride a bike trail crossing the state with their constituents. I’d love to see that here, at LA City Hall, or in Sacramento.

New York’s fire department is warning about the dangers of improperly charging and storing lithium-ion batteries, after a number of fires, while Bicycling offers advice on how to keep your ebike battery from bursting into flames. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

There’s a special place in hell for whoever took a trailer filled with kids bikes from the New Orleans advocacy group Bike Easy. Although they’re just saying it’s “missing” at this point.

 

International

Shimano says the worldwide bike boom is showing signs of slowing off in Asia and South and Central America, though the North American and European markets are going strong.   

YK Design looks at the top ten bikes designed for an eco-friendly urban commute, including some that are seriously weird, and/or just vaporware at this point. Although number nine may be very strange, but in a very cool way, even though you probably wouldn’t want to ride it with those wires just begging for your crotch. 

A British van driver was sentenced to a total of eight years, including four behind bars, and barred from driving for 12 years, all for killing a 71-year old man riding a bicycle while so drunk he couldn’t to stand on his own following the crash; he had 25 previous traffic convictions. Yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until they kill someone.

A Malaysian paper decries kids riding the popular basikal lajak, illegally modified bicycles that allow users to race downhill in the Superman position, calling them “a threat to road safety.” Even though it was a woman driver who was convicted of killing eight teens who were riding them, rather than the other way around.

 

Competitive Cycling

Two-time Grand Tour winner Egan Bernal posted a video telling fans to be patient, because he’s on his way back. Evidently he meant it, as he returns to Europe to begin training for the first time since the training crash that nearly took his life.

World champion Julian Alaphilippe’s multiple serious injuries during Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège came when he fell down a ditch and hit a tree as a result of a mass crash.

Want to feel old? An eight-year old Missouri second grader was named to the US national BMX team.

  

Finally…

Your next ebike could be a Mini Cooper. Seriously, if a Burley is good enough for your kids, it’s good enough for your pet.

And you probably weren’t planning to, but still.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Man killed riding bicycle in the left lane of the 91 Freeway in Corona; 8th Riverside County bike death already this year

Once again, someone has been killed implacably riding in the traffic lanes of a major freeway.

According to a writer for the Press-Enterprise, the victim was struck by a driver while riding on the 91 Freeway in Corona early Monday morning.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was reportedly riding in the left lane of the eastbound 91, west of McKinley Street, when he swerved to the right and was struck by a driver in the next lane.

He died at the scene.

Then again, there’s little chance of someone on a bicycle surviving a crash at freeway speeds.

A CHP spokesman speculated that he may have been living in a homeless camo in the area, and using the freeway to get to McKinley. Which doesn’t make his death any less tragic.

This is at least the 29th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and remarkably, the eighth already this year in Riverside County.

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

 

74-year old Hemet man killed in San Jacinto collision, victim allegedly swerved into passing car

I don’t think so.

News broke last night that a man suffered major injuries when he somehow swerved into a car while riding in San Jacinto Saturday evening.

It seemed unlikely then.

It seems more unlikely now, after learning the victim has died.

According to My News LA, 74-year old Hemet resident Pedro Garcia was fatally injured he as he was riding in the right lane on southbound Lake Park Drive, below Soboba Road, in San Jacinto around 6:30 pm Saturday.

Riverside County Sheriff’s investigators allege Garcia somehow swerved left for no apparent reason and crashed into the side of a passing car, falling into the roadway.

He was taken to Riverside University Health System Medical Center in Moreno Valley, where he died at 11:13 pm.

The driver remained at the scene and called for help.

It’s possible that Garcia may have moved to his left without looking, or hearing the car coming up beside him.

However, it seems more likely that the driver may have been passing too close, or swerved to his right and sideswiped Garcia’s bike.

Particularly if there were no independent witnesses who observed the crash. Which seems likely, given the remote location on a weekend evening.

It’s also extremely difficult to pinpoint the exact position of a bicycling collision, due to the lack of skid marks or other forensic evidence.

Unfortunately, Garcia isn’t around to give his side of the story, which leaves the driver’s statement as the only evidence for deputies to base their investigation on. And drivers have a vested interest in seeing their own actions in the best possible light, regardless of the circumstances.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call Deputy Ray Cortez of the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station at 951/654-2702, or the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at 951/776-1099.

This is at least the 27th bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Pedro Garcia and his loved ones.

Bike rider killed in pre-dawn Palm Springs collision; 7th Riverside County bicycling death already this year

What the hell is going on in Riverside County?

The county, which has averaged nine bicycling deaths per year for the past three years, had already suffered six deaths, less than three months into the year.

Now you can make that seven.

According to multiple sources, a person riding a bicycle on Indian Canyon Drive, between Garnet Avenue and Palm Springs Station Road in Palm Springs, was struck by a motorist around 5:40 am Saturday.

The victim was taken to a local hospital, where they later died as a result of unidentified major injuries.

Both the victim and the driver were described only as local residents.

The driver remained at the scene, and was not suspected of being under the influence; needless to say, no arrest was made and no one was ticketed at the scene.

There is a narrow paved shoulder on Indian Canyon, a painted stripe the only protection from drivers speeding by at — or more likely above — the posed 55 mph speed limit.

There’s no other information available at this time. No word on which direction they were both traveling, or why the driver wasn’t able to avoid someone on a bicycle in the early morning darkness, over an hour before sunrise.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Traffic Division of the Palm Springs Police Department at 760/323-8125.

This is at least the 24th bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

Which is too damn many.

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

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