Tag Archive for Roberto Diaz

Morning Links: $25,000 reward for Boyle Heights hit-and-run, new candidate for LA CD8, and bike stolen every 15 seconds

LAPD Central Traffic detectives are looking for a hit-and-run driver who left a Boyle Heights man lying in the street with severe injuries.

And the city is offering a $25,000 reward to bring the heartless coward to justice.

The victim was riding his bike east on Whittier Boulevard near Calzona Street around 10:20 pm last Thursday, when a speeding pickup driver traveling in the opposite direction lost control and swerved onto the wrong side of the road, hitting him head-on.

The man, identified by KNBC-4 as Gabriel Lopez, a 53-year old father of five, was pulling a kid’s bike trailer behind his bike. Fortunately, no one was in it.

Lopez was released after just four days in the hospital, despite suffering a fractured back, blood clot and numerous scrapes and bruises. And can’t feed his family until he can get back to work as a construction worker.

Which is likely to take a very long time.

Police are looking for a distinctive white 2011-2018 Chevrolet/GMC full-size pickup with a red front bumper and lower valance air deflector, black rims and a black bed cover. The truck may have a custom white rear bumper, and possible aftermarket headlamps and tail lamps.

The crash was caught on security cameras from two separate angles. However, be sure you really want to see it before you click play, because they’re not easy to watch. And you can’t unsee it once you do.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD Central Traffic Division at 213/833-3713, or LAPD Detective Juan Campos at 213/486-0755; you can also email Det. Campos at 31480@lapd.online.

Let’s hope Lopez makes a full and fast recovery.

And the cops catch the jerk who did this to him.

Photo of suspect hit-and-run vehicle from LAPD. Thanks to John Damman and the LAPD Central Traffic Division for the heads-up. 

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As long as we’re talking hit-and-run, City News Service offers more details on the march to honor 15-year old hit-and-run victim Roberto Diaz and call for safe streets in South LA.

Remarkably, Diaz has forgiven the hit-and-run driver who nearly killed him as he rode his bike in a crosswalk.

Which doesn’t mean he should escape justice, as the heartless coward is still missing, with a $25,000 bounty on his or her head, as well.

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Which brings to someone who wants to help make those safer streets a reality.

Denise Francis Woods recently announced her campaign to represent South LA’s CD8 in the Los Angeles City Council, replacing Marqueece Harris-Dawson.

I offered her the chance to introduce herself to the bicycling community. Here’s what she had to say.

I am a life long resident of District 8 in Los Angeles, better known as South LA. I became aware of your site not along ago when Fredrick Woon Frazier was killed. I participated in a lot of the demands for change on several busy streets here, such as Manchester, to add efficient bike lanes. During those times I hadn’t even considered becoming a candidate, but over time, after not seeing any change in my community on many levels, I decided to take on the fight for social and economic justice for my fellow constituents.

I do not know a lot about the biking world. What I do know is that I’m an activist for doing the right things and fighting injustice for all. In regards to the biking world, I see a serious injustice in our local biking community here in South LA, where the bikers have not been given what is required in order to be safe while riding. As the councilwoman for the this district, I will make sure bike lanes are added to our major streets, in particular to Manchester, in honor of “Woon” and the other gentleman whom was also killed on Manchester recently.

Sounds like we could do a lot worse. Especially with someone who seems willing to listen and learn.

Then actually do something about it.

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A new study from the Project 529 bike registry shows a bicycle is stolen in North America every 15 seconds — which works out to two million to bikes every year.

It also shows only 20% of those thefts are reported to the police. One reason just 5% of stolen bikes are ever returned to their owners.

Meanwhile, fellow bike registry Bike Index says they’ve helped recover over $8 million in stolen bicycles since 2013. And now they’re promoting stolen bike alerts on Facebook to help get more people on the lookout, and more bikes back home where they belong.

You can get free lifetime registration with Bike Index’s nationwide database right here on this site; Project 529 also offers free registration, though I don’t know what, if any, restrictions apply.

Best advice is to register your bike with every service you can to maximize your chances of getting your it back.

Especially if it doesn’t cost you a cent.

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Be careful scanning those QR or bar codes for dockless bikes or scooters.

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CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew is looking for help fixing up a ghost bike and honoring 15-year old Sebastian Montero, who was killed by a speeding driver on Easter Sunday last year.

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

Company officials gave the “psychotic” driver of a Mr. Softee ice cream truck a stern talking to after he reportedly parked in a bridge bike lane and threatened riders who complained, telling him to “knock off the stupid stuff.” Yeah, that ought to do it. Sure.

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Local

Streetsblog says the new ultra-modern suspension bridge over the LA River is nearing completion.

A new map shows block-by-block and hour-by-hour how Los Angeles belches smog into the air — and into your lungs. But sure, let’s keep fighting bikeways and alternative transportation, and demanding our God-given right to drive until we all die and take the Earth with us.

Area residents call for protected bike lanes on Sunset Blvd from East Hollywood to Dodger Stadium; the Sunset4All proposal would replace painted lanes with protective devices, improving safety while creating a prime bicycling corridor — and keeping parked trucks out. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the tip.

 

State

It was a rough summer at Orange County’s Chapman University, as three students died during the break — including Pablo Valdez, who was killed by a pickup driver while riding on Oso Parkway in Las Flores last month.

This is why you shouldn’t try to intervene if you see someone stealing a bicycle. A woman is on trial for first-degree murder for shooting a Bakersfield man who tried to stop her from stealing a bike. Call the police and let them deal with it. And take pictures or video if you can do it safely.

Maybe Facebook isn’t entirely evil, after all. Robert Leone sends word that the massive Menlo Park company held a free bike repair clinic over the weekend to get kids and adults rolling again.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 73-year old bike rider successfully tackles a hill climb challenge on NorCal’s Old Priest Road, a road so steep even the Amgen Tour of California said no thanks — and boasting an elevation gain of 1,630 feet in 2.5 miles, with a grade of up to 15.4%.

 

National

Writing for Bicycling, Peter Flax turns fashion critic, concluding he was wrong about Primal’s bike jerseys being the Nickelback of cycling apparel. Although they have some new competition coming from Australia.

A new study shows spending time in urban green space — aka parks and trails — can make you as happy as Christmas Day. But is that Christmas as a kid when you got exactly what you wanted, or sad adult Christmas when your significant other dumps you and all you get is underwear from your folks?

Denver votes to boot e-scooters off the sidewalk and onto the streets, reversing the previous rules that required them to be ridden on sidewalks.

After officials posted notices urging bicyclists to use caution on a Denver-area trail, someone trolled them with their own — and better — signs.

A Kansas man was a one man crime wave, stealing a man’s car, cellphone and wallet, followed by making off with a woman’s bicycle, assaulting a police officer, and threatening to shoot up a bar.

In what may be the best video you see today, a 12-year old Oklahoma boy with cerebral palsy rides an adaptive bike for the first time, thanks to a Tulsa nonprofit.

Now that’s a good kid. A Northern Michigan girl is collecting cans to buy new bikes for less fortunate kids.

After a Columbus, Ohio boy’s bike was stolen from a friend’s porch after the first day of school, bighearted teachers at the school pitched in to buy him a new one.

A New York condo owner says a lawsuit from the building’s board intended to halt a Central Park West bike lane is out of order, because the board violated the building’s by-laws — and possibly state law — in not one, not two, but three distinct ways.

An ebike rider was critically injured in a collision with a 72-year old pedestrian  in New York’s Central Park; the pedestrian, who wasn’t seriously injured, was in a crosswalk, though it was unclear who had the right of way. Three other bike riders were injured within feet of the first crash site, suggesting the problem goes way beyond mere carelessness. Which didn’t stop a local TV station for blaming bike riders for an “alarming rise” in collisions with people on foot. Never mind who’s actually at fault. Thanks to Mike Cane for the tip.

A Lafayette, Louisiana man started a bike kitchen to keep fixable bikes out of landfills, after turning to one in Oakland when he was the victim of a home invasion and mugging.

 

International

Seriously? A Canadian driver insists there are no written rules for what bike riders are supposed to do when bike lanes end before intersections, apparently never having studied the rules of right-of-way. And that bicyclists put drivers in harms way by traumatizing them when we make them kill us.

He gets it. The founder and executive director of a Canadian transportation policy institute says “There is no war on cars. Everybody, including motorists, benefits from a more diverse and efficient transportation system.”

The Brits do have a way with words. An English bike rider calls new barriers blocking the entrance to a pathway a “potentially lethal abomination.”

Norway proposes spending $1 billion on bike highways through the hilly country.

Add this one to your coming bike bucket list. The European Union is helping to fund a 437-mile bike path though “the Amazon of Europe,” connecting Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Hungary and Serbia. Hopefully this one isn’t on fire, unlike its Brazilian counterpart.

As long as we’re in the Balkans, Slovenia is creating the country’s first e-mountain bike bikeshare network in the mountainous Upper Sava Valley. If it’s a pretty as the picture, why the hell aren’t we all there already?

A Taipei, Taiwan paper calls for educating bicyclists, noting that half of all crashes involving bicycles are the riders’ fault. Which means that half of them aren’t. But oddly, they don’t call for re-educating drivers, too.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Colombia, where a 16-year old junior cyclist was killed when she was hit by a truck driver while riding home from a training ride with six other cyclists.

A Boulder CO paper offers a trio of photos — and a few more photos — of the “iconic mountains and cityscapes” from the recent Colorado Classic, calling it the only standalone women’s pro cycling race in the Western Hemisphere.

Retired Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi received a two-year ban for his role in a doping ring run by a German doctor; Austrian cyclists Stefan Denifl and Georg Preidler both got four-year bans earlier this year for their involvement in the ring. But thank goodness the doping era is over, right?

American mountain bike world champ Kate Courtney looks back at her year in the rainbow jersey.

VeloNews says former elite runner Leigh Ann Ganzar has enjoyed a remarkable rise through the ranks of women’s pro cycling.

 

Finally…

Apparently, mediation is the ebike of the business world. No, you don’t have to lose your driver’s license to get an ebike, but it helps.

And forget Peter Sagan. It takes major skills to whack off while you’re riding.

Not to mention a callus indifference to going blind.

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Thanks to Denice H for her very generous donation to help defray the Corgi’s vet bills.

Your support is always welcome and appreciated, whether to help maintain this site, pay down massive corgi vet bills, or help get a new one…someday.

 

Morning Links: Eliminating car culture amid Vision Zero fail, and bike greenways at tonight’s Pasadena council meeting

Good essay by James Ramsey for Gothamist, questioning whether New York City should completely eliminate car culture.

It’s debatable whether New York City is a car town. On one hand, it’s obviously not — the majority of us take public transportation to work, cycling is at an all-time high, and there are people walking around at all hours of the day and night.

But the recent death of Jose Alzorriz, a 52-year-old cyclist from Park Slope, highlights a different reality about how the city is designed, and for whom…

But as economist and longtime cyclist Charles Komanoff wrote this week in an op-ed for Gothamist, the individual decisions of reckless drivers are merely the “proximate causes” of these tragedies.

“The wellspring of cycle fatalities lies deeper, in driving’s culture and sheer volume,” Komanoff writes.

Which is why he’s joining several prominent officials, most notably City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, in saying we need to “break the car culture.” That means making it far more expensive to drive in the city; less placating of reactionary community boards (see the cases of the 14th Street busway, or the Central Park West bike lane); and taking away huge chunks of space currently devoted to free or cheap parking.

Komanoff goes on to add that ending car culture also means “placing public transit, biking, and walking at the center of all city planning decisions.”

Incrementalism isn’t enough, he argues. Adding a few bike lanes won’t “change the cultural assumption that cars reign supreme” in New York.

The same holds true for Los Angeles.

When the city was looking for public input on Vision Zero, several of us argued for the urgent need to break attitude that LA streets are for cars and the people in them.

And that Vision Zero would never succeed as long as the city’s longtime philosophy of autos über alles was allowed to continue.

Which was quickly agreed with. And then, like most bold steps in the City of Angels, promptly forgotten.

Instead, we got a weak-kneed call for drivers to watch their speed from the punter for the Rams.

Evidently, the city concluded the best way to change driver attitudes was to bore them to death, and start over with the next generation.

Like New York, we’re long past the point where incremental changes will make a damn bit of difference.

It’s time for bold action and real change from a mayor and council who seem afraid of both. Or more accurately, afraid of angry windshield-biased NIMBY voters.

That’s where genuine leadership and political courage must come in. Elected leaders willing to stand up and take the heat for changes the city must make if we’re going to survive the coming decades.

And that’s exactly what the city lacks right now.

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If you live or ride in the Pasadena area, drop whatever you were planning to do tonight and head to the meeting of the Pasadena city council, where officials will discuss proposals for four bicycle greenways, aka bike boulevards.

  • El Molino Ave between Atchison Street and Bonita Drive
  • Wilson Ave between Washington Blvd and California Blvd
  • Sierra Bonita Ave between Washington Blvd and Colorado Blvd
  • Craig Ave between Orange Grove Blvd and Del Mar Blvd

Unless you were already planning to be at the meeting.

In which case, carry on.

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Over a hundred people turned out for yesterday’s march to demand safer streets in response to a hit-and-run that has left a 15-year old bike rider hospitalized for the past three weeks.

At least it now looks like he’s going to survive.

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Not only is former NBA star Reggie Miller one of us, he got a new gravel grinder for his birthday.

View this post on Instagram

YAASSSSSS it’s my Birthday, thanks @santacruzbicycles for the best gift EVER, my Stigmata CC.. Here on my new Santa Cruz Stigmata I’m rocking the new Sram Red AXS with the power meter integration into the front chainrings and a Kogel bottom bracket to keep it spinning. The gearing is 46/33 in the front and 10/33 for the cassette to get me climbing up the hills. Now to keep me rolling I’m on the Santa Cruz Reserve carbon rims laced to some Industry Nine torch hubs. For the tires I’m using the @vittoriatires 700x37c Terreno Zeroes and orange sealant to keep me from getting flats. For the cockpit I have some Easton bars and stem to keep me upright, to allow me to go the distance I have my Selle SMP Dynamic seat with carbon rails. Thanks @dropdeadzep for being the best Producer/Director of this video and @browncastle for the best bike fit and acting cameo.. Big ups to @nitrothomas and @incyclebicycles for fine tuning my new everyday machine.. Watch whole video on my IGTV.. 🎶 @wizkhalifa #BlackAndYellow #NewBikeDay

A post shared by Reggie Miller (@reggiemillertnt) on

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

Toronto bicyclists are turning to civil courts to confront road raging drivers after the criminal court system lets them down.

Three British teenagers have been charged with murder for ramming a popular, 18-year old taekwondo star and role model as he rode his bike in southwest London, then getting out and beating him as he lay on the ground.

Two Irish thieves rammed a rider to knock off his bicycle and into a ditch, then got out of their car and mugged him before taking off with his bike.

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Local

The number of e-scooter riders ticketed by the LAPD is soaring, mostly for riding on the sidewalk — even before the Paul Koretz-inspired crackdown on sidewalk scooter riders began.

Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies ticketed 74 people during their recent crackdown on traffic violations that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians, half of which were for distracted driving.

When Pomona police officers tried to return a young boy’s cellphone after it was stolen by older kids as he walked to school, they learned he was afraid to walk to class anymore. So the kindhearted cops surprised him a new bicycle, helmet and lock so he could ride to school, instead.

Active SGV considers LA County’s plans for protected bike lanes.

 

State

Yes, those cars with dark tinted windows are illegal in California. Which doesn’t mean they’re not out there threatening your life and safety on a daily basis.

Police are investigating a crash between a bicyclist and a motorcyclist in Rancho Santa Margarita that left one man dead; for a change, it was the man with the motor. Which does not make it any less tragic.

Sadly, a 48-year old San Diego man suffered life-threatening injuries when he crashed his motorized bicycle into the side of a car while attempting to ride across a street; no word on whether he was on an ebike or one with a gasoline engine.

A Clovis woman apparently broke both arms and legs when she allegedly ran a red light and was struck by a driver.

The San Francisco Chronicle accuses Caltrans of trying to steamroll SB127, the Complete Streets bill that would force the state agency to consider the needs of all street users.

 

National

After the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed claiming “new left urbanists” want to use infrastructure to “make the masses conform to one vision of how to live — which unfortunately is hidden behind their paywall — a writer for Jalopnik responds that he never knew an op-ed could be so stupid.

A writer for the LA Times takes an ebike-aided bike tour of the Oregon Cascades. Which just happens to be where my brother is now on his solo bike tour across the west, except he’s currently on the coast.

Police, fire and EMS personnel rode 650 miles across Texas in eight days to honor fallen first responders.

After a homeless man stole a $10,000 road bike off a car rack, Tulsa OK police quickly mobilized to track him down, busting him a few hours later riding the purloined bike while carrying bolt cutters.

A Michigan man with muscular dystrophy will have to start over after his coast-to-coast fundraising bike ride to fight the disease was interrupted when a careless driver slammed into him and his riding partner with just 800 miles to go, leaving both with several broken bones; the driver played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming he just didn’t see them. Which should be seen as a confession rather than an excuse, but seldom is.

A Maine man is suing Ford for $1 million over a crash when he was riding his bike with his son. Not over the gardening truck that passed them, but for the the 50-year old Ford lawn mower in the back whose blade came off and nearly severed his leg.

If you’re riding a bike in Boston with a loaded gun in your pocket, try not to act so damn suspicious.

Hundreds of New Yorkers rode to honor a fallen rider and demand safer streets. And called for the city’s mayor to stop running for president and come back to deal with the recent rash of bicycling deaths.

A Philadelphia op-ed says taking steps to hold drivers accountable signals a change in the city’s pervasive car culture.

Philly goes all out for the city’s annual naked bike ride, and they’ve got the photos to prove it.

A Palm Beach FL columnist inadvertently shows how windshield bias can determine who gets blamed for bike and motorcycle crashes, pointing out that drivers get most of the blame in one county, and people on two wheels in the next. Even though studies show drivers are to blame in the majority of crashes.

A Florida woman is under arrest after slamming into a bike rider during her morning commute, then driving to work to begin her shift; she called her husband and asked him to return to the crash scene for her, but never bothered to call the police.

Seriously? After an older person complained about bikes in a Florida park, a city department ordered signs from — from Amazon, no less — banning bicycles in the park, knowing they weren’t official and couldn’t be enforced.

 

International

A pair of British Columbia bike thieves broke into a parking garage and made off with an $11,000 Yeti mountain bike, as well as another as-yet unidentified bicycle.

A 73-year old Victoria BC letter writer says he just rode in a new bike lane, and contrary to the usual hysterical reports, didn’t crash into any pedestrians, get hit by wobbly bike riders or run over by cars coming from a parking lot.

After a drunk, half-naked man got tossed out of an English supermarket, he grabbed a bicycle and tried to smash his way back in through the glass.

A British couple are riding over 3,700 miles to draw a bicycle across the face of Europe to call attention to the environmental impact of traveling by motor vehicle.

The breathless UK media freaks out over a man riding his bicycle on a “busy” street carrying a baby in one arm. For a change, they’ve got a point; a kid should always be in a child’s seat or some other type of safe child carrier on a bike.

An Irish government committee calls on the country to legalize e-scooters. Which means you could soon take a Bird to the Blarney Stone, or a Lime to Limerick.

Cargo bikes are becoming status symbols in Deutschland, as Germans turn away from electric cars in the switch to greener transport.

A Taipei, Taiwan committee calls on the transport ministry to prevent bike crashes, which they mostly blame on the people on two wheels.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News lists ten cyclists to keep your eye on in this year’s Vuelta, which kicked off on Saturday — including a rising young American rider for a change.

Twenty-two-year old American cyclist Chloe Dygert-Owen dominated the inaugural women’s Colorado Classic, winning all four stages, as her husband was 5,000 miles away in Spain competing in his first Grand Tour.

 

Finally…

Anyone can go biking on a mountain, but try riding a third of a mile under one. Are you a biker or a cyclist — or just someone who rides a bicycle?

And why ebikes burn like Jimi Hendrix’ guitar.

Morning Links: Road rage driver attacks LA bike rider, WeHo mayor OKs blocked bike lanes, and protected bike lanes AOK

Sorry about that. 

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence. 

Blame it on my diabetes, after a bout of low blood sugar knocked me out for several hours. 

I’d like to say it won’t happen again.

But it probably will. 

Road rage photo by Wendy Corniquet from Pixabay.

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Un-effing-believable.

A man riding to work on Santa Monica Blvd was repeatedly harassed, brake checked, and physically assaulted by a driver in an unmitigated display of road rage that lasted over 6 minutes.

All for the crime of riding a bike, legally and exactly where he was supposed to be.

And to top it off, she accused him of scratching her car after she blocked his bike against another car, and proceeded to door him multiple times.

Seriously, watch the whole thing — with the sound up.

According to KCBS2/KCAL9, the road rage attack took place two years ago. The poster child for road rage driver was arrested after the victim called 911, and was recently sentenced to 450 hours of community service.

Which is why he’s just releasing the bike cam video now.

Hopefully, that will be enough to get her road rage temper under control. And help her realize that bikes do, in fact, belong on the streets.

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The LAPD is stepping up efforts to find the heartless coward who slammed into a 15-year kid riding legally in a South LA crosswalk, and left him lying crushed and bleeding in the street.

Meanwhile, advocacy nonprofit SAFE — Streets Are For Everyone — is hostingMarch for Safety and Healing – In Honor of Roberto Diaz this Saturday.

Diaz is the victim of the crash, who remains hospitalized.

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Evidently, the mayor of West Hollywood is perfectly okay with mail carriers and delivery drivers blocking the city’s few bike lanes.

Which isn’t much of a problem.

Unless you’ve ever had to go around someone blocking the bike lane in heavy traffic on Santa Monica Blvd.

Because it’s apparently just too much to ask them to remove a parking space or two to create a loading zone.

Oh wait. Maybe I wasn’t the first one to say that.

After all, it’s much easier to accuse people of “outrage culture” than to take a small step to protect human lives.

WeHo can clearly do better than that. And should.

In fact, it does, no thanks to the mayor, apparently.

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No surprise here.

After the the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released a study questioning the safety of some protected bike lanes, John Pucher and Ralph Buehler, two of North America’s leading bicycling academics, say it ain’t necessarily so.

According to a Forbes piece by British bicycle historian Carlton Reid, this is how Pucher responded in an email.

“Finding problematic intersection design of cycle tracks here and there in three U.S. cities does not at all negate the overwhelming evidence that protected bike lanes are both safer, in fact, than unprotected lanes or no facilities at all, and that the vast majority of cyclists and potential cyclists overwhelmingly prefer such protected facilities and feel safer on such facilities, thus leading to sharp increases in cycling rates.”

Pucher stresses:

“The IIHS study focuses on the dangerous intersections, but overall, cycle tracks are definitely safer. I agree, however, that intersection design is absolutely crucial to the safety of cycle track systems, and that special intersection, roadway markings, traffic signs, and traffic signals are necessary.”

So don’t stop fighting for protected bike lanes.

Just make sure they’re designed properly.

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The Malibu Times reports that local pro mountain biker Marshall Mullen’s short film The Woolsey Fire Through the Eyes of Marshall Mullen will make its local debut at Casa Escobar restaurant.

The paper notes that the film been on YouTube since late May. But oddly doesn’t bother to include the link.

Fortunately, we can do better than that. Even though this version has a much shorter title.

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They get it. No, they totally get it.

GQ recommends their picks for the best bike helmets for any kind of road riding.

But they begin their piece this way.

No, you don’t have to wear a bike helmet. If you were to, say, get hit by a garbage truck on your commute, a small piece of foam and molded plastic is not going to make much of a difference. But since this is America and not Copenhagen, where cyclists are demonized for taking a sliver of space away from precious steel boxes and commuters are regularly in fear of their lives, it’s best to hedge your bets. Wear a helmet. (But whatever you do, please don’t helmet shame those who prefer to let their locks flow.)

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Sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly. 

A San Francisco man suffered life-threatening injuries when he was hit over the head with a bicycle. The attacker fled, but it sounds like police know who the attacker is, since they know his age.

An Aussie bike rider faces charges after he rode across several lanes of traffic to spit in the face of an anti-abortion protester. Seriously, don’t do that.

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Local

The LAPD is responding to CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz’ recent anti-scooter campaign by establishing a special task force to ticket e-scooter users riding on the sidewalk along Beverly Blvd, Melrose Ave and 3rd Street. Apparently, he’d much rather they get their asses run over on those narrow, busy streets that don’t offer any other place to ride. Or just not ride scooters, which is what he really has in mind.

Streetsblog talks with Bird’s sustainability chief.

Montebello Blvd is getting bike lanes and new medians in a 1.4-mile improvement project. And aggravating drivers in the process.

California is sending $315 million to LA County for highway repairs funded by the recent gas tax increase, along with $5.4 million for active transportation projects.

 

State

The proposed Complete Streets bill will stay alive in the state legislature, despite a “farcical” estimate from Caltrans that appears to be an effort to kill it.

The driver who killed Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza as he rode his bike in Mission Viejo last year had seven different drugs in his system at the time of the crash, including prescription drugs, street drugs and various metabolized drug byproducts; 25-year old Stephen Taylor Scarpa is facing a murder charge in Kreza’s death, and remains behind bars on a $2 million bond.

Beautiful piece by an investigative reporter for the LA Times about the remarkable recovery of a man who was nearly killed in an Oceanside bike crash, after lingering in a near vegetative state for months. And her efforts to convince someone he was still alive in there.

San Diego advocates are calling on the city to reconsider plans to remove parking spaces to install bike lanes on 30th Street because of the impact it could have on elderly and handicapped people. Because apparently, it’s impossible to pull over just long enough to let someone out of a car. And elderly and handicapped people never, ever ride bicycles, as everyone knows.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a woman was killed trying to ride her bike in a crosswalk; the CHP immediately absolved the driver of blame because it was dark. Apparently, Dodge Challenger’s like the one the driver had don’t have headlights, and the CHP has never heard of the state’s basic speed law, which prohibits driving too fast for current conditions. Like when it’s too dark to see what’s in the road directly ahead of your car.

A pair of men were busted for making off with six bikes worth $30,000 from a Santa Cruz bike shop after they were observed by a witness.

A car thief received the maximum sentence for plowing into a San Francisco bike cop as he attempted to flee from the police; Willie Flanigan was convicted on charges of “assault with a deadly weapon, hit-and-run, evading and resisting an officer, fleeing the scene of an accident, receiving stolen property and being an unlicensed driver.” Yet somehow, despite all those charges, the maximum sentence was just 12 years and 8 months.

Seventy-five-year old Courtney Rudin was convicted of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter for the head-collision that killed a woman riding in a Sonoma County charity ride when he made dangerously ill-advised passed around a slower vehicle; he faces just one year behind bars. Seriously, killing another human being should never be a misdemeanor, intentionally or not.

An 85-year old Los Osos man was critically injured after he suffered some sort of medical issue and fell off his ebike, even though he was wearing a helmet.

 

National

Bike Lawyer Bob Mionske says excusing careless drivers by blaming their victims just ensures that other drivers will keep driving that way.

No shit. Streetsblog says testing self-driving cars on the roads endangers pedestrians. And everyone else.

Forbes says bicycle-oriented development is a growing force with the larger field of transit-oriented development throughout the US, now that bicycling is the nation’s fastest-growing form of transportation.

Entry-level ebike prices continue to drop, as Rad Power Bikes introduces their new RadRunner cargo bike, which can be ridden in e-assist or full throttle mode.

A moving and hard-hitting photo essay says Portland is spending millions to stop drivers from killing people, but it’s not working.

He gets it. A Salt Lake City-area father and bike rider says aggressive driving should be treated as a crime. Preferably before they kill someone.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 86-year old Utah man still rides 1,000 miles a year on a tandem with his son; he was riding 3,000 miles a year on his own until he was hit by a driver three years ago. Although I’d just as soon skip that whole “hit by a driver” part, thank you.

Former Bicycling editor and elite cyclist Andrew “Bernie” Bernstein speaks out from his hospital bed about the dangers of distracted, drunk and/or speeding drivers, a month after he was left to die by a hit-and-run driver outside Boulder CO.

A bike shop in my hometown is struggling to clear its name after police arrested someone selling stolen bikes on the Let Go app, and making it appear the bike shop was doing it.

A Dallas man faces a murder charge for allegedly running down a man riding a bicycle for allegedly stealing his gun, then allegedly beating him to death with a piece of wood.

Horrible news from Oklahoma City, where a professional magician suffered severe spinal damage when he was struck by a police car while riding his bike; the officer was placed on paid leave, while the victim may be permanently paralyzed and unable to speak.

The owner of three pit bulls that killed a nine-year old Detroit girl as she was riding her bicycle has been charged with second degree murder for not controlling his dogs; the dogs, one of whom was shot by a rescuer, will likely get the death penalty.

An Indianapolis teenager says he forgives the driver who fled the scene after running him down on his bike, leaving him lying in a ditch unable to move.

I want to be like him, too. Bicycling offers four tips from the 91-year old Indiana cyclist who keeps breaking age group records.

Rapper Kadeem’s new album World Sport takes on a bicycling theme, reflecting the time spent on his ‘87 Schwinn World Sport as he was recording it, as well as his time on two wheels navigating the streets of Boston, dealing drugs and delivering for DoorDash.

New York prosecutors threw the book at the 18-year old driver who ran a red light and caused the collateral damage crash that killed a Brooklyn bike rider two weeks ago, charging him with criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, vehicular assault, disobeying a traffic device and doing 61 mph in a 25 mph zone. In other words, driving his Dodge Charger exactly the way the carmaker suggests he should. Thanks to Shaggy for the heads-up.

The New York Times examines why drivers rarely faces charges for killing bike riders; prosecutors have to show the driver’s behavior was “egregious,” and that they broke at least two traffic laws. Although it seems unlikely that the same standard would apply to killing someone with any other kind of weapon.

In the eternal battle over car storage, Philly residents are on the warpath over new bikes lanes that removed over a hundred parking spaces.

 

International

Forbes recommends six bike tours from around the world, including a self-guided tour of LA-area movie star homes, for people who are into that sort of thing.

Road.cc offers a guide to group ride hand signals. No, not that one.

Montreal will soon start ticketing drivers who violate Quebec’s equivalent of a three-foot passing law by using an ultrasound device that measures the distance between a bike and a passing car. The LAPD apparently has no interest in that, despite being told about the device multiple times as part of the department’s bike liaison program.

This is why you should always get checked out by a doctor after any bike crash. A London man died after a blood clot caused a heart attack two weeks after he fell off his bike. That’s a lesson I’ve learned the hard way.

A report from the UK Parliament says forget electric cars, get Brits on bikes. Good advice on this side of the Atlantic, too.

Evidently, placing solar panels in a French roadway was a bad idea.

Germans call for expanding bicycle infrastructure after bicycling deaths reach their highest total since 2010.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews suggests four story lines to follow at the four-stage women’s Colorado Classic bike race, which kicked off yesterday in Steamboat Springs CO. You can livestream the races on the magazine’s website.

The New York Times offers an obituary for Felice Gimondi, one of just seven cyclists to win the Tour de France, Vuelta a España and Giro d’Italia.

 

Finally…

Yes, you can find bikeshare above the Arctic Circle, in case you were wondering. If you’re riding your bike with several outstanding warrants, just put a damn light on it, already.

And your next bike could be a Harley.

No, really.

 

Morning Link: CicLAvia visits 3 out of 4 Hollywoods, 15-year old hit-and-run victim speaks, and the war on bikes goes on

By all accounts, Sunday’s Meet the Hollywood’s CicLAvia was another success for the open streets nonprofit group.

KNBC-4 said the event was the first CicLAvia to include West Hollywood, East Hollywood, Thai Town and Little Armenia, as well as the actual Hollywood, offering participants a carfree view of historic Hollywood icons.

Then again, Patch offers the exact same story, word for word, crediting City News Service as the source, which KNBC somehow failed to mention.

And Streetsblog’s Joe Linton provides his photos from the day.

Meanwhile, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti took part in the event, celebrating the Hollywood Great Streets project.

 

Except nothing of any significance has been done on the Hollywood Great Streets project, five years after it was announced.

Unless you consider a little improved lighting and a pair of scramble crosswalks a great street.

Because I sure as hell don’t.

Meanwhile a few other views of CicLAvia popped up on Twitter’s radar today.

And wins the Oscar for the cutest one of all.

https://twitter.com/HaveAGo/status/1163481543970455552

But did he say “On your left?” Or even “On your right,” for that matter?

Unfortunately, thought, you’ll have to wait another two months for the next one.

……….

Fifteen-year old Roberto Diaz remains in “tremendous pain” two weeks after he was run down by a hit-and-run driver, who dragged him the length of five football fields as he made his escape.

Diaz has endured a half-dozen surgeries just to stay alive after the driver hit him as he rode his bike in a South LA crosswalk — with the right-of-way.

And he has a message for the heartless coward who did it.

Without hesitation he says, “I just wanted to give a message to the person that did this to me… I just wanted to know why you do like what you did. You saw me. You hit me. You knew I was under there.”

“I remember everything,” Diaz says, “From like when I got hit. When I was stuck under there. I was just being dragged. I felt like all my air was being lost.”

Yet remarkably, he forgives his near-killer.

“I forgive him but I also want him to turn himself in,” he says, matter-of-fact.

Police are looking for the driver of a dark-colored four-door Honda, probably with damage to the front end.

Hopefully the standing $25,000 reward will encourage someone to speak up.

The story also notes that a bike race will be held this Saturday to raise funds for Diaz.

[Editor’s Note: A bike race is being held Sat. Aug. 24 with donations going to Diaz. Register time: 12:30 p.m., start time 1:30 p.m. Meet up at 35th and Maple. Starting point Jefferson/Maple – Ending point Angels Point]

If anyone has more information about the race, let me know; you’ll find my email on the About page.

………

Don’t try to ride an e-anything on the campus of San Diego State University, where “electric or motorized dockless scooters, bicycles, roller skates, hoverboards, skateboards and other micromobility devices” have been banned starting with the fall semester.

The Luddites at SDSU would probably even ban this one, too.

………

A British man set a new record for the fastest man on a bike.

Which is not the same as the fastest person, in this case.

Neil Campbell broke the 24-year old record for the fastest bicycle speed in an auto-assisted slipstream at over 174 mph, beating the old record by a full seven miles per hour.

But he still has a long way to go to beat the speed of American cyclist Denise Mueller-Korenek, who holds the women’s — and world — record at 189.3 mph.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bike goes on.

It was nice while it lasted, but this unwanted feature once again rears its ugly head today.

After a man swerved his bicycle to avoid glass on a bike path, a road-raging Oregon driver followed him, then rammed his truck into his bike, got out and physically attacked him — until he realized a witness was calling police.

An Illinois bike rider was the innocent victim of a paintball drive-by when the occupants of a passing car shot him in the face with a paintball gun.

But sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly. 

A Brooklyn woman was injured when she was hit by a red light-running bike rider while walking in a crosswalk with the right-of-way.

A Florida letter-writer says he suffered a broken jaw and numerous bruises when he was hit from behind while walking by a high-speed distracted bicyclist who was staring at his smartphone.

And sometimes the problem is both.

After a group of teenage bike riders surrounded a Long Island driver’s truck following a dispute, he ran over one of their bikes, nearly hitting some of the riders in the process. Naturally, the police only blamed the kids on two wheels for riding recklessly prior to the incident.

………

Local

Metro and the LACBC will be offering a free BEST class on the Rules of the Road in Gardena this Saturday.

A Sylmar nonprofit bookstore and cultural center won a $15,000 Great Streets Challenge grant to develop a plan to improve a one-mile bike and pedestrian path along San Fernando Road; they’ll get a chance to win another half-million dollar grant to actually implement the changes.

Santa Monica is gearing up for an open streets event of their own, with COAST opening two miles of streets to people — and closing to cars — on September 15th, along Ocean Ave, Colorado Ave and Main Street.

 

State

A San Diego TV station provides a preview of this weekend’s annual 25-mile Bike the Bay ride over the Coronado Bay Bridge.

San Diego is jerking Lime’s permit to operate within its borders after concluding the dockless e-scooter and ebike company hasn’t been playing by the rules.

Sad news from Elk Grove, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with a freight train. One more reminder to never go under, over or around crossing barriers or warning lights, even if you don’t see a train or one has just passed; there might be another one traveling in the opposite direction.

More sad news, this time from Healdsburg. A 61-year old former Huntington Beach resident died on Sunday, after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver last week; he’d been struggling to kick the bottle and get off the streets. Hats off to the Press Democrat for one of the most respectful stories I’ve seen about any homeless victim.

 

National

They get it. A writer for The Week says American cities need to phase out cars.

New Skip e-scooters come with swappable batteries to eliminate the need for daily recharging, making them more sustainable.

A Streetsblog writer says Denver’s 18-year plan to build out its bike network is unacceptable. But at least they’ve started work on theirs, unlike Los Angeles, which promised to complete its plan two years earlier in 2035. And has barely scratched the surface.

Meanwhile, Denver considers lowering speed limits to 25 mph to reduce traffic deaths; a local magazine questions whether it will really make a difference. Short answer, only if police enforce the new limit and drivers obey it.

A Fargo ND man reported finding syringes and needles strewn across a bike path. Or as we call that in Los Angeles, Tuesday. Or any other day that ends in Y.

More proof of the danger rumble strips pose to people on bicycles, as a 72-year old Minnesota man was killed when he was thrown from his bike after hitting rumble strips while on a group ride.

Saying bikes can damage a skatepark, a Michigan town considers issuing misdemeanor tickets to kids who try to use their BMX bikes there.

We know the feeling. Curbed New York says achieving zero traffic deaths will require radical changes to the city’s streets, but they’re still waiting for that to happen. Sort of like Los Angeles, where city officials somehow seem to think making marginal changes here and there will somehow magically reduce deaths in the city.

A longtime Philadelphia lacrosse icon was killed while riding on a bike path on Saturday; unfortunately, no details are available.

A troubled 16-year old Georgia boy took part in a 500-mile ride through three southern states in an effort to turn his life around.

 

International

A British pair says a 12-year old girl would have been killed if she hadn’t been wearing her helmet when she was hit by a driver. Which is questionable considering she suffered a fractured skull anyway; it’s possible her injuries could have been much worse without it, but it’s also possible that the helmet somehow failed to protect her.

The city of Utrecht in the Netherlands is the proud host of the world’s largest bicycle parking facility; the expanded facility can now hold as many as 12,500 bikes. Fortunately, there’s also video — in Dutch, of course.

Even in the Netherlands, elderly bike riders are at greater risk than their younger counterparts.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rising third-year star Lily Williams intends to show just how exciting women’s cycling can be at this weekend’s women’s-only Colorado Classic.

 

Finally…

Have a library card, check out a bike. Now drivers are trying to kill the dead, too.

And maybe the damn thing will wear hi-viz and a helmet next time.

Morning Links: Sonoma man faces retrial in death of bike rider, new video in South LA hit-and-run, and Florida duck murderer

Maybe two times will be the charm this time.

A 75-year old Sonoma County man will face a second trial in the death of a Sebastopol woman, who was killed while taking part in a 2016 charity ride.

The driver faces a single count of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter for either striking the bike rider while driving on the wrong side of the road, or causing her to lose control and fall.

The driver said he thought he had plenty of room to pass a slow moving truck without hitting the pair of bicyclists coming in the opposite direction, and only realized he might have been wrong when the driver’s side mirror fell off his truck.

An investigator for the CHP somehow concluded that there was no evidence of a crash, apparently believing the man’s mirror just happened to fall off the same time he passed the victim.

Sure. Let’s go with that.

An earlier trial ended in a hung jury, leaning 10 – 2 in favor of a conviction.

Apparently most of them didn’t buy it either.

Thanks to Sindy Saito for the heads-up.

………

The LAPD has released another video of the hit-and-run driver who critically injured a 15-year old boy as he rode his bike in a South LA crosswalk.

Fortunately, Roberto Diaz survived the crash, though he remains in the ICU following five surgeries, with at least one more planned for today.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Central Traffic Division detectives at 213/833-3713.

………

Looking for a good cause to support?

The One Bicycle Foundation urges you be a hero to a kid by supporting their efforts to give bicycles to children in poor countries.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

An apparently drunk Florida man was arrested for duck murder after witnesses say he deliberately ran over a family of ducklings swimming in a puddle in the roadway, killing two and seriously injuring a third.

Schmuck.

………

Still more kindhearted people, as a Houston TX truck driver collects and refurbishes old, unloved bicycles, and gives them away to people in need.

After a nine-year old Cleveland girl calmly called 911 to report the bike she got for her birthday had been stolen, dispatchers pitched in to buy her a new one, with a helmet and lock, too.

After police rescued a five-year old Boston-area boy who wandered off in his pajamas, while pushing a bike with flat tires and a missing training wheel, an anonymous donor gave him a new one, along with supplies for the new school year. 

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton examines the toxic vitriol directed at supporters of the proposed Nordhoff bus rapid transit (BRT) lane by local NIMBYs, including one woman who called a 19-year old American-born college student an “ignorant Oriental.” Nothing like trotting out outdated, racist slurs to win friends and influence people. Then again, that seems to work with some people these days.

LAist nails it, reporting that yes, Uber and Lyft are contributing to LA’s traffic problems, but LA drivers should take a hard look in the mirror before pointing fingers.

A writer for LA Downtown News ponders bikes, rivers and homelessness in Berlin, Paris and Los Angeles, concluding that if two great European cities can come up with the answers, a great metropolis like LA should be able to, too.

Great piece from LA Taco on how to ride public transportation in Los Angeles, including tips on taking your bike on Metro buses and trains.

Do we really need to see more photos of “ruggedly handsome” Arnold riding his massive fat tire bike through the streets of LA? I didn’t think so.

WeHoVille calls on everyone to get out of your house and out of your car for Sunday’s Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia.

 

State

No surprise here, as a San Diego group has filed suit over plans for protected bike lanes on 30th Street, alleging it’s illegal because they’re not included in the community plan, and the community didn’t have enough time to weigh in on the loss of parking spaces.

Coronado police use a bait bike to bust three bike thieves in just 72 hours. Meanwhile, the LAPD won’t use bait bikes over fears of being accused of entrapment, even though they’ve been successfully used throughout the state.

Sad news from Clovis, where a bike rider was killed when a 17-year old driver drifted onto the shoulder of the roadway.

Modesto police have issued a BOLO alert (aka, be on the lookout) for a red light-running, hit-and-run driver who injured a bike rider this past July.

 

National

Dominos is turning to ebikes to solve the problems of parking and traffic congestion for their pizza deliveries, while allowing the company to hire people who don’t have a car or driver’s license.

Now that’s more like it. A Seattle councilmember wants to force the city to build bike lanes by requiring them on any street that gets at least $1 million in roadwork.

Boise, Idaho is considering a petition to make a key bike route less safe by reversing a road diet and ripping out the bike lanes, along with the improved crosswalks kids use to get to and from schools. But hey, if it allows drivers to go zoom! zoom! again, that’s all that really matters, right?

South Dakota property owners sing the refrain of NIMBYs everywhere, saying they support bike lanes — just somewhere else.

Residents of a disadvantaged Kansas City neighborhood are questioning why new bike lanes took priority over more pressing community needs, like dealing with blight, crime, illegal dumping and aging infrastructure.

It takes a major scumbag to steal a bicycle after the Houston man riding it was killed in a crash. Unless maybe it was taken by the man’s riding companion, for reasons known only to him or her.

Minnesota police bust a serial bike thief who was selling the purloined bicycles through Facebook to support his drug habit.

New Haven CT police put out a BOLO alert for a wheelie-popping reckless bike rider who allegedly almost caused drivers to crash.

The recent rash of New York bicycling deaths has bike riders wondering if drivers have a license to kill. Short answer, given the reluctance of the NYPD to hold drivers accountable, yes.

New York’s part-time mayor and full-time presidential candidate Bill de Blasio calls for charges against the speeding, red light-running teenage driver who caused the crash that killed an innocent bike rider, while his fellow politicians put the blame on de Blasio. Meanwhile, the victim was remembered as an advocate for bike safety.

New York will soon have a 750-mile biking and walking trail crisscrossing the state. Meanwhile, California doesn’t. And won’t anytime soon, if ever.

Next up on DC’s micromobility agenda, 30 mph dockless mopeds.

Virginia bike advocates call on Amazon to help build a protected bike lane on the street in front of their planned second headquarters in Arlington.

 

International

A Vancouver website says don’t place construction signs in the middle of the damn bike lane. Okay, I may have added the invective to that; they politely called it a terrible mistake. But still. 

The family of an Ottawa man is demanding answers after he was critically injured in a collision, saying not enough is being done to protect people on bicycles. Nice reporting job by the Ottawa Citizen, which managed to get through the entire story without mentioning that the vehicle that hit him had a driver.

A Halifax, Nova Scotia city councilor wants to copy Oregon in placing a $10 to $20 tax on the purchase of any new bicycle. But that’s just the start; he also want bicyclists to be registered, insured and licensed, just like the cars they’re not.

Good question. A British letter writer wants to know why some people always have it in for bicyclists.

Yesterday we mentioned the London woman who was looking for the man who gave her a bicycle as a child in a Dutch refugee camp; the Guardian reports she found him, and will soon get to thank him in person.

 

Competitive Cycling

Hundred of people turned out for the funeral of fallen pro cyclist Bjorg Lambrecht in his Belgian hometown; the 22-year old Lotto-Soudal rider was killed when he struck a concrete culvert while competing in the Tour of Poland. And yes, his teammates attended the funeral.

Denver will celebrate the new four-stage women’s Colorado Classic bike race with a free bike expo and open streets event.

 

Finally…

A-tisket, a-tasket, find your perfect basket. Forget ebikes; your next bike could run on a hydrogen-powered fuel cell.

And peak NIMBYism is fighting the bike lane that was never in the plans to begin with.

 

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