Tag Archive for Santa Clarita Valley

22-year old Castaic woman killed by street sweeper while riding her bike in Valencia

Sadly, the recent rash of bicycling deaths continued over the weekend, with yet another victim lost to our streets.

According to the Santa Clarita Signal, 22-year old Castaic resident Kori Sue Peters was riding on Rye Canyon Road at Beale Court in Valencia just after midnight Sunday when the driver of street sweeper hit her from behind.

She was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The driver cooperated with investigators, and did not appear to be under the influence drugs or alcohol.

According to Nina Moskol, Chairperson of the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition, Rye Canyon is one of just two viable bike routes between Castaic and Valencia.

Sheriff’s investigators determined that she didn’t have lights on her bike, and also blamed her dark clothing for apparently making herself invisible to the driver of the street sweeper.

While bike riders are required to use lights after dark and have reflectors on their bikes, there is no requirement to wear light colored clothing, even though it’s probably a good idea after dark, though not always practical.

And drivers are expected, if not required, to notice whatever or whoever is in the road directly in front of them.

I’m told that Peters leaves behind two children, and may have recently returned home to work on a substance abuse problem without her kids.

In other words, she was trying to turn her life around.

And now she’ll never get the chance.

This is at least the 31st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kori Sue Peters and all her family and loved ones. 

Thanks to Nina Moskol for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Improving bike safety on Bouquet Canyon, less liability on bike paths, and doping gets mechanical

Anyone who has ridden Bouquet Canyon through the Santa Clarita Valley — or driven it, for that matter — knows it’s a fun ride, but far from safe.

Especially at the speed too many drivers take it.

Following the death of a teenage motorist on the roadway last month, the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition has written an open letter to LA County Supervisor Michael Antonovich urging safety improvements on Bouquet Canyon Road. Especially in light of its inclusion as a Class III bike route in the new county bike plan.

Their suggestions include better signage warning drivers of the possible presence of bicyclists, reducing the speed limit, and installing a rideable shoulder the full length of the road.

You can read the full letter here.

Let’s hope Antonovich does, too. Then actually does something about it.

And no, it’s not just drivers who have lost their lives there.

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A California appeals court strengthens the concept of trail immunity, which holds that land owners and government bodies aren’t responsible for dangerous conditions on trails used for recreational purposes, including bike paths.

In Teresa Burgueno, et al. v. The Regents of the University of California, the 6th Court of Appeal ruled that bike paths that are used for both recreational and transportation riding are still considered recreational trails under the law.

Which means that if you’re injured due to dangerous condition on an off-road bike path, you can’t hold anyone legally responsible for your injuries. Even if they knew about it in advance, and failed to do anything about it.

And even if it’s used by people riding to school or work, in addition to people riding for fitness or enjoyment.

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Caught on video: There is something seriously wrong with a driver who’d back up just to run a group of cyclists off the road; the incident occurred near Perth, Australia.

And yes, it’s been reported to the police.

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After years of rumors, there’s finally been a confirmed case of motor doping.

A Dutch rider competing in the women’s Under 23 Cyclocross Worlds was forced to withdraw after race authorities found an electric motor hidden inside her bike.

Naturally, she claims it wasn’t her bike and she knew nothing about it.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay calls it perhaps the goofiest scandal ever, while Bike Hugger accuses the cycling world of a Motor Omertà.

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Local

A bike rider in his 40s had to be rescued from rising waters in the LA River near Fourth Street due to Sunday’s rain. Which should serve as a reminder to avoid rivers and streams during and after a heavy rain, even if the path isn’t closed. And seriously, don’t go around the gate if it is.

You have just over a week to legally walk your bike across the Mariposa Street Bridge over the LA River; at the urging of horse riders, Burbank is scheduled to vote on the 9th to ban the mere possession of a bike on the bridge. Hopefully, they’ll listen to the Burbank Leader, which says they got it wrong.

Now here’s a good cause. The East Side Riders Bike Club has started a gofundme account to get a mobile bike shop. Their goal is to get kids hooked on bicycling, instead of something more dangerous.

 

State

A Highland man has his bike stolen after fleeing a man with a gun following an altercation.

There’s a special place in hell for someone who’d steal a bike from a legally blind former Marine in Eureka; prior to the theft, he was still able to ride using his peripheral vision.

 

National

A new study has shown what many of us already know. Riding harder doesn’t necessarily mean burning more calories or losing more weight, since metabolism tends to plateau at a certain level.

A Seattle writer places the blame for the failure of the city’s bikeshare system on a disconnected bike lane network, a lack of stations in popular places, and their bike helmet requirement.

Portland has now made protected lanes the default design for bike lanes; if city engineers recommend an unprotected lane, they have to be able to justify it.

Who knew sharrows were born in the Mile High City? No offense to my home state, but in most cases, they can keep them.

A Texas jury awards a cyclist injured by a distracted driver over $850,000, even without a finding of gross negligence. The victim and his wife hope this will inspire change in the state; remarkably, Texas still has not banned hand-held cell phone use while driving. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

This is why you don’t chase after bike thieves. After an Ohio woman tries to use her car to chase down the man stealing her bike, he steals her car. And runs over her with it.

Any film or journalism school graduates want to move to PA? Bicycling Magazine is looking for a video producer.

Once again, a bicyclist rides to the rescue, as a Florida man rolls his truck and an anonymous man on a bike helps pull him and his brother to safety.

 

International

Evidently, drivers are no better in Canada than they are here. And it’s about time someone pointed out it’s often the people behind the wheel who act entitled, rather than those on two wheels.

A Brit Olympic legend says scandal-plagued international athletics should follow cycling’s anti-doping example. Like placing tiny motors in runners’ shoes and springs in the vaulting poles, perhaps?

A Philippine filmmaker worries that her new movie, which promotes a love of biking, fitness and nature, may put riders at risk by encouraging them to take to the country’s streets.

 

Finally…

Repeat after me: Don’t ride drunk with nearly two ounces on dope in your backpack. How about a rousing game of match the celebrity to the bike?

And that’s what I call a cargo bike. At least, China’s People’s Daily swears there’s a tricycle under there somewhere.

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Come back later today, when we’ll announce the winner of our first-ever bicycle giveaway, courtesy of Beachbikes.net.

 

First review of County Bike Plan for Santa Clarita Valley; driver gets one year for LA DUI fatality

The first draft of L.A. County’s draft bike plan just dropped late last week, and already the first review is in.

Writing for Santa Clarita Valley blog SCVTalk, Jeff Wilson says the plan highlights the current deficiency of biking infrastructure in area, as well as how the plan would go a long way towards correcting that.

Currently there are only 3.3 miles of bicycle lanes in unincorporated SCV. If adopted and built-out completely, the County’s bike plan would add 45 miles of Class I and Class II bike lanes and 101 more miles of Class III Bike Routes in unincorporated SCV.

Among the more exciting aspects of the plan: a Class II bike lane from Castaic to the Newhall Pass along the Old Road (13 miles), a Class I grade-separated bike path along Castaic Creek in Castaic (5.5 miles), and a Class I grade-separated bike path near Highway 126 all the way to the Ventura County line (10.2 miles), which would be a very positive step forward in bike-path-to-the-sea dream some of us cyclists have had.

The 100+ miles of Class III routes aren’t as exciting because they are merely lines on a map. Few or no alterations to roads are permitted (save for signage), and cyclists are expected to ride in the shoulder or in the traffic lane if that is not possible. The plan puts Class III routes on some of the more popular roads outside of town, including Bouquet Canyon and Sierra Highway.

He notes that the plan says it’s essential to that county bikeways connect with bikeways in Santa Clarita, although many of the existing lanes and routes aren’t on roads that go out of town, especially on the west side. And that just because something is on the map, that doesn’t mean it will be built, as other projects in other areas have been given a higher priority.

So what do you think?

Download the bike plan and take a look at the areas you ride — or would like to ride. And let me know what you think.

Or more importantly, attend one of the workshops or respond online.

And let the county know.

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An L.A. man who killed a 72-year old motorist while speeding at 20 mph over the speed limit — and twice the legal blood alcohol limit — gets just one year in jail because his victim may have made an illegal U-turn.

And if Mark David Skillingberg completes his probation without incident, the felony conviction could be reduced to a misdemeanor and expunged from his record.

According to the L.A. Times:

Judge Katherine Mader expressed sympathy for the victim’s family but referenced a probation report that concluded that Skillingberg was not a danger to the community and will learn from the experience.

“Mr. Skillingberg was obviously drunk and he made the decision to drive,” she said. “But he is not going unpunished.”

So let me get this straight.

Someone who gets drunk, gets behind the wheel and takes the life of another human being isn’t a danger to the community. And it’s okay to kill someone, as long as you promise to learn from the experience.

The primary cause of the other driver’s death wasn’t a U-turn — legal or otherwise. It was a speeding drunk behind the wheel.

And how will any of us be safe on the streets as long as the courts refuse to take that seriously?

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WeHo Daily asks if Stephen Box can beat incumbent CD4 City Councilmember Tom LaBonge. The dreaded Hudson River on L.A.’s future 4th Street Bike Boulevard may have finally run dry. The prolific Rick Risemberg asks cyclists to get involved in the Bike Plan Implementation Team to help turn the new bike plan into a ridable reality. Exploring Los Angeles on two wheels, including good advice on using transit and riding safely. Mark your calendar for Bike Night at the Hammer Museum on April 14th. C-Blog thanks a Mercedes driver for the near-miss wake-up call.

Temple City is next up on the list of local bike plans under consideration. Claremont cyclist offers a lesson in cycling lingo. Hermosa Beach cyclists are about to get new artisan bike racks in high traffic areas; thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up. A columnist for the Long Beach Press-Telegram says no one uses those new bike lanes, and no one is asking for them; note to Doug Krikorian — if you don’t know anyone who bikes in Long Beach, maybe you need to expand your circle of friends. Orange County gets another ghost bike amid calls for improved bike safety and more sharrows. The OC’s cdm Cyclist interviews Jeff Mapes, author of Pedaling Revolution.

The Bakersfield Californian says if L.A. can embrace bicycling, they can too; let’s not get carried away though — L.A.’s recent bike love still exists primarily on paper, not on the streets. The country’s healthiest and happiest city continues to invest in the bike infrastructure that helps make it that way. Overcoming a fear of bike commuting. Evidently, I’m not the only one who’s dreamed of opening a combination bike shop/brew pub. Placer County will pay you to buy a new bike. Forget cell-phone using drivers; nearly 20% of drivers admit to surfing the internet while they drive. How to ride in the rain. Ten articles for beginning cyclists, including one from our friend the Springfield Cyclist. Bike Biz asks if the bike industry gives bloggers enough love; hey, I can always use a little more. If you want change, write a letter.

The Colorado man accused of attacking a group of cyclists with a baseball bat has been found guilty. Dottie offers her typically lovely look at Chicago’s spring thaw. In a horrifying story, a New York cyclist is arrested, physically abused and thrown in jail for nearly 24 hours for allegedly running a red light. Despite the backlash, New York cyclists are ahead of the curve, says the Wall Street Journal, while Bike Snob says history is repeating itself. The much criticized Prospect Park West bike lanes have tripled the number of riders and slowed speeding traffic — while adding one second to the average commute. The New York Times looks at cyclists who build their own frames. A look at riding in New York from a Dutch perspective. Brooklyn cyclists plan a ghost bike in honor of the victims of unreported collisions. A 13-year old cyclist is attacked after asking a driver who buzzed him to put his cell phone away and look out for cyclists; thanks to Al Williams for the heads-up.

How to tell when it’s time to get back on your bike after illness. Bicycling looks at this week’s Race to the Sun. After 18 months, a Brit water board can’t seem to find a dangerous road hazard, let alone fix it. Turns out that one of London’s most popular — and threatened — cycling bridges could be closed to cars without adversely affecting traffic. Remarkably, an Edinburgh court finds it more credible that a motorist made an emergency stop, then drove off in fear — with a rider’s bike still stuck under his car — than the possibility that the driver hit the cyclist. Rising French star Fabien Taillefer is the latest rider to admit to doping. A Singapore physician calls for banning recreational cyclists from the road. Even the Chinese People’s Daily is reporting on L.A.’s bike plan.

Finally, I received an email from New York music website Break Thru Radio, promoting a new performance video from guitarist Brian Bonz. In a segment they call Hear & There, the site asks their artists to immerse themselves in an unusual environment; Bonz chose New York bike shop Zen Bikes for his song Terror in Boneville.

And thanks to everyone who has sent me the link to the NY Times article about Janette Sadik-Khan; evidently, the Times registration program was created specifically to keep me out.

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