Tag Archive for Temecula

CHP gets bike law wrong after 13-year old right hooked, Phil Gaimon gets it, and gravel bull buffoonery in Bakersfield

Once again, the CHP gets basic bike law completely wrong.

After a 13-year old Temecula boy was right hooked by a driver while riding his bike on the sidewalk on his way to school, a CHP officer blamed the victim, stressing that he was riding against traffic.

Except there is no right or wrong way on a sidewalk.

As any pedestrian can tell you, sidewalks are bidirectional, with no requirement to walk one way or the other.

The same holds true for riding a bike — assuming sidewalk riding is legal there. The requirement to ride with traffic only applies if you’re riding in the street.

If the CHP can’t manage to teach their officers that, maybe they shouldn’t be investigating bike crashes.

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Phil Gaimon gets it.

His latest video calls for everyone who rides a bike in LA to sign the Healthy Streets LA ballot petition, which would require the city to build out the mobility plan whenever a street on it is repaved.

And it doesn’t hurt that he features a recent story from this site, even if it was bad news.

Although you may have to suffer through an ad or two first.

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Gravel Bikes California offers what they describe as bulls, bees and buffoonery, and the madness that’s the pure joy of gravel.

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Proof that a separated bike lane is no guarantee against being the victim of a hit-and-run.

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Now that’s a close pass.

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

A Florida driver will apparently get away with killing a man riding his bike on the shoulder of a highway, despite veering all the way off the roadway to strike the victim, who police say did nothing wrong. And despite the driver’s long record of traffic violations and license suspensions. Just one more example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the road until they kill someone.

A 71-year old Welsh driver was convicted of backing into a group of bicyclists following a punishment pass, while calling them “English bastards.” The joke’s on him though, since one of the riders was Dutch.

Someone is stealing the protective iron barriers from the world’s longest continuous bike lane in Turkey.

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Local

A Metro board motion once again reaffirms that funding for the now cancelled 710 Freeway extension will go for multi-modal and safety enhancement projects, rather than the auto-centric projects the head of Metro’s Highways Program keeps insisting on.

 

State 

A San Diego woman beats the odds by taking to her bike after nearly dying from an infected heart valve, with her husband of 40 years riding by her side.

San Mateo proves that it is possible to build out a bike plan while overcoming objections from residents over a loss of street parking; the city approved a plan to install bike lanes on three streets, as well as building three separate bike boulevards, while removing 170 parking spaces to make room for the project.

Berkeley approves plans to install a bus lane on Telegraph Ave, while building protected bike lanes on three nearby streets.

A Berkeley bike advocate reflects on her brush with death when she was struck by a driver while riding bikes with her son last year.

 

National

Bicycling recommends the best bike tubes for all types of bicyclists, including one that’s pretty in pink. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

A couple in their 60s shares what they learned riding a tandem 3,800 miles across the US. Although the first lesson should be how to get past the Wall Street Journal’s draconian paywall.

VeloNews examines how Black style is transforming cycling culture.

A Portland website tells the tale of the city’s 1890s bike factory, which was originally opened to build an ether-powered bicycle, which was dropped when they couldn’t keep up with demand for pedal-powered bikes.

Clearly, a sidewalk is no protection from a drunk driver, as Tucson AZ bike rider was killed when a reckless DUI driver veered onto the sidewalk he was riding on; in an unusual development, the driver was also hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

The body of a Colorado man was just recently discovered and identified, after he went missing on a. bike ride last September.

Houston moves forward with plans for a road diet and bike lanes, despite last minute opposition to the project after three years of public meetings.

A New York op-ed says the city must commit public funding to expand the Citi Bike bikeshare system, noting it’s the city’s only transit network that doesn’t receive financial support.

DC considers adopting the full Idaho Stop Law, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and red lights like stop signs, while also banning right turns on red.

Bighearted residents of Biloxi, Mississippi pitched in to crowdfund a new bike for a 76-year old man who relies on a bike for transportation, after his was stolen.

Kindhearted Florida cops bought a new bike for a young girl after hers was stolen, and they couldn’t recover it.

Another bike rider was caught dangling from a Florida draw bridge, but fortunately, this one survived.

 

International

No surprise here. A new review of 170 studies from around the world confirms that cities where where walking and bicycling are safe and convenient have a lower rate of diabetes and obesity. Although you’ll have to sacrifice your privacy and sign up to view the story.

Despite adopting a constitutional amendment enshrining the right to safe mobility, Mexico’s car-centric infrastructure continues to put bike riders and pedestrians at risk.

Road.cc offers advice on how to stop the dreaded speed wobbles, which can be scary as hell when they come for you.

A British man was finally able to overcome his fears and get back on his bike, three years after he was injured by a driver in a 2018 terrorist attack.

The war in Ukraine hits home for the bicycling community, as video posted to social media appears to show a bike rider hit by a missile strike. Although there are a lot of fakes circulating now, so take anything you see, read or hear with a big grain of salt.

 

Competitive Cycling

Despite drawing over 300,000 spectators, hosting the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France in Yorkshire, England has shown no lasting financial benefit.

 

Finally…

Your next bike lock could be your bike. That feeling when your cat becomes a star for riding around town with you.

And why you’ll never beat Peter Sagan if you have periods.

No, really.

https://twitter.com/amylaurenjones/status/1496863263858073614?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1496863263858073614%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-24-february-2022-290577

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

Bike rider killed in Temecula crash; 3rd Riverside County bicycling death already this year

Someone was killed riding a bicycle in Temecula Friday night.

Once again, there’s almost no information available. And what little there is doesn’t make much sense.

According to multiple, nearly identical stories, a bike rider was riding on Temecula’s Margarita Road, near Moraga Road, when they was struck by a driver around 8:50 pm Friday.

they died at the scene, despite the efforts of first responders.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified in any way, was reportedly riding outside of the bike lane on Margarita while attempting to cross the street.

Which doesn’t make sense, because it would be impossible to cross the street without leaving the bike lane, regardless of just where the crash occurred, which isn’t clear, or whether he was directly crossing the road or trying to make a left turn.

There’s also no word on which direction the driver was going, or why they were unable to avoid hitting the victim.

At least the driver remained at the scene following the crash, which should be a given, but sadly isn’t these days.

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

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

Roadkill Gil’s prints on Spring Street bike lane ban; former US mountain bike champ Ryan Fedorow killed in motorcycle crash

Is anyone really surprised to see Gil Cedillo’s fingerprints all over the death of the fully approved and funded bike lanes on the newly widened North Spring Street Bridge?

Cedillo, the councilmember for LA’s 1st Council District, seems to have an irrational fear and/or hatred of bicycles and the people who ride them.

Maybe he’s still mad that Santa never brought him one.

That extends to bike lanes, as well. Cedillo has apparently never seen one in his district that he didn’t want to stop, even going so far as to request the removal of every planned bike lane in CD1 from the city’s mobility plan.

That includes the desperately needed, shovel-ready lane reduction on deadly North Figueroa, which he claimed to support — right up to the moment he took office, and began a series of rigged public meetings to justify killing a project with broad popular support.

Something that earned him the moniker Roadkill Gil, as needless deaths continued to mount on the corridor, and in his district.

And now, newly uncovered evidence has confirmed long-held suspicions that he was behind the endless delays, and ultimately, the de facto cancellation, of the planned bike lanes on the North Spring Street Bridge.

The $50 million reconstructed bridge crosses the Los Angeles River north of downtown, connecting Lincoln Heights with Chinatown.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers an extensive timeline spelling out the whole sad project, from approval of the retrofit in 2011 to the final construction, sans bike lanes. Along with the endless promises that they would be installed at some vague point in the future.

Streetsblog requested, and yesterday received, a copy of the 2021 change order removing the bike lanes from the project via a public records request.

And sure enough, it specifies that Cedillo’s office had them removed, claiming “safety concerns,” that somehow couldn’t have been rectified up to this point.

After all, they’ve only had ten years to address them.

The good news is, Cedillo is up for re-election to a final term this year. Maybe someone can step up and make this his final term, instead.

Photo by Joe Linton from LA Streetsblog.

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Tragic news from Temecula, where former two-time national mountain bike champ Ryan Fedorow died Tuesday from injuries he suffered in a motorcycle crash on Sunday; he was 39.

His girlfriend was critically injured in the crash.

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Heartbreaking story from Sports Illustrated, as former 7’6″ NBA star Shawn Bradley talks for the first time following the bicycling collision that left him paralyzed from the chest down — and contemplating whether his family would be better off without him.

Naturally, the minivan driver was never charged, claiming she gave Bradley enough room, which doesn’t explain why he ended up tumbling over her car. And even though she left the scene, before returning later.

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Something tells me sales were flat here in Los Angeles.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1481343749569531904

But clearly, it’s still a thing.

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Evidently, trail rage is a thing now, too.

The only time my Iditarod-mushing brother ran into something like that, it was at the hands — or hooves — of an angry moose who didn’t take kindly to sharing the trail with a bunch of dogs. Fortunately, they all came out of it okay, if a little banged-up and moose shy.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Sometimes, infrastructure is what you make of it.

https://twitter.com/BikePortland/status/1481055697127485441

Thanks to Mike Burk for whetting our appetites.

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Credit BikeLA Redditors for putting together a list of rides coming up this weekend.

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

A Brooklyn man was struck with a baseball bat with no warning as he rode his bike, and for no apparent reason; his attacker whacked him once then ran off without a word.

Unbelievable. A British man with 25 previous convictions somehow managed to avoid jail for blocking a bike-riding couple on a pathway, while hurling drunken racist abuse and claiming it was his path. Apparently, you need at least 27 convictions to get jail time there.

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

A Milwaukee bike rider faces a charge of 1st degree intentional homicide for an alleged road rage shooting that took the life of an immigration lawyer after the pair exchanged words; he’s claiming the shooting was in self-defense.

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Local

Sad news right here at home, where longtime transit advocate and Streetsblog contributor Dana Gabbard has died of natural causes.

 

State

Congratulations to Costa Mesa on hiring Brett Atencio Thomas as the city’s first Active Transportation Coordinator.

Police in Huntington Beach are offering a $5,000 reward for information on who fatally shot a 43-year old man in 2014, the homeless victim was found in an alley next to his bike the next morning.

Sad news from Fresno, where a recumbent rider in his 50s was killed in a collision with a truck driver, who apparently overlooked him in broad daylight.

Streetsblog’s Roger Ruddick calls on San Francisco to ban cars for the full length of JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park.

 

National

Bike Radar reviews the new ebike roadie built by America’s only remaining Tour de France champ, which doesn’t look a bit like one.

Maui, Hawaii is considering plans for a 25-mile bike path on the west side of the island, which would include the tourist destinations of Lahaina and Ka’anapali.

A Las Vegas sports site recommends five bicycling destinations outside the city.

The twin Western Colorado towns of Nucla and Naturita, with barely 1,000 residents between them, are hoping to become the next big mountain biking destination, with plans for 50 over miles of new trails. Although they might want to figure out where all those new visitors are going to eat and sleep first.

Kindhearted Texas firefighters pitched in to buy a new bike for a young boy after his was destroyed when the porch and siding of his house caught fire.

Pittsburgh church groups are calling on the state attorney general to investigate the case of a Black man tased to death by cops for the crime of riding an apparently discarded bicycle around the block without permission; he was zapped eight or more times within minutes before dying.

Philadelphia is addressing two problems at once by installing small bike corrals in front of fire hydrants, to keep drivers from blocking access for firefighters by parking in front of them, while providing much needed bike parking.

A New York advocacy group says the city’s bike program is no longer a leader or innovator, and needs fast action to regain it’s former status, let alone improve safety.

A New York man has been extradited to stand trial in the death of a Florida woman, who was killed when he reportedly fell asleep behind the wheel and slammed into the 44-year old mother as she rode her bicycle in a bike lane at eight in the morning.

Florida has restored a 2.2-mile segment of the 100-year old Old Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys for use as a scenic bike and pedestrian bridge.

 

International

Giant is recalling over 20,000 Giant and Liv bicycles made in 2021 due to defective handlebar stems that could come loose and dump you off your bike.

Keep an eye on your bike if you’re riding in the London boroughs of Hackney and Westminster, which have the city’s highest rates of bike theft.

France will once again debate whether to mandate bike helmets for adult riders, with a proposed €135 — or $155 — fine for anyone caught without one. As has been the case everywhere else, expect homeless people and people of color to bear the brunt of it. 

Barcelona has doubled its bike lane mileage in just five years while eliminating 3,500 parking spaces, in a successful effort to give the city back to people instead of cars. Then again, Los Angeles doubled its bike lane mileage virtually overnight just by counting each side of the road separately. 

A writer for CleanTechnica finds ebiking in Lisbon, Portugal is a bumpy ride.

Turkey’s Antalya region is aiming to capture a large segment of the $60 billion European bike tourism market, assuming they can build the infrastructure to accommodate it.

 

Competitive Cycling

Canadian Cycling considers five things to look forward to this year in pro road racing.

 

Finally…

Repeat after me — when you’re out on parole with a long criminal record, and carrying fentanyl, weed and high-capacity AK-47 magazines on your bike, put a damn light on it, already.

And teach your toddler early that brakes are for quitters.

https://www.tiktok.com/@thatmountainlife/video/6970753882280463622?referer_url=https%3A%2F%2Fdk79lclgtez2i.cloudfront.net%2F&referer_video_id=6970753882280463622&refer=embed

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

82-year old bike rider dies following Temecula bike collision; investigators quickly blame the victim

Bullshit.

The Press-Enterprise is reporting that an 82-year old Murrieta man died late Sunday afternoon, a little over 32 hours after he was struck by a driver while riding in Temecula.

And Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputies didn’t hesitate to blame the victim for his own death, when he’s not around to share his side of the story.

According to the paper, Kenrick Skinner was crossing Margarita Road at Paseo Brillante in Temecula around 7:20 Saturday morning when he was struck by an eastbound driver.

Skinner was taken to Wildomar’s Inland Valley Medical Center, where he died around 4 pm Sunday.

The driver remained at the scene and called 911.

A street view shows four lane roadway, with bike lanes and a left turn bay in each direction on Margarita, the intersection controlled only by a single stop sign on southbound Paseo Brillante.

It strains credibility to believe that an 82-year old man would somehow violate the right-of-way by riding out into oncoming traffic, as investigators suggest.

The paper doesn’t say which direction Skinner was traveling, but it’s easy to imagine that the broadly curving roadway may have appeared clear before he started crossing.

He may have struggled to get across the wide roadway before drivers caught up to him — especially if they were traveling at a high rate of speed, which seems likely given the early hour and the wide open roadway design.

Which means a better question isn’t why was he was in the roadway, but why did the driver fail to see a man on a bicycle directly in front of him?

If sheriff’s investigators can answer that, they’ll know why this tragic crash happened.

Anyone with information is urged to call Deputy Hoctor of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department’s Southwest Station at 951/696-3000.

This is at least the 48th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

It’s also the fourth SoCal bike death in the past week.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kenrick Skinner and his loved ones. 

Update: Man dies after apparent right hook in Temecula Wednesday night

Sad news from Temecula, where a man on a bicycle died following a Wednesday night collision.

According to the Valley News, the victim was struck by a truck driver who was turning right from eastbound Temecula Parkway to Pechanga Parkway around 8:52 pm last night.

Riverside County sheriff’s deputies responding to the scene found the man, who has not been publicly identified, lying in the roadway suffering from major injuries. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died today.

There was no indication that alcohol was a factor.

Based on the limited description, it would appear the rider was the victim of a right hook. However, there’s no word on where the victim was riding at the time of the crash.

A satellite view shows a major intersection with seven through lanes and two right turn lanes on Temecula, which suggests that he may have been riding on the sidewalk and rode off into the crosswalk. However, that is just a guess at this time.

Anyone with information is urged to call Officer Carpenter at the Temecula Police Department at 951/696-3000.

This is the 15th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Riverside County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 56-year old John Napolitano.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for John Napolitano and his loved ones.

Update: Three bike riders hit by bus on Camp Pendleton, one killed

Confirmation is just coming in that a bicyclist has died as a result of injuries in a crash at Camp Pendleton yesterday.

I had received an email about the collision earlier this afternoon; however, I was unable to confirm the death until now.

According to the San Diego Union Tribune, three cyclists, identified only as civilians, were hit by a bus while riding through the Marine base; the paper uses the word “slammed” to describe the impact. The collision occurred around 1 pm on Stuart Mesa Road near Cook Crossing.

The paper reports that two of the riders were transported by ambulance, with the third flown out by helicopter.

Unfortunately, the LA Times writes that one of the riders has died, confirming the report in the email; according to the Times, one of the surviving riders remains in critical condition, while the third is listed as serious.

The Times reports the bus belonged to the North County Transit District.

No word yet on how or why the collision occurred.

Civilians are usually allowed to ride through the military base, except during war games or security alerts, and it is one of the most popular routes in North County San Diego cyclists.

This is the 57th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 7th in San Diego County; that compares with 10  in the county this time last year.

Update: Three days later, there has still been no follow-up from the press on this tragedy, and no confirmation from the San Diego coroner’s office. However, the name of the victim has become common knowledge in the San Diego cycling community, identifying him as Udo Heinz. 

Some of the comments below are from people who knew him, and worth reading to get a feeling for the kind of man he was. If anyone wants to provide more information about Heinz, or how the collision happened, let me know; you can find my email on the About page. 

And a quick note to commenters. My policy is to allow any discussion that is courteous, avoids personal attacks and does not disrespect fallen riders. At this time, we have no idea how this collision occurred or who was at fault. So if you feel a need to criticize bike riders, for whatever reason, find another post to leave your comments. This is not the place for it.

Update 2: If you haven’t read the comments below, please do. It’s obvious that Udo Heinz was well-loved, not just a cyclist, but as a father and friend, as this column on Mountain Bike Review makes clear; thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

Update 3: The Union-Tribune finally followed up on their initial story and provided a little more information. 

Heinz, a 43-year old resident of Encinitas, was riding south on Stuart Mesa Road through Camp Pendleton with two other riders around 1 pm Sunday when a North County Transit District bus traveling in the same direction attempted to pass. The bus went into the northbound lane to pass the three riders, then cut back and hit them; the paper does not say if there was oncoming traffic or some other reason the bus came back into the lane before clearing the cyclists. 

There were roughly a dozen passengers on the bus who may be able to help explain what happened, and there should be video from the bus itself.

According to the U-T story, one of the other riders, 62-year old John Edwards, suffered what was described as “serious permanent injuries.” The third rider was hospitalized, but no further information was available. 

A member of the Ranchos Cycling Club, Heinz was a mechanical engineer with two master’s degrees and vice president of commercial products for TUV Rheinland Group.

He leaves behind a wife and children.

Update 4: More details on how the collision occurred and the injuries suffered by Edwards are included in a brief posted online by Edwards’ attorney. Apparently, the driver made no attempt to avoid the riders, despite video from an onboard camera showing them riding directly in front of the bus. 

My prayers for Udo Heinz and the other victims and all their families and loved ones. Let’s hope the two survivors make a full and fast recovery.

Update: Bike rider dies Monday after apparent solo Fathers Day fall; Temecula rider dies of natural causes

These are the emails I hate to receive, when someone contacts me asking if I’ve heard about a bike rider who was killed.

Because too often, it’s something that hasn’t crossed my radar yet. And too often, it turns out to be true.

That’s what happened last night when I got a message asking about reports that a rider was killed on Avenue 64 in Los Angeles, near the Pasadena city limits.

A little research turned up a story on the Highland Park–Mount Washington Patch site, describing an apparent solo fall in which a rider suffered sever head trauma; comments to the story reported the victim had died, and gave a name.

According to the site, Jose Cuellar was riding south on Avenue 64 at Burleigh whn he lost control of his bike and fell, suffering severe head trauma. He was reportedly unconscious for 15 minutes before paramedics arrived and took him to a nearby hospital.

Reports of how the incident occurred are a little confusing. The site says the first indication of a problem was the sound of screeching tires; witnesses then report seeing the rider struggling to control a speed wobble before falling.

However, bike tires don’t normally screech, no matter how fast the rider is going or how much strain they’re under, suggesting that there may have been a motor vehicle involved which could have caused Cuellar to lose control of his bicycle.

The site notes he wasn’t wearing a helmet, which is relevant for a change, as this is exactly the sort of fall bike helmets are designed to protect against.

A call to the L.A. County Coroner’s office confirmed that 43-year old Jose Cuellar died at Huntington Memorial Hospital on Monday, June 24th.

According to the person I spoke with, the investigation into his death was just beginning, so no other information was available.

Update: Just received word from Sgt. Lazlo Sander, the LAPD’s bike liaison for the Central Traffic Division, that following further investigation, Cuellar’s death has been reclassified as a single vehicle traffic collision rather than a solo fall; however, there is still no suspicion that any other person or vehicle may have been involved.

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In more bad news, a popular Temecula high school teacher died of natural causes while riding Sunday.

According to the Press-Enterprise, 52-year old Darren Thomas, a history and social sciences teacher at Chaparral High School, collapsed while riding in the 40000 block of Calle Medusa, and was pronounced dead at a local hospital at 9:49 am.

There will be vigil in his honor at 7 pm this Thursday at Puma Stadium, and a memorial service is tentatively scheduled for 1 pm on Saturday, July 6th in the school gym.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jose Cuellar and Darren Thomas, and all their loved ones.

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These are the 39th and 40th bicycling fatalities in Southern California this year, compared to just 28 this time last year.

It’s also the 19th bike-related death in Los Angeles County this year, compared with 24 bicycling fatalities countywide for each of the last two years. And the third in Riverside County, compared to 11 and 13 in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

It’s also the sixth bicycling death in the City of L.A. this year, compared to five in all of 2011 and four in 2012.

In other words, we’re already 50% above last year in the City of L.A.

And this year isn’t even half over yet.

It ain’t necessarily so — new study proclaims L.A. one of the nation’s most dangerous places to walk or ride

This morning, the L.A. Times discovered the unacceptably high rate of bike and pedestrians deaths in this city. Quickly followed by a number of other news outlets.

Only problem is, they got the story wrong.

The study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute looks at bicycle and pedestrian fatalities in New York and Los Angeles, compared to other large cities in the U.S.

They concluded that while bicyclists represent 1.7% in other cities nationwide, they make up 2.8% of traffic fatalities here in Los Angeles. And pedestrians fare even worse, with nearly three times as many deaths on L.A. streets, as a percentage of total traffic fatalities, as in the rest of the nation.

Needless to say, New Yorkers fared even worse, with cyclists making up 6.1% percent of all traffic fatalities, and pedestrians nearly half.

And the media took that limited and misleading information and ran with it, proclaiming — loudly and falsely — that L.A. and New York are exceptionally dangerous places to walk and bike.

The problem is, as stated above, this study only considered these deaths as a percentage of overall traffic fatalities. Which means that if motor vehicle fatalities in those cities — which make up the overwhelming majority of traffic fatalities nationwide — were lower than the national average, it would skew the results and make bike and pedestrian deaths look disproportionately high.

And guess what?

Driver and passenger deaths in New York accounted for just 43.6% of traffic fatalities and 63.6% in Los Angeles, compared to a whopping 86.3% nationwide.

In other words, because fewer people are getting killed in motor vehicles in New York and L.A., it incorrectly suggests that more people who bike or walk are getting killed.

What’s missing from the study is an appendix with hard numbers of how many bicyclists and pedestrians were killed in each city, rather than just a percentage. As well as individual stats for each city that was included in the study, rather than a national aggregate.

Because the one statistic that would allow us to compare apples to apples is the number of deaths per capita for each city.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to access stats for individual cities from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s FARS database today, which would allow us to figure that out. And let us determine whether Los Angeles is really a more dangerous place to ride a bike than Dallas or Des Moines. Or any other city of any size in the U.S.

What I can tell you is that in 2011, Los Angeles County had the lowest per capita bike fatality rate of any county from Santa Barbara to San Bernardino and south to the Mexican border, with the single exception of sparsely populated — and even more sparsely biked — Imperial County.

And the City of Los Angeles had just one bicycling fatality for every 763,940 people who call L.A. home. That’s one for every three-quarter of a million people in this city.

Which sounds like pretty damn good odds to me.

In fact, that compares with one cycling death for every 189,454 people in San Diego. One for every 116,394 in Long Beach. And one for every 69,050 residents of Pasadena.

Don’t get me wrong.

One death is too many. Let alone the four the city has already suffered this year. And nothing in this study, or the press reports that followed, considers the city’s rate of serious cycling injuries, as opposed to fatalities.

But one of that nation’s most dangerous places to ride a bike?

Far from it. At least as far as your risk of dying is concerned.

And study’s authors — and the media who ran with it — would have known that if they’d just dug a little deeper.

Thanks to Harris M. Miller II and Where to Bike Los Angeles co-author Jon Riddle for the heads-up.

Update: Evidently, I wasn’t the only one who had a WTF response to this study and the hype that followed. The Native Angeleno had a similar reaction, as did our friends at Los Angeles Walks, who offer suggestions on how to improve safety for our fellow bipedalists. And L.A. Streetsblog meister Damien Newton looks at the over-the-top — and highly repetitive — media response.

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On a related note, Pasadena public radio station KPCC responds to the study by asking for your help to map the area’s most dangerous intersections. It’s a great idea.

Although checking out the map Bikeside LA already put together would have been a nice place to start.

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OC Bike lawyer David Huntsman forwards word of a road raging Dr. Thompson wannabe.

The Press-Enterprise reports that 38-year old Carl Albert Robbins of Temecula “accidently” hit a rider after intentionally swerving at four cyclists riding on Rainbow Canyon Road near Temecula around 8 am Monday. Robbins reportedly drove his car at the riders in the back, then swerved again at the lead rider, hitting the rider’s hand with the car’s mirror.

According to a Riverside Sheriff’s spokesperson, Robbins claimed the riders didn’t belong on the road, but he didn’t intend to actually hit one.

So let me get this straight.

If I try to fire a warning shot past your head, but miss and blow your ear off, it’s just an accident, right?

Evidently the authorities disagreed with Robbins, as well as the paper, booking him on $25,000 bond.

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A full-time — and apparently very sarcastic — parking lieutenant for LADOT, among his many other jobs, is running for president of the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council. Walk Eagle Rock sends word that he doesn’t seem to be exactly bike friendly; you’d think an LADOT parking enforcement official would know not to put a business sign in a bike lane.

And sarcastic or not, suggesting someone light up a joint seems a tad inappropriate for a city official. Let alone a potential NC president.

But maybe that’s just me.

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My good friends at Altadenablog send word that Cher, the original singularly named recording and Hollywood star, apparently hates PCH cyclists.

Or maybe just cyclists in general.

But she swears, cross her heart, that she would never text from behind the wheel. Honest.

We can only encourage her to Cher the road.

Thanks to Century City cyclist and attorney Stanley E. Goldich for the heads-up, as well.

………

It’s been a busy few days in my inbox.

George Wolfberg forwards a link to this New York Times story of a lovely journey by bike through the French countryside.

And he send us another NY Times story from over the weekend saying cities need to lose the helmets to promote bicycling.

Or at least bike share programs.

But lets stop for a moment to consider the claim that Dutch cyclists don’t wear helmets.

Dutch cyclists enjoy some of the world’s best biking infrastructure, and ride relatively heavy, slow bikes that are easy to step off of in the event of a fall.

Most American’s don’t

American bikes tend to be faster, lighter machines that usually take the rider down with them when they go down. And American roads don’t begin to compare with Dutch bikeways, in either quality or separation from vehicular traffic.

Whether or not you wear a helmet is your choice.

Personally, I never ride without mine, bearing in mind that they’re not magic hats that prevent all harm to the wearer; you’re far better off avoiding a collision than counting on your helmet to save you from it.

But let’s stop using the Amsterdam experience to argue against helmet use here. Because it just doesn’t translate from the Dutch.

………

Cyclist Jim Lyle send news that Hermosa Beach has rejected a plan to put bike lanes on Aviation Blvd.

HB City council members claimed the 2 – 3 person Public Works Department had more pressing issues, and couldn’t afford the 10 to 20 hours a month it would take to save cyclists’ lives plan the bikeway.

“Once we pave our streets, let’s talk about bikes,” Mayor Pro Tem Kit Bobko said.

Although you’d think with such a small staff, they might know how many people actually work for them.

………

Finally, my adventure cycling, Iditarod dog sled racing brother Eric offers a heads-up about the 100-year old former French bike racer who set a new 100 kilometer age group speed record.

I plan to race him myself when I turn 100; my brother, not the Frenchman.

Of course, I may have an unfair advantage, since he’ll be 109.

Fallen Murrietta cyclist identified, and a whole lot of mostly very non-scary post-Halloween links

The cyclist who died on a bike trail near Murrietta Sunday morning has been identified a 60-year old Lee Andrew Tichenor of Temecula; the investigation is ongoing.

……..

I love this quote from Lovely Bicycle!:

“Coming back from Las Vegas a month ago, cycling in Boston seemed like paradise. Coming back from Vienna, it seems like a war zone.”

……..

Streetsblog hosts their next upscale fundraiser on Saturday, and applications are due to their Boyle Heights and South L.A. correspondents. Re-imagining Santa Monica’s Lincoln Blvd as a more livable street, instead of the living hell of a Class III bike route it is now. Cynergy Cycling invites you to get certified for track riding. Long Beach’s biking expats discuss how to stay married on the road. The next edition of Flying Pigeon’s popular Brewery Rides rolls on Saturday. A candidate for the CD 15 city council seat calls for a CicLAvia from Downtown to San Pedro; another promises to build out the Backbone Bikeway Network in the district.

Former San Diego Bicycle Coordinator Jim Lundquist bids a fond farewell. A Red Bluff rider survives a left cross that sent him bouncing 20 feet off a windshield. UC Davis students are the latest to get bike traffic school. A San Francisco cyclist suffers life-threatening injuries when a cab runs a red light. Three Palo Alto cyclists are injured, none seriously, when they’re hit by a car; reading between the lines, it sounds like either the cyclists or the driver was on the wrong side of the road, and we can probably guess which one.

People for Bikes questions why Congress is targeting bike fundingthey’re not the only ones. Fat Cyclist offers a self-published best of. A bike means freedom on Chicago’s South Side; no different from L.A.’s Eastside or South L.A., or countless other places around this city of frequently fallen angels. A tongue-in-cheek response to a call from a Chicago alderman to license cyclists asks why not license feet, too. Safety concerns keep more Pittsburgh cyclists from becoming bike commuters. David Byrne and Janette Sadik-Khan discuss why New Yorkers insist on fighting over bike lanes. A Florida cyclist killed last April may have been the victim of an intentional buzzing.

Women riders need more awareness, not scaremongering. Clearly, cycle chic is nothing new. A UK cyclist was three times the legal limit when he was killed after blowing through a yield sign. British bike fatalities and serious injuries are on the rise. London’s Mayor Boris continues to put the convenience of motorists over the safety of cyclists and pedestrians. Britain’s approach to road safety is called deeply flawed; the widow of the first biking victim on the mayor’s biking superhighways fears he will just be another statistic. Welsh authorities offer a code of conduct for a popular shared trail. A Swedish study shows bike commuters sleep better, are less stressed, are healthier, suffer less exhaustion and use fewer sick days than drivers; question is, does cycling make you healthier or do healthier people choose to bike?  In one of the most disgusting legal arguments I’ve heard, an Aussie lawyer argues that his client had an obligation to watch the traffic ahead, rather than watch out for the cyclist he passed — and killed — in their equivalent of a right hook; if you ever wondered why people hate lawyers, this is a damn good place to start.

Finally, I’ve run over a lot of crap over the years — sometimes literally. But nothing quite as disgusting as greasy roadkill deer guts.

And best wishes to Zeke’s brother Dave who was scheduled to get back on his bike this week following a bad crash. 

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