Bike-riding dancer suffers broken leg in Westside hit-and-run

December 2, 2013
A broken leg is a serious injury. Especially for a dancer.

A broken leg is a serious injury. Especially for a dancer.

LA yoga maven and bike rider Joni Yung forwards word of a nearly month old hit-and-run that left a dancer with a broken leg.

This is from the victim’s husbands Facebook page:

As some of you know, on Nov 6th, my wife was involved in an hit and run accident while riding her bicycle. As a result of the accident she has a broken fibula in two places. We are posting this to activate our community of friends to help locate the driver and/or car. Luckily, we have a couple witnesses that were able to get a description of the driver and a partial plate number. The car involved was a Black Mercedes with the partial plate 7AF65. (not sure the placement of digits missing) The driver description: female, early 20’s, around 5’5-5’6, with long wavy brown hair. The accident was at the intersection of Federal and Rochester in West Los Angeles. Feel free to share and please contact the police department at 213-473-0222 case number 130816261 with any information regarding the car or driver. Thank you for your help.

The driver reportedly stopped to check on the victim, then said she had to move the car. And took off.

That’s definitely someone who deserves to be found.

And held accountable for her tiny, cold, hard heart.

………

An innovative new kickstand design promises to support bikes born without them; the project just passed it’s Kickstarter goal with less than three days to go.

………

The LA Times takes a belated look at the controversy over the killer redesign of the Glendale-Hyperion bridge complex, and adds to the story, including news of a possible road diet. Sweet Ride USA reviews their most recent sweet ride. Firestone Walker Brewing plans a bike-friendly Venice beer tasting room; I’m in. SaMo city councilmembers want better bike and wheelchair access to the planned replacement for the new pier bridge. A Long Beach paper asks if bicycling has a future in the city; aka trolling for controversial comments to boost readership. Burbank will hold a meeting on the Channel Bikeway Project on the 11th, while the San Gabriel Valley will hold a series of meetings for their proposed bike plan. Is it just me, or are there too many bike meetings to keep up with these days? Either way, it’s a good problem to have.

Caltrain makes it easier to park your bike and ride the train. Laguna police are looking for a stolen $10,000 mountain bike; seriously, what kind of person would leave any bike, let alone one worth that much, in an unlocked pickup bed overnight? Bakersfield city councilman promises a better bike plan and rides one himself — a bike that is, not a bike plan — while the local paper calls for better bike infrastructure.

A new Bike League infographic looks at women and cycling. A Seattle letter writer says the hilly city will never be a cycling city, despite plans to spend $500,000 on bike infrastructure and programs. A PA driver faces charges for intentionally running down a bike rider following an argument — with his dad sitting next to him. Safety isn’t the only concern many cyclists have to deal with, as women and LGBT riders face harassment on their bikes. Former Auburn Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson will ride to the school’s spring football game as his third annual bike ride for tornado relief.

After London cyclists stage a die-in, the city’s cycling czar says bike safety advocates are spreading fear; actually, six riding deaths in nine days will do that. A BBC poll shows one in five bike commuters has stopped riding as a result. London prosecutors drop charges against a rider who stopped ahead of a bike box because there was a car in it. UK residents call for a crackdown on “lunatic” ninja cyclists. Former cosponsor Oleg Tinkoff buys the Saxo Bank team, and proclaims cycling’s doping era is over; yeah, right. Former TdF champ Jan Ulrich is at peace with his doping past, while the cutback in drug use seems to have produced more grand tour winners. Bangalore bike commuting questions answered. Qatar introduces a women’s cycling team; the question is whether they will be permitted to dress in a way that allows them to be competitive. Eritrea wins the African Cycling Championships for both men and women. Queensland cyclists will get the equivalent of a three-foot passing law, with more space required at higher speeds. Aussie judge loses her license and faces charges after hitting a cyclist while driving drunk. A Brit pro cyclist is punched out in New Zealand because a local didn’t like his T-shirt. Three-hundred Singapore cyclists ride for better safety.

Finally, an Aussie paper jumps on the bike hate bandwagon, offering 14 reasons why they hate cyclists, aka “cockroaches of the road.”

Nice.


Bus driver who killed Udo Heinz may have been distracted; and a long list of Monday links

November 24, 2013

Official results aren’t expected from federal investigators until the end of the month in the death of Udo Heinz, the popular San Diego cyclist killed by a bus while riding on Camp Pendleton last August.

However, San Diego’s NBC-7 confirms that Heinz and two other riders were hit from behind, as reported here earlier, rather than sideswiped as reported in other press accounts. And reports — or strongly implies — that the bus driver was illegally using a handheld cell phone at the time of the collision.

………

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton questions the courage of CD5 Councilmember Paul Kortez following his recent kowtowing to Westwood homeowners. UCLA unveils a new on-campus bike counter, while less bike-friendly cross-town rival USC reneges on promises for street improvements. Touring LA without a car. Santa Monica could see new green bike lanes on Main Street and Broadway, pending Tuesday’s SaMo city council vote. Cycling in the South Bay isn’t shocked by doping by masters racers. The new bike team at Cal State Long Beach is starting to make waves. The Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition is hosting a fund raiser at the Dale Bros Brewery on Saturday, December 14th. BikeSGV discovers newly installed protected car parking, uh, bike lanes.

Palm Springs could become more bike friendly. Santa Cruz cyclists get a new off-road dirt bike course. If you’re riding with an illegal blackjack and two outstanding warrants, stop for the damn stop sign, already. A cyclist suffers major injuries when his bike is rear-ended on the Stanford campus; fortunately, a second car only hit his bike. SFist asks if San Francisco is the most bike-friendly city in the country; uh, probably not. Salinas cyclist killed after allegedly running a stop sign; but if the driver had the sun in her eyes, who saw him run it? Napa Valley paper asks if California’s laws are enough to keep bicyclists safe. Improve safety by designing roads for cyclists.

Treehugger says let’s stop calling the deaths of cyclists at the hands of negligent drivers accidents; I couldn’t agree more. Reflective vests don’t have to look like crap. A 78-year old driver kills cyclist participating in El Tour de Tucson bike race, even though the rider “did everything right.” Seattle spends $225,000 for a special bike lane street sweeper. Boulder CO bike advocates question lenient penalties for drivers who kill or injure cyclists; actually, I think bike riders everywhere question that. Chicago driver jerks — with emphasis on the jerk — his vehicle into a cyclist after the rider asks him to stop playing video games while driving. A Tennessee town misinterprets local law to ban children from riding bikes on city streets. Actually, new Boston sharrows – even on steroids — don’t give priority to cyclists or motorists; that’s kind of the point of a shared lane, no? Maryland grand jury gives an aggressive driver a pass for fatally not passing a cyclist. Bipartisan support for bicycling baffles the media. A Florida rider corrects the misconception that salmon cycling is safer.

Bicycling British writer politely responds to the very unfunny, anti-bike troll she has the misfortune of sharing the planet working with. New report says the UK is falling behind on bike safety. London’s Police Commissioner says he’s afraid to ride a bike and that only poor people do, then backs off on his own comments. On the other hand, Bristol’s police chief says he’s one of us, while the city steps up enforcement against both cyclists and motorists. The Independent says cyclists and motorists should be on the same side. Brit author and WWII survivor is run down by a driver blinded by the sun. A Scottish letter writer calls for £500 — $811 — fines for rogue cyclists; I wonder how many rogue drivers face fines anywhere near that? Former pro rider Arnaud Coyot was killed in a French car crash on Sunday. Former world time trial champ Emma Pooley is back in the saddle after taking time off for her PhD. American triathlete is forced to pay blood money to leave Abu Dhabi after colliding with a race volunteer who ran into his path. Kiwi cyclist confesses to being less of a rebel, with more of a cause. Are Australian cities underestimating the potential for bicycling? Aussie cyclist gets five years for fatally pushing a 71-year old woman who got in the way of his bike. A new bike safety campaign wants your help in reporting articles about cyclist/driver incidents; thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. A Tokyo police sergeant is under investigation for trying to stop a rash of bike thefts; yes, you read that right.

Finally, a British Lord claims bike riders want to get run over so they can film it; personally, I’ll pass, thank you. And a London cyclist says he’s okay, but everyone else sucks. Then again, he’s probably never had to defend himself from a family of elk.


Traffic deaths up nationwide in 2012, while US bike deaths increase 6.5%; plus lots of fresh bike links

November 15, 2013

The news is out, and it’s not good.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic fatalities are up for the first time in the last seven years, with 33,561 deaths in 2012, compared to 32,479 the year before.

That total includes 726 bike riders who lost their lives in 2012 — a 6.5% increase — and 49,000 injured. Pedestrians and cyclists represented 17% of traffic deaths, compared to just 13% in 2003.

Of course, it’s possible, even likely, that the increase in cycling deaths and injuries is a result of an increase in ridership, though we have no idea whether the increase is proportionate to the rise in cycling rates.

However, the increase may call into question the much-cited safety in numbers effect.

………

Just Ride LA has scheduled a bike race to benefit the Philippines on the 21st. Time is running out to save the Riverside-Figueroa bridge. Gary Kavanagh discusses mainstreaming bicycle lessons learned from bike-friendly Davis CA. Manhattan Beach approves sharrows, but not on Pacific. Women on Bikes’ Pedal Love project is raising funds to inspire women and girls to ride as part of their daily lives. Calabasas gets a new bike and pedestrian plan. While bike haters claim we don’t pay our fair share for the roads, Rick Risemberg points out it’s drivers who need to dig a little deeper.

The case of fallen Newport Beach cyclist Debra Deem has been referred to the Orange County DA’s office. A Corona del Mar cyclist is slightly injured in a collision on the Coast Highway, while another rider is injured in San Clemente. A San Diego driver parks his car in a bike lane, and the press blames a cyclist for running into it. Santa Barbara bike rider is injured in a train collision when he doesn’t bother to look before crossing the tracks; thanks to Danny Gamboa for the link. A road raging San Francisco driver is under arrest for intentionally running down a bike rider. San Francisco 49er players build bikes to give to kids. Chico paper says two recent fallen cyclists did everything right — then tells cyclists to obey the letter of the law to improve safety.

In a shocking display of bipartisanship, Congress members from both parties introduce the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act to set separate safety targets for motorized and non-motorized transportation. Stoplights made for cars leave cyclists stuck on red. Portland infographic clearly shows bikes aren’t getting a free ride. A Utah cyclist is injured because a teenage driver couldn’t take her eyes off the pretty foliage. Driver ticketed for a fatal left cross in my hometown. The Boulder CO driver whose carelessness left ‘70s cycling legend Dale Stetina with life-threatening injuries faces charges, as well; Stetina could be out of the hospital next month. Eighty-five year old Iowa doctor still rides 100 miles a week, on skinny tires, no less. Getting it wrong: Time Magazine says Boston has finally solved bike sharing’s bike safety problem, which oddly hasn’t been a problem anywhere else. Glenn Beck, among others, urges New York’s new mayor to lose the bike lanes; better yet, let’s lose Glenn Beck and make the world a better place. Going to war over bike lanes and parking spaces in Alexandria VA.

A rash of fatalities strikes British cycling, with six dead in the last nine days — five in London alone. London’s mayor Boris is urged to take action, but shamefully chooses to blame the victims instead. How to stay safe on UK streets. Londonist considers how it would sound if we talked about all road users the way some people talk about cyclists, while a rider says, despite comments to the contrary, respect does not have to be earned. The Evening Standard says London can be a cycling city to rival any in Europe with a different approach. Authorities conclude that a bike-riding British spy died after somehow locking himself into a sports bag; yeah, that’s credible. Bike riding is up in Edinburgh as driving rates drop. Copenhagen design firm creates Lego-like snap-together tiles that can be assembled to create temporary cycle tracks; I like it. A UAE editorial calls for better protection for Emirates riders. Egyptian women are riding bikes in a fight for equality. Cyclists are dying at a faster rate on Australian roads. Thankfully, an Aussie cyclist suffers a massive heart attack while riding, but lives to ride another day. The husband of a fallen New Zealand cyclist calls for an attitude change on the country’s streets. Road raging Kiwi driver faces charges for pushing a rider off his bike, resulting in serious injuries.

Finally, Ireland gets tough on hit-and-run as a proposed law would increase penalties to up to 10 years, which sounds about right to me. And Bikeyface says your lights don’t work if no one can see them.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for bike friendly CA Assemblymember Mike Gatto, whose father was murdered in a home invasion robbery Thursday morning.


Today’s post, in which I catch up on all the latest news, including cyclists who come out of nowhere

November 5, 2013

I can’t even tell you how much stories like this piss me off.

According to the Daily Pilot, a Costa Mesa rider suffered major injuries when she was hit by a car before sunrise Monday morning.

The driver was headed east on Bay Street when he turned right on Newport Blvd and heard a loud noise, then found 44-year old Michelle Lounsbury trapped underneath his car.

In other words, he had no idea she was anywhere around when he made his turn.

Now, it’s always possible that it could have been her fault, at least in part.

She may or may not have been using lights in the early morning darkness. She may or may not have been properly positioned on the roadway, and riding in safe manner. The story doesn’t offer enough information to know what really happened.

On the other hand, if she’s close enough to run over, she should be close enough to see.

Every driver has an obligation to be aware of anyone and everyone else on the roadway. If someone is capable of being seen, it’s the driver’s obligation to see them — especially before making a turn.

Too often, that doesn’t happen.

Too often, someone gets hurt as a result. Or worse.

And too often, police accept “I just didn’t see her” as the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, as the last line of that story may suggest.

Best wishes to Michelle Lounsbury for a full and fast recovery.

………

I’ve gotten several reports of other serious SoCal bike collisions that have left riders badly injured over the past few days, so far without any follow-up.

In cases like this, no news is usually good news. So let’s hope that continues to be the case.

But some prayers or good thoughts might be in order if you’re so inclined.

………

After Mayor Garcetti lets LADOT chief Jaime De La Vega go, the Times questions whether NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan might be the right replacement. Word is Chicago’s exceptional DOT Commissioner Gabe Klein is about to become available, as well.

That’s a hint, Mr. Mayor.

Meanwhile, the LACBC’s Executive Director Jen Klausner offers an OpEd in response to a Times opinion piece claiming LA will never be a bike-friendly place. According to Klausner, our streets aren’t safe enough, but we’re getting there.

……..

Thanks to John Stesney for sending word of an upcoming bike race at the StubHub Center. Since he did a pretty good job of describing it, I’ll let him tell the story.

The Los Angeles Grand Prix will be held at the Velo Sports Center (i.e., the velodrome)  at the StubHub Center in Carson, Friday, November 22, through Sunday, November 24. It’s a UCI event, with UCI points, which means international fastest-of-the-fast fields. It isn’t free, but it’s not expensive either, especially since you can see the whole race, and you actually get a seat. (It beats standing alongside a road for hours just to watch the guys come by once.)

………

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition calls on the city to move beyond low-hanging fruit in building bikeways, and sponsors a petition calling for cycletracks in LA. Cracks begin to show in official support for the deadly, highway speed proposal to remake the Hyperion-Glendale bridge complex, as CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell promises mores study; meanwhile, the LACBC calls for action. A new bike corral opens in Atwater. You’re invited to ride in the NELA Holiday Parade December 1st. Streetsblog says the new 7th Street bike lanes are looking good. A look at the Dia de los Muertos altar to fallen cyclists in Grand Park over the weekend; thanks to Joni for the link.

The San Diego Bicycle Coalition needs your help to help create a more livable Coastal Rail Trail. Cyclelicious looks at the ideology of bicycling. It looks like the beavers are back to destroy Bakersfield’s Kern River bike path. Boyonabike enjoys a car-free Santa Barbara weekend, along with several thousand other Open Streets participants. Cyclists say the recent fix for Caltrans’ Highway 1 chip sealing disaster has been a failure. San Luis Obispo is getting a $64 million bike plan. Turns out electric cars are just as deadly as the other kind — especially if the driver is asleep behind the wheel. A 12-year old Berkeley bicyclist rides the entire Left Coast to draw attention to climate change. It’s that time of year to focus on being seen after dark.

How to work with police for smarter enforcement. How Complete Streets became hip. A new bike alarm uses a sort of crowdsourcing to recover your stolen bike. A look at bicycle insurance and the nation’s most dangerous states for riding. The battle to make Yuma bike friendly. The “six kids and no car” mom has her bakfiets stolen. Bike Portland offers an ode to bicycle butts. Portland tests solar powered lights to call attention to a bike path; reviews are mixed. Mad City offers cyclists a choice of bike path or bike lane along the same route. Building right hooks by design in Chicago. The Chicago Reader offers an in-depth look at a fallen cyclist, the driver who killed him and our lenient drunk driving laws. A Columbus OH reporter and bike blogger is critically injured in a cycling collision; the driver is charged with his second DUI in two weeks — but amazingly, it’s just a misdemeanor offense. Seriously? A New Hampshire hit-and-run driver ran over and killed her former boyfriend; just a coincidence, right? A Boston cyclist has a dangerously close encounter with a spoiled motorist and her driving dog. Ridership is up for New York’s Citi Bike bike share program, which isn’t the death trap critics had feared, or perhaps, hoped for, in some cases; but no jokes about riding Brooke Shields, please. Delaware no longer says Share the Road.

Canadian pediatricians call for mandatory helmet laws for everyone, perhaps hoping to reduce the rate of cycling, as well as injuries. Is Toronto’s bike-hating mayor a crack-smoking serial drunk driver? If you build it, they really will come; study shows investing in bikeways results in increased journeys while reducing motor trips. The rate of cyclists killed or injured on London streets went up 18% last year. Bristol England prepares to go Dutch. Indian cyclists are getting crushed — sometimes literally — in the nation’s rush to prosperity. An Aussie site asks if the media helps whip up anti-cyclist rage; well, duh.

Finally, how to survive the coming Zombie Apocalypse through bike share, including advice that wearing a helmet makes it harder for zombies to feast on your brain. On the other hand, how you ride your bike could offer prospective employers insight into yours.


It’s the weekend, and all links must go — CicLAvia, Spring Street and David Whiting, just to name a few

October 5, 2013
Experts say I need more photos on here. So here's a kitty sleeping in a donation bowl.

Experts say I need more photos on here. So here’s a kitty sleeping in a tip jar.

It’s been one of those weeks.

Which means a long list of bike news and links have been piling up.

And it’s the weekend, so everything must go.

Besides, it could take you until Sunday’s CicLAvia just to get through all of this.

………

You are going to be at CicLAvia this Sunday.

Right?

KPCC suggests where to go and what to do there, while Streetsblog’s Damien Newton says treat it like your first one and just go out and have fun. The Militant Angeleno offers yet another of his incredibly fascinating guides to sites along the route; seriously, download this to your smartphone and follow it along the way.

You can even have fun at CicLAvia without a bike, including dancing in the street for six hours straight.

But you might want to visit the Chinatown section first, just in case.

………

Photo of no-longer green Spring Street bike lane shamelessly stolen from Niall Huffman

Here’s one of a no-longer green Spring Street bike lane, shamelessly stolen from Niall Huffman

Meanwhile, Newton is frustrated over how long it’s taking to fix the no longer existent Spring Street bike lane along the Downtown leg of the route. LADOT promises it will be finished by Sunday’s CicLAvia; the Times says work is underway to change it from bright to dark.

And Flying Pigeon’s Josef Bray-Ali lays the blame for the whole fiasco at new Mayor Eric Garcetti’s feet.

Then there’s this comment from a rider who went through the unfinished work Friday morning.

I could cry.

So far, Spring’s got its green back… from Aliso Street to half-past Second Street. The FHWA standard “New York” Green hue leans toward blue, so I’m wondering about nighttime visibility. Even where the “green lanes” are in, the buffers aren’t painted down yet. The “cyclist” graphic that’s supposed to be centered in the lane at the approach to intersections isn’t in yet either. Discouragingly, for a stretch, the patched-over recent street work has left an unpleasant, visible lip into the bike lane. Some of the solid green areas had what looked like giant smudges, but a closer squint makes it clear that these areas only got a single slapdash layer of paint.

I wanted to kick over the stupid mocking “ROAD CLOSED SUNDAY” CicLAvia sign.

Heartbreakingly, in a few teeny spots, some of the former green peeks through like a feeble, grizzled old veteran trying desperately to hold onto glory and dignity. And failing.

………

The same rider, who prefers to remain anonymous, forwards news that I was quoted in the OC Register recently.

My coworker saved me yesterday’s paper, which includes an article by David Whiting about the new 3-foot passing law.

A brief excerpt:

Ted Rogers has a prominent voice about bicycle safety through his blog, BikingInLA.com. Despite his and other L.A. bloggers’ professed ability to figure me out because I criticize drivers and cyclists for dumb behavior, Rogers makes excellent points about weaknesses in the 3-feet law. 

“The problem is,” Rogers says, “unless a driver actually does make contact with a cyclist, the law is virtually enforceable.

“The bill includes a provision allowing drivers to pass at less than 3 feet if they slow down and pass only when it won’t endanger a cyclist’s safety. In other words, the same sort of vague, virtually unenforceable standard we have now.”

The article also references a guy who began advocate when a boy on a bike was hit in his Garden Grove neighborhood. Since Westminster is the neighboring city, my coworker and I both wondered if the boy was A.J. Brumbeck (this coworker’s brother’s neighbor’s kid), but I snooped a little and he’s not.

The giant photo that accompanied the article was of a single-file herd of MAMILs on Santiago Road. I wish the damn editor had chosen to go with a pic of anyother type of OC cyclist, maybe una pareja de invisibles riding in the gutter in Santa Ana, or a high school kid navigating her way to school on South County’s speedways, or even a beach cruiser with a wet-suited rider & a loaded surfboard rack flying down the bike lane on Golden West. Pictures are powerful, and casual readers aren’t even going to reach Whiting’s “Lance Armstrong wannabes” quote in the second column. Not to mention, Whiting says right there, “the dead aren’t just faceless road riders,” but that huge picture’s failure to show the riders’ faces knocks a big chunk of humanity out of the equation.

Editorial criticisms aside, the article itself is even, fair, and reasonable…. and hey, it quotes you!

Ride safe out there!

I’m linking back to the original column, but you know, draconian paywall and stuff.

Note to David Whiting: Thanks for the kind words, David, didn’t know you were reading. It’s not that I think I’ve got you figured out; I suspect you care about bike safety every bit as much as I do. We just disagree sometimes about who’s responsible and how to go about it.

Now, if you could just do something about that damn paywall, I’d love to get back to reading your column on a regular basis.

………

A carwash memorial will be held on Saturday in honor of Luis “Andy” Garcia, killed by a second car last month after being knocked off his bike by a hit-and-run driver.

………

LAPD is looking for the hit-and-run driver who critically injured a bike rider in Hollywood on August 6th.

Yes, August 6th.

Maybe it’s just me, but wouldn’t they have a better chance of catching the jerk if they got the word out just a little quicker?

………

Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious crunches the numbers and finds San Diego’s planned bike spending is half of what’s planned for the LA area.

………

Governor Jerry Brown approves a new law allowing undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses.

Regardless of what you might think about immigration issues, the new law means that there’s a much better chance the next driver who hits you might actually have insurance.

And might actually stick around afterwards.

……..

A petition calls on Caltrans to stop chip sealing routes where bicyclists ride; then again, they should assume cyclists will ride everywhere and stop chip sealing, period. Like we didn’t know this already; LA has the worst road conditions in the country. LA Times writer Nicholas Goldberg considers my suggestion that cyclists should be exempt from stop signs, and concludes, maybe not. A handful of readers respond to the Times’ Opinion page series on cycling, but why doesn’t the press ever refute the myth that we don’t pay for the roads we ride? The fate of the My Figueroa project could hinge on a hearing before the city council Transportation Committee next Wednesday. Richard Risemberg asks if LA is destroying the Glendale/Hyperion bridge in order to save it. A new DTLA development will have more bike parking than car spaces. SaMo students will participate in Bike It! Walk It! Week next week. Malibu letter writer says no to a PCH bike lane because cyclists are the spawn of Satan, more or less. An armed, off-duty Glendale PI stops a bike thief. Torrance bike thieves caught on camera. Turns out I’m not the only one to have a bee encounter, as Michael of CLR Effect feels a pinch between cheek and gum. SoCal’s Original Night Stalker was a bike rider; not to be confused with the other psycho who followed.

California’s new CEQA reform could mark the beginning of the end for auto-centric Level of Service requirements. Corona del Mar will invest in 50 new bike racks. San Diego hosts a ride to honor late local cycling legend Gordy Shields on October 25th. A cross-country cyclist has his bike stolen in San Diego. San Diego mayoral candidate rides for better bike safety, while a letter writer is critical of Critical Mass. Torrey Pines State Beach officials ban bicyclists from riding downhill; whether that’s legal depends on whether it’s considered a public or private road. Santa Barbara gets its own Open Streets — ie, ciclovia — event in November. In the wake of their non-investigation of a recent bicycling fatality, the SFPD is trying to improve relations with bicyclists, which evidently needs improving. Two-thirds of fatal SF bike and pedestrian collisions don’t result in charges. San Francisco cyclists are getting traffic signals timed so bikes get greens. Yes, it’s legal to ride a bike with your dog on a leash, but may not be smart. No bias here, as a Sacramento cyclist is fatally right hooked by a big rig truck, yet the press blames the victim for crashing into it. A Sonoma paper writes about the new three-foot law, but doesn’t seem to realize the 15 mph clause isn’t in this year’s bill.

Twenty years later, the gas tax is still stuck at 18.4 cents a gallon, which is just one reason our highways are crumbling. Smart infographic offering myths about women and cycling; on the other hand, here’s another reason women don’t ride, as femme bikes become the new push-up bra. Turns out protected bike lanes don’t have to be ugly. A Portland writer says if you get yourself killed by riding recklessly, the driver who hit you is going to feel really bad about it. A Oregon bike rider stabs the road raging driver who came after him; no word on whether he feels bad about it. One more reason not to get run down by motorists in Montana, where it just became legal to eat roadkill. At least we only have to deal with angry drivers; a Wyoming cyclist fends off a stalking cougar with bear spray. Very cool exhibit of bike photos in Denver gallery; if you’re trying to figure out what to get me for Christmas, I want the third one. Cyclists are packing guns in Houston. Do whiskey shots, run down a San Antonio cyclist and get six years in prison. St. Louis could get 100 miles of better bikeways. Michigan rider says its not if, but when you’ll kill a cyclist if you keep driving like that. A Minnesota writer questions whether bike lanes are enough. Tampa Bay pitcher David Price rides a bike share bike to Fenway Park. Goldie Hawn rides a bike in New York. The New York cabbie who took the leg of a British tourist after a road rage dispute with a cyclist is back on the streets without even a slap on the wrist. Biking across the Hudson River without benefit of a bridge. The federal government shutdown may be behind a jump in DC bike share use — including the shirtless Kiwi who followed Thursday’s fatal police pursuit. Severe bicycling injuries are up for the third year in a row at an Alabama Children’s hospital. After a Miami driver backs his SUV over a cyclist, the police do everything but pat him on the back and hang a medal around his neck.

Bike prices may fall north of the border as Canada considers scrapping an anti-dumping duty on imported bikes. A writer argues against use of the term cyclist, which I employ on a regular basis along with every other term I can think of for someone on a bike. Cyclists — there’s that word again — can commit fatal hit-and-runs, too, as a Canadian rider pleads guilty to killing a grandmother and fleeing the scene. Deliberately assault a group of Brit cyclists with your car, and walk away with no jail time. A UK cancer specialist is acquitted of killing a bike rider, despite driving on the wrong side of the road. The sister of a woman killed by a truck in London blames the victim, calling for testing of all cyclists. What happens when you buy a £137.90 — $222.89 — bike. Brit bike thief is cornered by basketball team. This is why you never go around train barricades, as a British woman is caught on video barely avoiding being crushed by a train. Wales votes to build a comprehensive network of bikeways connecting communities. The Giro could be in trouble, with up to $11 million missing from the race’s books. Call it a private bike share program — buy a $16 cup of Czech coffee, and get a free loaner bike. Sri Lankan paper says a cyclist wasn’t killed by a train, he was killed by stupidity. Despite fears, an Aussie bike lane over a bridge adds less than one minute to drivers’ commutes. A decent examination of Down Under bike rage. Road raging Kiwi driver chases down, then repeatedly attempts to run over a bike rider as he hides on the sidewalk.

Finally, when you get drunk and steal a bike, it may not be the wisest move to make your getaway by riding it down a flight of stairs. When you’re carrying pot and already wanted for violating probation, maybe riding without a light isn’t the best idea. And don’t throw your bike shoe at your wife.

Just don’t.


A brief list of must reads for a perfect LA day

September 23, 2013

Just a quick note on a quiet news day in the bike world, as only a handful of stories stand out as must-reads this gorgeous Monday morning.

Over the weekend, London’s Telegraph newspaper offered an exceptionally one-sided newspaper report of people in the UK countryside complaining about those damn Wiggo-wannabe Lycra Louts ruining their peaceful roadways — without bothering to speak to a single cyclist, suggesting there is only one side worth considering in this multi-sided story. Fortunately, their competition at the Guardian skillfully deconstructs the anti-bike bias in the story, in typically polite English fashion.

There have been countless stories in recent years looking at why and how the Dutch have set the world standard for designing streets around the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians. The Boston Globe offers one of the best examinations I’ve yet seen, with an eye on how we can do it here. And throws in a look at laws holding drivers automatically at fault in a collision with a vulnerable road user; the only way we’ll ever stop the careless carnage on our roads is to adopt a modified of that here.

The Times discovers LA’s ovary gang sign flashing, fem bike centric Ovarian Psycho Cycles Brigade. But as Streetsblog’s Damien Newton points out, can’t bring itself to use the word “clitoral,” as in the recent Clitoral Mass ride.

After months of saying there was nothing they could do to improve safety on campus following the death of bike riding student Ivan Aguilar, Cal Poly Pomona breaks down and does the right thing, re-striping a major campus artery to restrict the use of cars on campus.

Finally, in case you missed it, DTLA’s Spring Street green bike lane ceased to exist over the weekend, with predictable results, even though the now-colorless, rough-riding buffered bike lane remains. LADOT promises the new, less garish — and presumably, less noticeable — treatment will be down in time for CicLAvia in two weeks.


Two century riders killed in New Hampshire, be an LA ped superhero, and a little Sunday linkafying

September 22, 2013

In yet another horrifying case, a two New Hampshire bike riders are killed when a car crosses over the centerline during an annual century ride.

The riders were taking part in the Granite State Wheelmen’s 40th annual Tri-State Seacoast Century ride when they were hit head-on by a car driven by a 20-year old motorist. The car hit four cyclists, killing two and leaving the others with non-life-threatening injuries.

No word on why the car strayed onto the wrong side of the road, but I think we could all take a pretty good guess.

Note to drivers: Could you all just sober up, put the phone down and stop killing us now?

Please?

Thanks to Dan Weinberg for the heads-up.

Update: According to the husband of one of the victims, police are treating the collision as a criminal investigation and have seized the driver’s cell phone, as well as taking a blood sample. 

Update 2: The driver was stopped by police the night before for speeding. And even though police determined she was an unlicensed driver — not suspended or revoked — she was not arrested, nor was her car impounded. Now two innocent people are dead as a result. Something to think about now that the LAPD is no longer impounding cars belonging to unlicensed drivers.  Thanks to GVDub for the link. 

………

Our bipedalist peers invite you to the Walking Day of Action on October 1st to help take back the streets in emulation of Mexico City’s masked defender of pedestrians.

I honestly don’t know what LA drivers would make of a bike riding superhero.

Road kill, maybe.

……..

Santa Monica may get bike share before Los Angeles does. LA had a bikeway to the sea 113 years ago; hopefully, we won’t have to wait another 100 or so years before the Expo bikeway finally gives us another one. Then again, Downtown LA once had a bright green bike lane, or so the story is told. KPCC is mapping the most dangerous intersections in LA for cyclists and pedestrians. Eleven questions with, and more importantly, answers from, the president of the Loyola Marymount bike club. Bikes give Santa Monica paramedics greater flexibility while speeding response times.

No irony here, as the maker of banned bike doping supplement EPO re-ups for another three years sponsoring the Tour of California. A newly bike and pedestrian friendly coast highway reopens in Solana Beach. Riding with the coyotes in OC. A Thousand Oaks writer says no group has ever been more pampered in the city than bicyclists; I suspect most bicyclists would say drivers are just a tad more pampered, what with all those traffic lanes and parking spaces. San Francisco plans to cut bike theft by 50% within five years; let’s see a similar commitment from the LAPD. The SFPD cites a cyclist for driving without a license, or maybe not.

A North Seattle neighborhood says no way to bike lanes. Colorado driver kills a cyclist while under the influence of prescription drugs — while she was on her way to a court hearing on a previous DUI arrest, no less. Gang members as young as 10-years old are behind a string of Houston bike trail attacks. A motorcycle group fights Wisconsin’s proposed vulnerable user law, while the state’s cyclists are riding without protection. Political maneuvering results in Green Bay bike riders getting sharrows instead of promised bike lanes on a busy street. A Boston study shows relieving just 1% of traffic from just 15 census tracts would reduce traffic congestion 18% for everyone; bikes, anyone? An upstate New York letter writer complains about the rude cyclist who ran over their dog leashes, failing to consider that maybe a trio of women letting their dogs roam while they chat on a bike path may not be the best idea. Nine safety tips for bike riders. Tragic news from Florida, as the second tandem cyclist critically injured in a Labor day collision has died; her boyfriend died the day of the collision. Fort Lauderdale police have apparently been using the city’s bike registration law to stop riders for Biking While Black.

A look behind Twitter’s CycleHated account; if you think this site is depressing sometimes, try following that one for awhile. A British cyclist is charged in a bike-on-bike road rage assault that left a 70-year old deaf cyclist with a fractured cheekbone. Surrey residents are fed up with Lycra louts; funny how the press can write about bicyclists behaving badly without ever talking to one, not like there might be two sides to the story or anything. A local businessman calls a new UK contraflow bike lane a deathtrap; maybe he just wants his handicapped parking space back. A Scotsman gets his bike back after shaming the thief on Facebook. A leading Scottish cyclist fights for his life after being hit by a car. Welsh parents protest after a school bans bicycling and removes a student bike shed to expand teacher parking; God forbid they should encourage teachers to ride to work, instead. European cyclists can now protect their wheels with combination lock wheel skewers. A Norwegian bike rider faces charges after he knocked another cyclist off the sidewalk and into the street, where she was killed by a bus. After an Arab triathlete is killed, Dubai’s traffic police chief warns cyclists not to ride on the country’s roads because they weren’t designed for bikes; wait, where have we heard that before?

Finally, if you’re a convicted felon illegally carrying a semi-automatic weapon, put a damn light on your bike, already. Or better yet, don’t. And a new world human-powered vehicle speed record was set after all, just not by the guy we thought would do it.


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