CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 1, 2009 |
Like many avid cyclists, Rick Wurtz has his share of horror stories from the road. His closest call came as he pedaled along an open highway in Montana and a big rig rushed by within inches of his handlebars, passing so close that the truck's wake blew him off the road. There is little more terrifying to a cyclist than sitting astride 20 pounds of carbon fiber and aluminum when a motorist encased in 2 tons of steel makes a sudden right turn or bumps the riders. Yet for Wurtz and other cyclists, few episodes have reinforced the dangers as powerfully as last year's crash in which a Brentwood doctor is accused of slamming on the brakes of his car in front of two bike riders, injuring both.
July 22, 2011 |
L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl says he was inspired to introduce a groundbreaking anti-harassment ordinance for bicyclists after attending a meeting at a local bike shop, where he met a young man whose face had been mangled when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver. "It's about time cyclists had rights; about time they had laws to protect them," Rosendahl says in a YouTube video made to promote his plan. Cyclists already have traffic laws to protect them, but Rosendahl's ordinance, which was approved Wednesday by the City Council, gives them a new way to strike back at drivers who physically assault or threaten to assault them, force them off the road, throw objects at them or otherwise cause injury simply because of their status as cyclists.
September 25, 2013 |
Rejoice, cyclists! Thanks to Gov. Jerry Brown's signature, those ton-plus cars whizzing by you soon must do so at a distance of at least three feet -- or not much more than the length of one arm. One arm? Yes, it may not be much, but after five attempts to establish such a modest safety barrier for cyclists, California's new three-foot rule -- to take effect next year -- is a policy victory for those of us who share the road with cars, especially in Los Angeles. But for some readers, it's the cyclists who need to be more cautious.
February 24, 2014 |
“It's less attractive every year to own an automobile here,” says Echo Park resident Ryan Johnson, looking up from his bike. Johnson notes the rising cost of parking, the traffic, the hassle. “It's just easier to live without a car. And I don't miss it at all.” Johnson is still in the minority in Los Angeles, but it's a growing minority. He is one of several cyclists featured in “City Cyclists - Competing for Space,” one of two Los Angeles Times videos following the evolving relationship between cyclists and drivers on city streets.
November 15, 2013 |
It shouldn't have come to this, but it did: Some drivers need to be reminded that no cyclist -- anywhere, ever -- deserves to be hit or killed in a car accident. I say this after reading the comments to my colleague Robert Greene's post this week noting that motorists who strike and sometimes kill cyclists are often sent home by police without so much as a citation. In response, several readers implied that the injured or deceased had it coming. Why? Because bike riders sometimes slow cars down.
November 8, 2013 |
Spend enough time with cyclists and cycling and it's easy to believe that the world has changed: that the bike has taken over, that pollution is in retreat, that the obesity epidemic has met its match, that the post-World War II thinking about mobility - move fast, in single-occupancy cars - is ancient history. That's especially true at the California by Bike summit, underway in Oakland, where a couple hundred or so cycling advocates have gathered to confer about their movement. So for the advocates, it was sobering to hear California Transportation Secretary Brian Kelly, at the opening session Thursday evening, cite some statistics from a pair of Public Policy Institute of California polls, one in 1995 and one in 2011.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2014 |
A 21-year-old woman who struck a group of cyclists in Boyle Heights while driving intoxicated, leading to the death of one who was dragged several hundred feet by a following car, was sentenced to three years, eight months in prison Tuesday. Wendy Stephanie Villegas pleaded no contest in March to vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident and driving under the influence causing injury in the death of 22-year-old Luis "Andy" Garcia. Prosecutors say Villegas was driving on Sept.
October 15, 2013 |
One of the top complaints of Angelenos in recent years has been the, shall we say, sub-optimal condition of the city's roads. If city officials can persuade more residents to get out of their cars and onto their bicycles, the wear and tear on the roads will diminish. But there's a flip side: The city may face more lawsuits from cyclists who are toppled by potholes, pavement cracks and other hazards of the city's worn streets. And that raises an interesting question: Will Los Angeles have to maintain its roads at an even higher standard than the one it's not meeting today?
November 12, 2013 |
California Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Dave Snyder looked out at a roomful of about 200 bicyclists and asked them if they knew someone who had been killed or seriously injured while riding. Roughly a third of those gathered raised their hands. His aspiration, Snyder said Saturday at last weekend's California by Bike summit in Oakland, was that in 20 years, no young riders would raise their hands. It's the right goal, of course, but the question and the answer were both sobering.