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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Two persons hospitalized after cyclist hits Echo Park pedestrian

A woman walking across an Echo Park street was struck by a cyclist early this evening in a collision that sent both persons to the hospital with what police described as serious injuries. The woman was left unconscious and bleeding heavily after she was hit by the cyclist traveling down hill at about 6:30 pm. in the 1700 block of Morton Avenue near Academy Road, according to residents. Sgt. Edward Perez with the Northeast Division said a cyclist who was riding with the injured bike rider told him that both had been drinking before the crash. The red bike of the injured cyclist was left on the sidewalk after paramedics transported him and the female pedestrian to L.A. County-USC Medical Center for treatment. Perez said both appeared to have suffered serious injuries to their heads and faces.

88 comments

  1. can’t wait to read the comments about this one.

  2. Bad scene! I hope that they both are OK!

  3. I live on Morton, and came upon the accident scene while the EMTs were administering aid to the victims. It looked BAD and was very disturbing. Both the cyclist and the woman were laying in the road, I could see the cyclist’s face was like 3/4 road rash and his legs were all torn up too. The poor woman was just laying there motionless on her side. I’m glad to hear that although they were injured, they will survive, as it was clearly a high-impact crash… Morton is a good little hill, and bikes can get a lot of speed going, especially when the biker is coming down Academy onto Morton. I just KNEW it was a fixie that caused this wreck. epresident had it right, if you can’t ride it and stop safely then don’t ride a goddamn fixie, especially if you’re drinking… geniuses. Well, get well soon to both of you but especially the innocent pedestrian. :-(

    • Was the bicyclist riding on the sidewalk?

    • You can get a DUI on a bike. If an officer at the site of the crash knew the bikers were drinking, I would think LAPD would have been obligated to test and possibly charge both bikers with DUI. Whether that actually happened–who knows. But if the facts are as they are stated above, it would seem obvious.

  4. Sad, sad, how about speed bumps at every stop sign?

  5. As an avid biker, fixed gear bikes in an urban setting is just plain dumb. I commute on a single speed, but it has a freewheel and brakes. Fixie riders are simply posers.

    • Assuming this was actually caused by a an unskilled fixed-gear rider without a hand brake who couldn’t stop in time: Get a clue dudes, no one will question your manliness if you have a hand brake, it’s not 2008 anymore!

      • Or a helmet! I always wear a melon bucket.

        The picture of the bike shows clearly: no brakes. No hand brake or coaster brake. Just plain silly.

    • your conscience @ ep

      Maybe everyone should be like you.

    • I have a single speed bike that I use for commuting in LA. It’s a fixed gear and the wheel can be flipped to be freewheel. I prefer fix, but I have two sets of brakes.

      Not having brakes is idiotic… especially if you are biking in hilly areas like Echo Park and Silver Lake, places that have a high rate of pedestrian activity.

      Fixie or not though, sounds like this person was intoxicated and going really fast.

      I live off Scott near EP Ave and saw a series of fire trucks coming down Sunset and going up EP Ave over the span of several minutes as we walked from Sunset Beer to Masa with our own Opening Day buzz going. It was a little disconcerting, given that it was clear a lot of inebriated people might be out and about following the game.

      I really hope they both come out of this situation able to fully recover.

  6. I’d like to see police give bicycle riders more moving-violation tickets. I’m a strong believer in sharing the roads and building good infrastructure for bicyclists, but I’ve seen so many bicyclists who have no regard for the rules of the road. I’m talking about folks who blow through red lights and four-way stop signs, veer right in front of moving cars, and ride very erratically and unpredictably on the roads. Many young male bike riders seem to have an incredible sense of entitlement, and we drivers are reduced to driving next to them at 15 mph and watching their every movement like a hawk until we pass them.

    • Clearly there are some bad cyclists out there, I’m not sure why a bike rider has to somehow prove themselves as “worthy” or answer for the actions of every person who’s ever swung their leg over a bike to get respect on the road. We don’t demand the same of motorists.

      • Don’t ride your bike like an asshole, and you’ll get respect.

      • I don’t think I implied that it was the duty of responsible bike riders to answer for the actions of the reckless ones. Regarding your other statement, motorists do have to prove themselves as worthy; we go to the DMV and take a driving test, and if we receive too many moving violations, we could lose our licenses.

        • As a car driver I have to answer for only my behavior as an individual, and I agree that bike riders should as well, especially in cases like this. However, no one is questioning my right to be on the road or even the most minimal accommodations for my mode of transportation based on the behavior of other people who use that mode. No one says “I don’t pay my own way” even though roads are mostly maintained with the general fund, not motorist-only fees. Yet you hear these same canards endlessly repeated whenever bikes come up in the news.

          • Do bike riders carry insurance for things like this? No. Do many ride at night in EP/Silverlake with no reflectors or lights? Yes. No helmets? Yes. Often with headphones/earbuds on? Yes. Cyclists do need to prove themselves.

    • Co-sign JAMES. Also, would somebody please inform cyclists that moving to the right is the LAW and that they are NOT entitled to hog-up an entire traffic lane during rush hour? Somebody might also inform them that in a pinch it is legal to ride your bike on the sidewalk in L.A.

      • @procopio: actually, you are wrong. Bikers CAN hog an entire lane, even during rush hour, under certain conditions. If the lane is not wide enough to safely have both a bike and a car side-by-side within the lane, then the bike can “take the lane”.
        Bikes need room on the right side to avoid glass, potholes, parked car doors suddenly opening.. and need at least three feet of room on the left between the handlebars and car mirrors. Most lanes that I encounter with parked cars on the right are not wide enough to accommodate cars and bikes simultaneously.

        Read the motor vehicle code, specifically section 3: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc21202.htm

        • Obviously there are exceptions to the rule. Particularly in situations where adherence to the general rule might create additional hazards. Otherwise, “any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway” is the general rule that I wish all cyclists would adhere too. If only in the interest of common sense and courtesy.

          • Without sounding pedantic, it’s not an exception to the rule.. it is the rule.

            So, if a cyclist is riding as far right as is safe OR if they are taking the lane because the lane is too narrow.. they ARE following the rule.

          • “. . . [riding] as close as PRACTICABLE to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway” IS the general rule. Use of the term “practicable” and sublist of exceptions addresses situations of “. . . taking the lane because the lane is too narrow..”, which is NOT the general rule but a practical adaptation to an unconventional situation. Otherwise, when “PRACTICABLE”, cyclists are expected to ride as close to the right-hand curb to avoid disrupting the flow of traffic. All we’re asking for is room to get around them not for them to abandon the road altogether.

    • As a cyclist completely I agree (I cringe whenever I see a bike ride through a red light). I also wish the police would ticket motorists for all the tailgating, speeding and cutting off pedestrians in crosswalks… if everyone could just chill out and exercise a modicum of patience and empathy, our streets would be a lot safer.

      • Related — Just as careless cyclists ignore laws when it’s inconvenient (coasting through red lights and stop signs), so do motorists: speed limits and speeding up to “beat” yellow lights come to mind.

        If you look around dispassionately, at speed limits in particular, probably over 50% of motorists habitually break the law.

        Neither of these bad habits is anything to be proud of. It’s hypocritical to expect perfect behavior from cyclists and excuse bad behavior of motorists.

    • I’d like to see police give car drivers more moving-violation tickets. I’ve seen so many drivers who have no regard for the rules of the road. I’m talking about folks who blow through red lights and four-way stop signs, veer right in front of moving cyclists, and ride very erratically and unpredictably on the roads.

      Don’t even get me started on texting and talking on the phone, cars who don’t understand I am in the middle of the road because the potholes, glass and other interference in the make it far too easy to crash, and a long list of grievances. But really – who cares about a cyclist’s safety? This is LA and I have somewhere to be!

  7. James. There are a lot of idiot / dangerous drivers and cyclists on the road. The biggest difference is a car weighs around 3000lbs and a bike 20-30 lbs. The damage a car can do to a bike is deadly but not vice versa.
    I also drive and ride a bike. Because of that I am extra careful when passing bikes because of all the hazards on the side of roads – glass, debris, potholes – that can cause a cyclist to swerve – even skilled cyclists. Thats not too much to ask when a life (someones brother/sister/son/daughter) is unvolved. in turn when riding a bike we have to give pedestrians space are entitled too.
    I have no idea what happened here. clearly the bike needs a brake. sounds like they were drinking too (DUI to come). sounds like the pedestrian was also in the road (crosswalk not mentioned) and walked in front of a moving vehicle (not good). it’s all bad. hope they are both ok.

    • Point well taken. I know that cars are a lot more dangerous than bikes, but I feel that if the police began making a concerted effort to ticket law-breaking bicyclists, it would help moderate their behavior. I have to say, the fear of a speeding ticket – even more than an accident – is what it has taken to convince me to slow down in my car. I used to speed up the bridge from Glendale Blvd. in Atwater Village to Hyperion in Silver Lake, until a motorcycle officer who was stationed on Ettrick ticketed me for driving 52 mph on that 35-mph bridge. It was a painful and expensive lesson (around $450) but now I’m more careful there – and elsewhere. Same with DUIs; let’s be honest, there are plenty of folks – myself incluced – who might feel okay to drive after one margarita, but the fear of being pulled over keeps us off the road.

  8. I’ve finally had it. Between the assholes on fixies weaving through pedestrians, to the fuckwads on mufflerless “vintage” motorcycles (do these sad Peter Fonda wannabes know how absurd they look? We all know they grew up in the burbs…) that are so loud they rattle windows and set off car alarms, the M.O. of these trusties who never appear to need to go to work is “fuck you”. Lived in Echo Park for 12 years, looking in Alwater and Eagle Rock, hopefully will get some quality years there before these freak ooze eastward. I have ZERO sympathy for the rider here, if there is any justice he’ll be sued into bankruptcy, and criminally charged as well. But this is LA, there is no justice as we all know, I’m sure daddy from Rye NY has top dog lawyers on it as we speak.

  9. Lucky no officers were called to the scene. Drunken bike riders causing a commotion makes them a genuine “menace” to society and eligible targets for a shooting incident and multi-millions of taxpayer dollars. Chalk one up for L.A. taxpayers. We dodged a figurative bullet in this one.

  10. We live on Morton and had to walk up the hill last because the street was blocked off. And while one hates to sound like a grumpy asshole, people drive way too fast UP and DOWN Morton, cyclists included, as they love to come off the steep incline north of academy and fly down to EP ave. (Factor into the mix opening day shenanigans and voila).

    This is an urban neighborhood, indeed, but I see the problem as people using our streets as a short cut. Elysian Park is a wonderful resource, and I feel lucky to live in proximity to it, but the park often feels like a doormat/toilet for commuters and ‘fans.’

    Screed aside, does anyone have any good suggestions for reducing speeds on Morton? By my gauge, traffic runs about 45 or 50, with police cruisers running about 60 down the hill. There are no posted limits that I can think of, and speed bumps seem like a pie-in-the-sky request from the city. Morton is a cool, laid back street with lots of pedestrians and animals. It doesn’t have to be a circuit for the grand prix.

    • @ st. Helena I live on Morton terrace and we’ve tried getting speedbumps put on Morton Ave for years – city says they can’t because its a secondary emergency access route for dodger stadium.

  11. @jackreacher look both ways before u cross the street or even coming out of ur house…its a doggy dog world…my prayers go out to both families and keep riding!

  12. Only two people know what really happened here. So why don’t you all quick yapping until those details are made public.

    • You can’t be serious. We know there was a bike without brakes, a hill, a pedestrian crossing, and a serious accident. It’s called reasoning.

  13. I agree with St Helen. I also live on Morton and people drive way too fast on this street. People coming from Academy don’t even stop at the stop sign half the time when turning on to Morton. I’ve seen the police posted at the bottom one day giving speeding tickets, I’d like to see that again.

  14. I am of two minds on this one. I have commuted by bike before and it’s really scary: autos cut you off because they don’t see you, drivers get angry and honk when you have to make a left turn. Even with a helmet, I feel like I’m putting my life at risk on a bike, so I definitely urge motorists to keep an eye out for cyclists and give them the ability to make necessary traffic navigations.

    However, yesterday alone, I had to slam the brakes on my car when a cyclist ran a red light and zoomed directly in front of me. Then later, when I was walking from my car, I waited for the light at a pedestrian crosswalk. As I crossed the street, a cyclist came speeding through the red light and I literally had to jump out of the way to keep from being hit. So I get upset at the sense entitlement that some cyclists give off by not extending the same courtesies to others that they demand when sharing the road.

    In my opinion, I think the police should cite as many cyclists as possible for traffic violations. Make it expensive to break the law. Then perhaps cyclists in general will behave and drivers will give them respect and safety on the road.

  15. I nearly hit some kid on a fixie who was running a red light at night with no lights.

    I would say 50% of the bike riders in our neighborhood do not ride safely. I hope the LAPD will ticket more of those asshole bike riders who run lights/4 way stop signs.

  16. @Border and Snow Bear: I agree that there should be more enforcement of scofflaw bike riders. They give the rest of us a bad name, generate animosity which is often taken out on innocent bikers.. and give anti-bike folks ammo at public hearing meetings for new bike infrastructure.

  17. A dumb drunken asshole riding a bike with NO brakes. File criminal charges.

  18. Are bikes part of traffic? Because many, many behave as if they’re not….

    I think the problem is as much philosophical as individual. This is not to minimize the danger responsible riders face, which is obviously extreme. Opened car doors, angry drivers, distracted drivers. But I also don’t think it’s just a bunch of individual scofflaw cyclists. Seems most cyclist view bikes as outside of the normal rules of the road. Stopping at red lights, blocking traffic for midnight rides, blowing through crosswalks. Hell, even wearing helmets, headphones or talking/texting.

    I’m all for responsible riding, and for less aggressive drivers, but cyclists can’t keep having it both ways. Too many cyclists choose to be outside the rules of the road (not to mention common consideration) when it’s convenient, only to complain about their lack of protection in a self created wild west.

    And not saying that this bad behavior justifies equally careless behavior from drivers. But so much of cycling right now is about having it both ways.

    • If we’re playing “comparative scofflaws,” bad motorists are a million times worse than bad cyclists. Annoying people is not the same planet racking up body counts.

      • Yeah, agreed re drivers, but at least in this city, driving is normative and also standardized. There are laws, they are enforced (to whatever degree). Cars are inspected, drivers are licensed, scofflaws are ticketed.

        Biking just isn’t there yet, legally or culturally. I’m all for bikers having a place on the road, but with that right comes responsibility. What rubs a lot of people the wrong way is the sense of entitlement cyclists demand. I’m not saying cyclists don’t have the right to a safe commute. But this demand for instant parity, without a call for standards or responsibility.

        We can go back and forth about bad drivers vs. bad cyclists, but right now, the city, the laws, and the culture deem cars as primary. I think that should change, but as a cyclist, if you want it to change, understand you’re asking the majority for something, and standardize your behavior so it makes it easier for us to support you.

        Just the way it works when things outside the norm are trying to get recognized. You do have to be better…

        • As a driver I am glad that cars are regulated to the degree that they are. I wouldn’t want someone hitting my car and there be no want to hold them accountable. But is it reasonable to add that much fuss and bureaucracy to vehicles that can’t really do harm in the same degree?

          Enforcement is fuzzy for all road users. Few people get jaywalking tickets. Even fewer people get speeding tickets even though it’s rare to see people observe the posted speed limit.

          The word “entitlement” is an interesting one. It seems like it gets thrown around so much that it’s lost its meaning, sort of like the word “hipster.” Why is asking for the most basic thing, safe passage on a public roadway that we all pay for, considered being entitled? Also, why are bike riders considered these weird interlopers when in fact it was cyclist organizations who were instrumental in getting paved roads built in the first place?

          • Yeah, it’s reasonable, because it protects cyclists themselves, regardless of how much harm they can or can’t do to cars. A set of responsibilities for cyclists — helmets, traffic rules — benefits everyone on the road.

            In terms of rights, of course you’re entitled to safe passage, but not without the responsibilities those rights entail. The whole question of fuss and bureaucracy gets back to the original point. Conceptually, many cyclists (and bike culture) want the benefits of operating a vehicle in traffic and none of the responsibilities.

            As for weird, you’re doing an activity most people don’t, at least in this city. On the roads, cyclists are the minority. And you’re asking for a change in culture and policy — bike lanes etc — for a behavior most people don’t engage in. Bikes can and do inconvenience traffic, cars, which is the majority behavior, and fair or unfair, it’s majority rule. So while you have a right to do it, understand you’re asking the majority to make a sacrifice. That’s where the reaction comes from.

            And just to be honest, I know a bunch of people who’ve had aggro experiences with militant bike riders. That’s a big reason people think cyclists are weird. Midnight rides blocking traffic, bikes swarming cars. This is anecdotal, and of course not everyone, but it seems so much of bike culture now is oppositional and inconsiderate.

            Imagine groups of people on another type of vehicle, say segways, breaking traffic laws. Yes, there are drivers fitting that diagnosis, but at least there’s a set of rules and a system of enforcement, however flawed.

            So yeah, I do find it entitled to claim safe passage, a set of rights, without caring about any of the associated responsibilities that make you part of the public space.

          • You are still talking about cyclists like some foreign group that has no overlap at all with “normal” society. It’s pretty paternalistic to ask people to “prove” that they can exercise their rights.

            I’ve said multiple times that I drive cars. I also ride bikes sometimes and think it’s not too crazy to make it safe for people who choose to do so. This being L.A. I can assure you that the vast majority of people who ride bikes are also car drivers. I’m not even sure it makes sense to talk about people as if their mode of transit defines them.

          • bicycles can’t do the same damage? Well sure, a car can do more damage because of basic physics, but we shouldn’t be comparing maximum damages. Cyclists have killed pedestrians. Death should be enough damage to justify for what JamesP is asking.

      • John, no one is playing “comparative scofflaws.” Yes, everyone knows that a car can inflict a lot more damage than a bike, but the fact is, bikes can and do kill pedestrians. Right now in San Francisco, an asshole biker is on trial for killing a pedestrian. That person was killed as throughly with a bike as they would have been with a car.

        • There’s an odd notion of proof going on here, as if drivers and motorcyclists somehow are exempted from proof you imagine being asked of cyclists.

          For drivers and motorcyclists, the right to operate a vehicle in a public space comes with obligations. As mentioned numerous times on this thread, licensing, insurance, rules are things drivers and motorcyclists have to ‘prove’ to exercise their rights.

          Is there any argument why cyclists should be exempted?

          • The main reason why bicycles have been exempted is that a bicycle simply does not have the same harm potential, not enough to warrant the extra bureaucracy. You’re asking the state to regulate something that we expect children to be able to do. If a bike rider crashed into my car or into me and did any real damage, it’s unlikely that the rider would be able to flee the scene and evade responsibility. In addition the vast majority of bike riders already have driver’s licenses or cars.

            If the requiring license and insurance for bicycles was done reasonably and came with actual equal consideration and action in transportation planning, that might make sense. If that’s what it took to create efficient and safe bikeways network that appeal to all riders, I’d probably be for it. As it stands L.A. (and most of North America) barely does anything to make cycling appealing or practical as a mode of transit for those not already committed to it.

            If you add fees and regulations and maintain the status quo, all you would do is discourage cycling. I don’t doubt that’s the main goal of many who propose licensing: adding a barrier to entry for an activity that should be encouraged.

      • Hitler killed more people, but John Wayne Gacy was still an asshole.

  19. I took the brakes off my car, blow through stop signs and drive drunk. Cuz Ima F*ckin’ Bad Azz!!!

  20. If I drove as SO many of these cyclists ride I would be in jail, as well I should be. I use to commute on two wheels with breaks ,helmet ,and lights ,uncool as it was and that was hazardous enough. I find it amusing to herar cyclists cite the motor vehicle code when it suits them but ignore the fact that they are subjected to the whole code.I frequently see them break a half a dozen regulations in a block or two. I would love to see the codes enforced, I drive in fear of one of these thrill seekers ending up on my hood.

  21. This is news because it doesn’t happen often. When a motorist hospitalizes someone it’s just another day in LA.

  22. your conscience @ ep

    Wow, no interuption on this post from retarded residence like myself who’s family has been in this neiborhood since 1942…Maybe the cops should just start gunning down bicyclist…

    • You are truly annoying. Hope you enjoy the yuppy takeover of “your neighborhood”. Clown. Why no rampart rant on this one?

      • your conscience @ ep

        Look old man your a joke! The yuppy take over is not only in my neighborhood, but yours as well…I will come out of retirement for you and show you some act me right, whenever you really want to step to the plate…You act like your not up against the same problem, I am guessing you are from that leva side of town…Diamond lado don’t act like that, Frog Town lado don’t act like that, I will expose you and your time will come, buster. Just saying though! For the world to see, no shame in this game, get on you hot line squid!

  23. ALL YOU PEOPLE DO IS TALK SH*T NO ONE IS PERFECT…

  24. Keep riding keep drinking keep smoking keep hustlong keep grinding keep running …all hipsters die or go back to where u came from..true los angelino fuck what u heard:..only the people involved know what happened…if u feel echo park is too dangerous then take ur ass back to wisconsin or idaho or wherever u came from hipster…brrrr brrrr

    • If we went back to “wherever”, who would pay all the taxes that supplement your lifestyle? Hmmm. Guess you’ll have to live with us after all!

      • My family will pick up the tab for our “lifestyle”(?). We go back 65 years in N.E.Los and own 10 homes in the area. Not to mention the taxes of family that live throughout greater Los Angeles. Moreover, we promise not to transplant to the midwest or northeast upon your return. Deal? Uh-huh . . . thought so.

        • Maybe you have difficulty understanding what the “reply” button is used for, procopio. You see, my response was to “true eastsider”. The content of my message was directed at what I surmise (based on the language, punctuation-or lack there of- and inference of his moniker) to be one who would be “taking” from the system rather than “contributing”and thus needs contributors to the tax base to be able to sustain. Therefore, your response to my reply would be totally misdirected and irrelevant.

          I accept your apology.

  25. James P. You are missing something here. Cyclists have a legal right to the road. This is clearly outlined in the California vehicle code. We aren’t asking for permission or feeling entitled. We have been given this right by the state of California. The right to the road is not up for negotiation. It is the law and as a driver you are obligated to abide by it just like me when I drive.

    • And YOU, “Enough”, totally missed every post where JamesP explicitly states that yes, certainly cyclists have a right to be o the road but THEY MUST ALSO OBEY ALL THE SAME LAWS THAT CARS DO.
      Which many unfortunately don’t. Like in all probability the bike that caused this accident didn’t.

      Get it?

  26. Actually, the police report said that no alcohol or looks of intoxication were found on the cyclist, for ur information, IDIOTS!! Second of all, what was the woman doing in the middle of the roadway with no cross walk in sight??? Guess some idiot hipsters think they own our streets LOL

    • The cyclist was reported to have been on the wrong side of the road and looked of control. He and the companion had gained speed coming down Academy from the stadium and continued at that pace down Morton. Without brakes there was no way to stop quickly. Hitting the pedestrian is what stopped him which is insanity. The pedestrian has suffered brain damage as a result.

  27. When I looked at this blog in April or May there were 84 comments.
    What happened to them?

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