Memorial Ride for Paul Lin – 11/17

Sunday, November 17, Newport Beach — Riders from around Orange County turned out to mourn the death and celebrate the life of Irvine cyclist, Paul Lin, 41. The pace was reserved and tears were shed when the ride reached the scene of the collision, San Joaquin and Marguerite, in Corona del Mar.

A ghost bike marks the intersection now, a reminder we hope to motorists that cyclists are present even when they’ve forgotten us.

Flowers and a ghost bike in Memory of Paul Lin at the intersection of San Joaquin and Marguerite, Corona del Mar.

Riders from various clubs and the Robert’s Cycling Meetup Group came together to cycle in memory of Paul Lin.

Paul Lin, 41, died Wednesday, November 6, struck by an SUV on San Joaquin Hills Road,  in Newport Beach.


A separate Memorial Fund is established in Paul’s memory. If you would like to contribute please use the button, below. Funds will be used for education and on-going advocacy so that we may reduce cyclist death and injury in Orange County.

Bicyclists have been drawn to Newport Beach and Corona del Mar since the streets were rutted dirt. As the towns have grown so has the attraction: the ocean, Pacific Coast Highway, challenging climbs and hilltop views. But more than in surrounding towns cars, high speed roads, and a sense of driver entitlement makes Newport Beach more dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians. It’s as if the needs of human beings on the street matter less than those of drivers; people in Newport Beach have a “right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” only in their cars.

Does human life mean less than the convenience of motorists?

That’s a serious question. It’s being asked nationwide these days and, believe it or not, there is debate. One need only read the comments which follow stories in LA Times, New York Times, The Economist and elsewhere. Irate drivers are quick to say that cyclists suffer pain and death because, essentially, we dare invade their precious turf. Rude, dangerous behavior, they claim, is only tit for tat. A two second delay to avoid a sideswipe or pause to allow a cyclist to exit an intersection is too much to ask in a culture dominated by auto advertising and the promise of a better life only a better car can provide.

“Around here, you’ve got to love what you drive,” says Fletcher Jones. Apparently you don’t have to love anything– or anyone– else.

Paris Imports Idaho Bike Law

Cycling on the Place Concorde Photo: ALAMY

A while back we wrote about the Idaho Stop Law in our post about Why Cyclists Run Red Lights and are pleased to discover that an American export has taken hold in Europe.

Paris (France) is the latest city to experiment with allowing people on bikes to proceed through red traffic lights after first making sure it is safe to do so, and holding cyclists responsible in case of a collision.

Signage posted on the traffic poles will inform riders of their options, and is considered safer than having dedicated cycling lights installed.

Bike riding has soared in Paris since hundreds of new cycle lanes have been added and the availability of the ‘Vélib’ rental bikes encourages commutes, errands, and even city tours by bike.

Infrastructure encourages participation

Thanks to the increased availability of safe cycling lanes (sometimes against traffic) and the availability of cycles to ride on them by tourists and locals alike, problems arise at intersections with masses of bike riders crowding around cars and filtering up to the light.

When the light changes, cars must re-navigate their way around the riders until the next light and so on, until tempers flare and frustrations boil over to confrontations.

According to the municipal authorities, “It makes cycle traffic more fluid and avoids bunching up cyclists when the traffic lights go green for motorists.”

Outside the capital, the law has been tested in the cities of Bordeaux, Strasbourg and Nantes where, “these experiments have led to no rise in the number of accidents,” according to Paris’ town hall.

Commuters love the idea as it saves time in their commute and is less stressful.

Courtesy and Consideration go a long way

France is the latest country bringing a piece of their own “private Idaho” into their borders.

The law has already been adopted and is in force in Belgium, Germany and Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden, and Norway).

Even as we continue to add cycling infrastructure and bike rentals around the south-land, (with 23 funded projects set to begin), the atmosphere of mutual respect for users of our roadways is lagging the countries mentioned above, not to mention several other states!

With appropriate planning and consideration for Complete Streets, perhaps the current entitlement attitude expressed by the few, will bloom into the realization that roads are for people, and with the expected increase in density on our roadways, we may experience a private Idaho of our own.

OC Bike Collision Demographic

We’ve presented charts and figures for counties and cities regarding collisions with bike riders showing the counts of fatalities and injuries, (in Newport’s case even the degree of injury), and who was at fault for the collision yet there’s still something missing.

To better target our educational outreach, we need to know “who are these people”, or who these people are that are colliding or are being collided with on our roadways.

The overview results are surprising and interesting, so we thought we’d share some top level charts for the county:

2010 Race Demographic

 The classifications for race are assigned in the collision record database, and the 23% being “not stated” may indicate shoddy record keeping by the reporting agency in 2010.

2011 Race Demographic

In 2011 record keeping improved in the county, shrinking the “not stated” to a negligible number (9). While it would appear that Whites either quit riding their bikes and causing collisions, or previous educational efforts are bearing fruit, we suspect more of the latter than the former.

Obviously the largest jump in colliding riders are the ones identifying with the Black and Asian categories, with a slight decrease in the Hispanic and Other categories.

So far for 2012 there aren’t too many records from Orange County with demographic information. As noted in an earlier post, some PDs are better at taking care of “administrivia” than others in getting their paperwork submitted in a timely manner. We also found that collision demographic data lags the actual collision record submission such that there may be a collision record with 2 parties injured, yet the party record is not there!

Such is the risk and result when working with preliminary data, so until the county demographic records show up, we present the 2012 collision demographic for the state:

2012 State Demographic Race

This might be something you’d expect to see from a state wide coalition like the CBC or even CABO, and while we can, it’s far beyond our charter to do so and this was done just to see if we could.

Since you asked, yes we have the city by city breakdown for the county, and they will be contacted regarding educational outreach efforts. On the other hand they are always free to contact us!

And since you’re wondering where this all came from…

All collision records are collected and maintained by the CHP SWITRS (Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System) database. There are actually 3 parts to the complete information record: collision, party, and victim. The record caseid (a unique identifier) is what ties the 3 segments together and we created a way to allow party information to be tabulated by any criteria we choose within the items contained in the database.

The process is time consuming and a lot of checks and balances are built in to avoid record duplication or omission, however that is part of the value-add provided by the Orange County Bicycle Coalition.

Your membership and donations help fund this effort, thanks for your support!

Commuter Survey Update

Commuters prefer safety and speed with:

  • 57% using class1 MUPs during their commute.
  • 29% using additional public transportation (bus, train),
  • 43% are either lucky enough to live close to work , or are totally hardcore commuters by riding the first and last mile during their commute.

South County and the Beach Cities have good participation, and we’d like to see more involvement from the inland and north county areas.

Let’s hear from Anaheim and Santa Ana, Orange and Buena Park, and all cities in between!

Take the commuter survey here, Thanks for Your Participation.