Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hit & Run

Photo: Ross Hirsch

For Ed Magos, the new year began with a trip to the hospital. Yesterday morning a woman driving a white Porsche slammed into him as he was cycling to work in downtown Los Angeles. The driver pulled over, and reportedly said someone should call 911, then returned to her car and drove away. dudeonabike broke the news on Twitter to the cycling community, with a report of the incident:
Cyclist down NOW--hit and run by a white Porsche at 2nd St. tunnel in DTLA. I got witness info and plate#. Will update when I get to office
and then details of the assailant (Thankfully, a witness was able to provide a description of the vehicle, the driver and the license plate number)
Cyclist hit and run in DTLA at 8:30 am: white Porsche Carrerra style w/ plate: 5ZNY307. African American female, mid-30s.
Fellow cycling activist Stephen Box knew Ed and was able to report on his condition
~ 2nd Street cyclist, hit and run victim, no broken bones, no serious injuries, family is with him, will leave hospital this afternoon
and finally that the suspect turned herself into police later in the day
~ somebody else in LAPD - 2nd Street Hit & Run Motorist turned herself in, "I may have hit something. I don't know what."
Being a fairly new user of Twitter, I was amazed at the power of this platform to distribute information instantaneously. Hundreds of L.A. cyclists were aware of the plight of a fellow cyclist and were rallying to his cause, as well as expressing anger and outrage, at the assailant and the police, who many believe are not giving crimes against cyclists the attention and priority that they deserve. For all those who care, here's 2 things you can do to make L.A. a safer place to ride a bike.

1. Comment on the Bike Plan, the deadline is tomorrow! If you're looking for inspiration, Damien Newton shares his comments on Streetsblog LA

2. Attend the Live Q&A with Police Chief Charlie Beck next Wednesday January 13th, 2010 at 630pm, hosted by Pat Morrison of KPCC. RSVP to pattmorrison@kpcc.org .


3 comments:

Ross H. Hirsch said...

That's a good post, and good concise summary of the events.

I often have that debate with my non-twittering wife about "what's the use of all this tweeting?" Well, yesterday pretty clearly showed how that mode of communication not only was able to help out a downed cyclist in this unfortunate circumstance by connecting the personal dots to get to someone who knew his family (even if perhaps only by happenstance), but also to get the word out to the broader community. Maybe the flurry of twitter activity served as a reminder to some to be vigilant while biking on the roads (I know my commute home that day was VERY aware of the cars around me), or maybe to others it can serve to highlight the inequities in our hit/run laws and encourage them to take some action. Maybe to others it showed that there is a serious cycling community here in LA that has a voice and could always uses more. LA is obviously no Portland or Copenhagen or even New York, believe it or not, and it may be while before we get to the point where bicycling has become a considerable part of multi-modal transportation options, but more awareness = more safety = more bikers = more safety = more bikers = more awareness, etc., etc., etc. So thanks to you for helping out.

Alex said...

Thanks Ross. This incident is, if anything, a case study into the power of Twitter. Within minutes, I was tweeting the mayor about it. I'm convinced our collective voices can affect real change in the city. Onward!

Heather Taylor said...

wow mon