Tag Archive for Agustin Rodriguez Jr.

Morning Links: More on Vision Zero plan, call for killer driver to turn herself in, and OC man has 9 DUIs in 6 years

As we noted last week, the City of Los Angeles has finally released its Vision Zero Action Plan, explaining in detail how it plans to reduce traffic deaths by 20% this year, and eliminate them entirely by 2025 — just eight years away.

Comments to the plan continue to roll in.

Today, Vision Zero Alliance member Bobby Peppey is sharing a letter he wrote in response to the plan.

Note: While Peppey is a member of the VZA, he want to make it clear that these are his opinions, and do not necessarily reflect those of the alliance. 

………

There is a serious problem with LADOT’s Vision Zero Action Plan (VZAP) that wasn’t mentioned in LACBC’s excellent letter.

The lack of mention of lowering speed limits from the deadly 35/45mph to safer speed limits of 25/15 mph on Los Angeles HIN or other City streets in the VZAP.

Safer, slower top speed limits have been instituted by New York City, Seattle, Boston and in other North American cities.

Yes there is the California Speed Trap law and its 85 percentile rule that  supposedly forces City’s to raise limits as Joe Linton mentions in his article last spring. There are exceptions in the law to this rule that are manifest on all of the HIN streets that can easily be implemented to lower the speed limits on these streets.

On page 15 is the only mention of lowering speed limits in the plan, “A speed-limit reduction may be more appropriate on streets where children walk to school.” In my experience children walk on all sorts of streets and not only to get to school.

There is some amorphous language on page 36 as follows, “Vision Zero for Los Angeles will pursue local, state, and federal legislation that strengthens traffic safety policy…”, but the VZAP doesn’t go on to then state what policy changes will be pursued by the City.

More ominous in VZAP are the BENCHMARKS on page 37. The second row concerns finishing speed surveys conducted by LADOT but does not state what the results of these surveys will be.

In Joe Linton’s June 9th article in StreetsblogLA concerning the City Council Transportation Committee meeting of June 8th, he states that “LADOT General Manager Reynolds stressed that speed surveys and resultant speed limit increases are needed.”

Earlier at the same meeting Ms. Reynolds stated “IF WE COULD GET EVERYBODY IN THE CITY TO SLOW DOWN TO A SAFE SPEED, WE COULD SAVE HUNDREDS OF LIVES EVERY YEAR.” This quote is verbatim from the printed minutes of the meeting.

We live in a City (second largest in the US) that is now facing down the full brunt of the power of an arch-conservative unified federal government on the issue of immigrants rights, one of the most significant human rights battles of this century for our Country.

That the City of Los Angeles is not willing to deal with the same vigor towards Caltrans, and the State of California’s terribly inequitable Speed Trap Law; when our City is suffering from an epidemic of Kills and Serious Injury (KSI) of persons who walk, ride a bike or use transit on its sidewalks, crosswalks and streets is stunning.

Sincerely,

Bobby Peppey

Vision Zero Alliance member

Advisory and Policy Committee

Enforcement Committee

………

Meanwhile, a governing website explains what Vision Zero is, and says the hardest part for cities is making the long-term commitment necessary to make it work.

………

KCBS-2 reports that relatives of Agustin Rodriguez, the bike rider killed in a hit-and-run in Whittier Monday morning, call on the driver to turn herself in while describing her as a monster who murdered the father of three.

Considering that she dragged him the length of two football fields, they’re probably right. Anything less than a murder charge would be an abject failure of justice.

………

This is why people continue to die on our streets. An Orange County man was arrested for DUI on Sunday after crashing into a utility box in Placentia and attempting to run away.

Police quickly discovered that the driver, 52-year-old Derek Stacy Haskayne, was already on probation for a previous felony DUI conviction.

In fact, he’s had eight DUI convictions since 2011.

Read that again. Eight DUI convictions — not just arrests — in the last six years. And yet he somehow still manages to remain behind the wheel, placing every other human being on the roads at risk.

We can talk all we want about Vision Zero. But as long as people like this are allowed own, buy, rent or borrow a motor vehicle of any kind, innocent people will continue to die.

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

………

The route was announced for this year’s edition of the Amgen Tour of California, as well as the separate but unequal four-stage Breakaway from Heart Disease women’s race. The last three stages will be set in SoCal, including a Mt. Baldy finish in stage 5, a Big Bear time trial, and a Pasadena finish for the final stage, while the women won’t get any closer than Sacramento.

Deadspin says if motor doping exists, the 60 Minutes report didn’t prove it. Of course it exists; the only question is whether it’s actually being used in the pro peloton.

………

Local

A bike rider was one of three victims stabbed in an apparent random attack on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood before police shot the attacker inside a Jack in the Box.

A bike-riding homeless man was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for the unprovoked fatal stabbing of a AAA tow truck driver in Pico Rivera last year.

Los Angeles now has the largest bicycle paramedic corps in the US, allowing rescuers to quickly navigate crowded streets and sidewalks.

The East Side Riders Bike Club and Los Ryderz BC invite you to join them for the annual Ride for Love on February 12th.

Actress Bella Thorne is one of us, going for a beachfront bike ride in Santa Monica.

The former Governator goes for a bike ride in Venice after calling out Trump for making the US look stupid.

LA Downtown News looks at former bike shop owner Josef Bray-Ali and his uphill battle to unseat anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo in LA’s 1st Council District.

 

State

Streetsblog talks with BikeSD founder Sam Olinger, who’s helping to reshape San Diego into one of California’s safest city’s for bicyclists.

Bad enough an Escondido man got carjacked at knifepoint; they also got away with his bike.

Hop on your bike later this month for a tour of the doors of Palm Springs.

Santa Cruz police bust five bike thieves using a bait bike.

It looks like Monterey’s Sea Otter Classic will be around for awhile, after inking a contract extension with the Laguna Seca racetrack for the next 15 years.

A San Jose columnist defends a local road diet, calling it a proven safety measure even if some people don’t like it. Speaking of which, Streetsblog reports on Oakland’s successful Telegraph Avenue road diet, which cut all crashes by 40%.

 

National

A new study shows that physically active children are less likely to be depressed, just like teens and adults. Which is as good a reason as any to get them started riding a bicycle as early as possible.

Bicycling offers beginners tips on how to ride every day, and why you should.

Women’s Day tells drivers to use the Dutch Reach, aka opening a car door with your right hand to avoid dooring bicyclists.

The Denver Post calls on the state to pass the proposed Idaho Stop Law, while noting it’s probably a bill before its time. Meanwhile, a Colorado woman isn’t sure about the proposed law after she was seriously injured by a red light-running bike rider. Even though running a red light would remain illegal; the law would require riders to come to a full stop, then proceed only when it was safe to do so.

Nebraska introduces a new bike-themed license plate.

Life is cheap in Iowa, where killing a bike rider taking part in the state’s annual RAGBRAI ride only merits a misdemeanor charge.

A Houston writer looks at her great uncle’s bike tour of Europe in 1939, culminating in a photo of the Fuhrer as the continent geared up for war.

 

International

Once again, the bike rider wins in a race across a city, this time in London where a cyclist beat someone traveling by the tube by 17 minutes. Apparently driving was so hopeless it wasn’t even worth trying.

Kindhearted UK cops pitch in to buy a boy a new bike after his was stolen, not once, but twice as he travelled to see his sister at a children’s hospital.

A British writer says, contrary to what the country’s transportation secretary says, cyclists are not part of the problem.

A Brit driver faces charges for driving onto a pathway to run down a bike rider after hearing rumors the man may have been the one who stole his bike.

A British government inquiry hears that London’s bicyclists are being failed by the justice system, and vows to investigate the problem. Chances of that ever happening with the US Congress are somewhere south of zero.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a hit-and-run driver is fined the equivalent of just $471, after claiming he had no idea he hit a bike rider because his music was too loud. Or maybe he just turned it up so he couldn’t hear the screams of his victims.

Riding a bike in Johannesburg can be a matter of life and death — not from distracted drivers, but because of armed bikejackers.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. You should have a flasher on your bike, not be one. Actually, the biggest mistake you’re making at SoulCycle is not getting outside on a real bicycle.

And what’s next, mandatory ladder helmet laws?

 

Update: Bike rider killed in Whittier hit-and-run this morning; police looking for woman in newer pearl-colored Lexus

Yet another person has been left to die by a heartless coward in a motor vehicle.

According to the Whittier Police Department, a man was riding a bicycle on the 9100 block of Calmeda Ave when he was struck by the driver of a newer pearl-colored Lexus around 7:30 this morning.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, died at the scene.

The woman who struck him fled the scene, and was last seen traveling west on Lambert Road.

Calmeda is a two lane residential street which should provide a safe place to ride. However, it connects two major streets and could offer a convenient cut-through route to avoid rush hour traffic.

The car is described as a four door with tinted windows and paper license plates, and is likely to have front end damage. Anyone with information is urged to call Officer Richard Jensen at 562/567-9261, Officer Esteban Medina at 562/567-9259 or the Whittier police Crime Tipline at 562/567-9299.

Once she’s caught, she should face a lifetime ban on driving as well as a lengthy prison sentence. Anyone without the common decency to stop for another human being, let alone observe the law, doesn’t belong on the streets.

Let’s hope that one day lawmakers, prosecutors, judges and the DMV will finally figure out that out.

This is the fourth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in Los Angeles County; it’s also the seventh fatal bike crash in Whittier in the last four years.

Update: According to a reporter for KABC-7, the victim, who was on a BMX bike, was dragged 600 to 800 feet by his killer. Let that sink in — at least the length of two football fields. 

That should elevate the case from simple felony hit-and-run to second degree murder. But it won’t.

Update 2: KTLA-5 confirms the victim was dragged across two city blocks, while police report the bike rider appears to have done nothing wrong that would have caused the crash.

Update 3: The victim has been identified as 46-year old Whittier resident Agustin Rodriguez Jr.

Update 4: KCBS-2 reports Rodriguez was killed when one driver paused to let him go by, and a driver following behind went around the stopped car, hitting him head-on. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Agustin Rodriguez Jr. and his loved ones.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.  

%d bloggers like this: