Tag Archive for Junior Rigoberto Lopez

Morning Links: Killer OC hit-and-run driver jailed, Westwood Blvd bike lanes threatened, and Beverly Hills lanes fail

Justice came too late for another fallen OC rider on Thursday.

Forty-four year old Daniella Palacios was riding in Anaheim last November when she was hit by a truck driven by Junior Rigoberto Lopez. Lopez fled the scene, leaving the mother of eight to die in an Orange County Hospital.

He tried to hide the damage by fleeing to Mexico, where he had the truck repaired before returning to the US six weeks later.

It didn’t work; he was arrested after police examined the truck and discovered the repair work.

Lopez was sentenced to three years.

With credit for time served, he should be out in less than two. Probably far less.

In fact, he’s already eligible for parole.

But to the judge’s credit, parole was denied; according to the according to KNBC-4, the judge called Lopez’ actions “outrageous and nearly unforgivable.”

What do you mean, nearly?

Junior Lopez sentence

Thanks to Ed Rubinstein and an anonymous source for the heads-up.

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Both the LA Times and KPCC look at the needless controversy over bike lanes proposed for Westwood Blvd, which have so far been halted by councilmember Paul Koretz at the demand wealthy homeowners.

The homeowners cite safety concerns, fearing for the poor riders who could face harm from increased bus traffic, despite having their own lane which would keep them out of the way of buses. Unlike now, when riders are forced to share the same congested lanes with them.

Why is it that people who oppose improving safety for bike riders always seem to stress how concerned they are about the safety of bicyclists, while doing absolutely nothing about it?

And seriously, don’t read the comments to either of those pieces unless you want to lose all hope for the future of humanity.

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Speaking of needless battles, the fight over re-opening long-closed Mt. Hollywood Drive to motor vehicles at the resumes tonight at the meeting of the Griffith Park Advisory Board.

Homeowners in the wealthy Beachwood Canyon neighborhood, who evidently didn’t notice the Hollywood Sign when they moved in, are trying to turn their community into a virtual private enclave to keep tourists from besmirching their streets in an attempt to get selfies in front of the sign.

And they want the park to open the popular biking and hiking street to cars so those tourists can have a much less attractive view of the sign, at the expense of everyone else who uses the park.

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Yet another failure of rationality in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills, as Better Bike’s Mark Elliot reports the city council voted not to include bike lanes on the soon-to-be-revamped Santa Monica Blvd.

This despite the fact that space for bike lanes will be available on almost the entire length of the boulevard, and require the loss of just a few feet of parkland in just one short section. And despite the fact that state law now calls for Complete Streets that meet the needs of all users, not just motor vehicles or over-privileged residents.

I’m old enough to remember a time when some towns still had signs warning minorities not to let the sun set on them inside the city limits.

That’s the same feeling I get from Beverly Hills.

They send a clear message that bikes, and their riders, are not welcome there, and they will do whatever it takes to run us out of town.

Although some of their elected leaders get it. Just not enough to make a difference.

Not surprising, Elliot also reports the city fails to address the safety of bicyclists in construction projects on the boulevard.

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Albertor Contador insists the Tour de France is not over, despite Chris Froome’s overwhelming dominance.

One rider who won’t be challenging Froome is Teejay van Garderen, who was forced to abandon the race due to illness after struggling in Wednesday’s stage; he says he just wants to disappear after dropping out while still in third place.

Despite doping controversies, viewership of the Tour de France is up except in France; America’s only remaining TdF champ gets a warm embrace after returning to the race as a broadcaster.

The owner of the Tinkoff-Saxo team calls for a revolution in pro cycling.

Good news for Ivan Basso, whose successful surgery for testicular cancer means no further treatment is necessary.

And a Singapore cyclist competing in the South East Asian Games is under investigation for repeatedly slapping a teammate on a training ride.

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Local

Streetsblog looks at multiple motions regarding bikeshare at today’s Metro meeting; Santa Monica’s system is scheduled for a limited opening in August, while Long Beach should open next year.

The East Side Riders fulfill a longtime dream by opening a bike co-op in Watts.

The LAPD is on the lookout for a pair of Brentwood bike thieves caught on camera stealing a bike from inside a building.

Bike LA’s battle with Hollywood over green bike lanes goes on… and on… as LA’s newly installed chief film liaison is working to find a compromise shade of green that will allow the city to finally put some paint on the streets; the city caved to filmmakers demands and stripped the paint off LA’s first green lane on Spring Street in DTLA.

 

State

Apparently having nothing better to do, the state legislature passes a bill requiring bike riders to pull over on narrow roads when five or more vehicles are following behind and unable to pass. Even though current law, which already applies to cyclists, already says exactly that.

BikeSD reports on a new study that concludes the cost of driving a car is six times the cost of riding a bike.

The next time someone says police never ticket bike riders, show them this: San Bernardino police ticketed 12 bicyclists and 31 pedestrians as part of a safety sting; not surprisingly, motorists still lead the way with 57 violations.

The weeklong Big Bear Cycling Festival kicks off this Saturday.

Sixty kids in Mecca — no, not the one in Saudi Arabia — get refurbished bikes, locks and helmets courtesy of a local transit agency.

A pair of East Palo Alto brothers, one on a bike and the other on a skateboard, help subdue a man accused of attacking an 89-year old priest.

San Francisco settles with a father who was choked by police for riding a bike with his 10-month old son in a baby carrier, but without a baby helmet. No, really.

Alameda cyclists will ride Sunday to remember a popular bike shop owner who lost his battle with cancer earlier this month.

The idiotic Orinda bike lane that places riders in the path of high speed traffic entering a freeway on double onramps is due for a safety makeover; the city’s chief engineer admits the current design is “not ideal.” A little green paint is not going to solve the problem, or encourage riders to risk their lives there.

The death of a bike rider in St. Helena last May is blamed on alcohol, even though the victim’s rental fixie had a substandard brake; the Ohio woman, who was celebrating her first anniversary, had a BAC of .18 when she rode into the side of a slow moving truck.

 

National

Outside Magazine sums up the HBO Real Sports look at the state of bicycling in the US, for those without premium cable.

AT&T offers their latest public service ad showing the devastating consequences of texting while driving.

Portland advocates say an increase in reported bike thefts means more people are trying to get them back instead of just giving up.

An Arizona driver gets nine years for killing a cyclist while high on synthetic marijuana; the victim’s friends complain the sentence wasn’t stiff enough. California cyclists are just happy to see DUI drivers get any jail time.

Colorado cyclists call a bizarrely designed bike lane a death trap. This is what happens when people who apparently don’t ride bikes design bicycling infrastructure.

Note to business owners fighting bike lanes — you’re shooting yourself in the foot. When Denver installed bike lanes on a pair of streets downtown, retail sales skyrocketed.

The Slow Roll movement spreads to Minneapolis, encouraging leisurely rides through neighborhoods where bicycling is less popular. Which is their overly polite way of saying lower-income and minority areas.

Vermont police somehow conclude a bike rider made an abrupt U-turn just to collide head-on with the wife of a cop, who was found not at fault even though she was driving drunk while high on Xanax.

A 560-pound man is riding across the country to lose weight; he’ll be getting a new donated bike after he was stranded in Rhode Island when his broke.

A bike rider is a hero after grabbing a woman’s ankle to keep her from jumping off New York’s George Washington Bridge. But bikes are the problem, right?

A seven-month pregnant woman was stabbed in the shoulder while riding her bike home from work in DC.

An Atlanta man wasn’t even safe from a hit-and-run driver while walking his bike on the damn sidewalk.

 

International

The family of a fallen Saskatchewan bike rider call her death senseless after her bike was clipped by a passing delivery truck. Actually, all traffic deaths are senseless; it’s long past time we stopped tolerating them.

Instead of fixing a dangerous railroad crossing, British authorities urge cyclists to be careful when riding near it.

More Brit women are taking up bicycling despite safety fears. Evidently, it’s okay to kill a cyclist there due to a momentary lapse in concentration.

Irish police are accused of misleading cyclists into thinking riders without helmets and hi-viz are subject to on-the-spot fines.

A Turkish adventurer has ridden through 19 countries on his bike, as well as a failed attempt to ride to the North Pole; however, authorities wouldn’t let him pedal up Mt. Everest.

 

Finally…

A Michigan SUV driver somehow couldn’t avoid hitting a cyclist, or an elementary school. Drivers parking in a bike lane is one thing; placing a permanent bus stop in one is another.

And if you’re going to threaten to permanently injure the person who stole your bike, it helps if you spell it right.

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Thanks to everyone who expressed concern about the Corgi.

Three days, two vet visits and several hundred dollars later, we learned that she has Giardia, most likely as a result of all the irresponsible dog owners who don’t clean up after their pets around here.

The good news is, she should be back to her feisty self in a week or so.

Sienna-Foot-Back

Weekend Links: Another OC sentencing delay, Hyperion at rush hour, and Dr. Thompson makes a comeback

Continuing this week’s theme, the sentencing of another killer OC driver has been delayed.

According to My News LA, Junior Rigoberto Lopez was scheduled to be sentenced after pleading guilty in the hit-and-run death of Daniella Palacios in Anaheim last November.

Palacios had copped a plea after a promise from the judge that he would be sentenced to no more three years in prison; under California law, he faced a max of just four years for leaving the bike riding mother of eight to die in the street, anyway.

Yet another example of people continuing to die because our state doesn’t take traffic crime seriously.

Then again, even if we gave every deadly driver the punishment they deserve, we wouldn’t have any place to put them.

Our anonymous OC reporter was in the courtroom hoping for a conclusion to this sad case. Instead, she writes,

First off, Lopez has the same type of extremely savvy criminal defense team as Hasti Fakhrai-Bayrooti. They only very recently received the probation department’s report & its 13-page addendum, and haven’t bothered to read them yet. Hell, I’ve read them! They’ve been available since Wednesday of last week! At any rate, the judge is unwilling to give any cause for appeal, so naturally he’ll allow the defense time to review. Sentencing is set for next month.

Second, I fucked up by taking way less Kleenex than I needed, going in with no idea I’d be hearing an 11-year-old’s victim impact statement. (Oh, and there were eight statements altogether.)

The My News LA story above has more details on the impact statements.

Maybe the judge could make those three years seem a lot longer by making Lopez read those statements again every day he’s behind bars.

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CiclaValley looks forward to bike share in DTLA, and offers up video evidence of just how crowded the Hyperion Bridge is during the morning rush hour.

Yeah, I can see why the city council so wisely determined that keeping an extra lane for cars was more important than providing safe access for people on foot.

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Long-time bike racer Steve Tilford says Dr. Christopher Thompson, who went to prison for brake checking two bike riders in Mandeville Canyon, doesn’t belong in jail.

He feels a better punishment would be sentencing the good doctor to community service in an under-served community, like LA’s low-income Chesterfield Square. Although he’s not the first one to suggest that; I’ve though the same thing myself more than once.

He’s a little off on his timeline, though.

The incident happened seven years ago; Thompson was found guilty in 2009 and sentenced to five years in prison the following year. He’s already served his time and been out of prison for over a year; in fact, he should be off parole by now.

And one more problem with Tilford’s suggestion.

Doctor Thompson isn’t one anymore.

He lost his license to practice medicine following his conviction in this case. So he couldn’t have served as a physician anywhere, no matter how desperately needed.

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Nice profile of injured painter and pro cyclist Taylor Phinney, along with his parents, former pro and Olympians Davis Phinney and Connie Carpenter. From Lululemon, of all places.

Wait. There’s never been a black women’s pro cyclist? New York music teacher Ayesha McGowan hopes to be the first.

And top ranked women’s cyclocross racer Sanne Cant can’t following a solo fall after she was cut off by a tractor while training.

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With all the bad news about college fraternities these days, it’s nice to see members of my old frat riding from Long Beach to DC to raise awareness for disabled people.

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My apologies for the late notice, but you may still have time to catch the Women’s History Ride, departing from Grand Park in DTLA at 10 am sharp. As the ride leader put it,

There are so many more amazing bike-riding chicks than I thought: lawyers, librarians, doctors, and the original Midnight Ridazz. I’m panicking about forgetting any of these amazing ladies!

Redondo Beach opens their Harbor Gateway bikeway at 10 am today.

The LACBC’s Tamika Butler will be one of the featured speakers in the new Coffee For Climate Art & Speaking Series at the Highland Café on York Blvd tonight.

Long Beach hosts the Beach Babe Bicycling Classic this Sunday.

The Eastside Bike Club is hosting a Taco Night Ride next Saturday, the 18th of June.

CyclingSavvyFlyerIrvineJun2015The Orange County Bicycle Coalition is offering a Cycling Savvy course on June 19th and 20th, emphasizing legal cycling in traffic, bike handling skills, and concluding with riding in traffic on a tour of Irvine. You can register here.

Santa Monica is hosting a 4th of July themed Kidical Mass on the 27th.

Better keep the kids away from DTLA and Echo Park though, as the LA edition of the World Naked Bike Ride rolls on the 27th, as well. Just don’t get too excited.

BikeSGV hosts the Beautiful Uptown Whittier Ride the next day, June 28th.

The Beverly Hills city council will discuss bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd on the 30th. Or more likely, the permanent lack thereof.

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Local

LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds says public and private partnerships are the key to eliminating traffic deaths and developing a realistic transportation package, and everyone must be invited to the table.

KPCC provides a good look at the debate over providing sidewalks on both sides of the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge, noting that the public was engaged — and ignored. They also report on LA’s bizarre policy of only fixing streets that don’t really need it; way too many bike riders are taken down by hidden bumps and holes in roads that should have been fixed years ago.

Evidently, Long Beach has caught ciclovía fever, as plans are already in the works for another Beach Streets Open Streets event.

Evidently, local cities do a crappy job of explaining the benefits of a road diet, as Temple City residents are the latest to freak out about a proposal to remove a traffic lane and add bike lanes.

 

State

BikeSD says human lives should not be the cost of doing business.

The new captain of San Francisco’s Park Station vows a crackdown on scofflaw cyclists, apparently believing people on two wheels are a greater risk to the public than scofflaws on four.

A San Francisco cyclist is the victim of a double road rage assault, in cartoon form.

Sausalito continues its efforts to discourage bicycling tourists, instituting a $2 to $3 charge to park a bike in the city — after removing all the bike racks from downtown. Evidently, they’d prefer that all those tourists clog the streets with cars, not bikes. Or just spend their money somewhere else, which is what I’ll be doing.

Seriously? A former San Diego bike rider says you don’t have a right to put his family at risk by riding a bike on the winding roads of California’s Reno-adjacent Nevada County. Or he could, you know, just slow down and drive safely.

An anonymous Good Samaritan replaces a Chico ghost bike after it was stolen on Wednesday.

 

National

Vision Zero is becoming a public health issue, as cities across the county commit to eliminating traffic deaths. Of course, goals are meaningless without action, as certain LA councilmembers have made abundantly clear.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske says despite what bike haters insist, it’s the motorists who are getting a free ride, not bicyclists. Nice to see Bob back with VeloNews where his column originally started.

Writing for Strong Towns, a traffic engineer says members of his profession show a conscious indifference to pedestrians and cyclists, which he aptly calls the very definition of gross negligence.

A Portland bike rider who suffered a broken back in a collision with a pickup files a $21 million suit against the city, alleging a too-narrow bike lane contributed to the death of one rider and injuries to nine others.

Looks like Wisconsin won’t slap a tax on bicycles after all.

Kentucky proposes toughening the penalties for drunk driving, making a fourth lifetime conviction worth five years in prison; previously, prior convictions were forgotten, if not forgiven, after five years.

Caught on video: Pennsylvania cyclists argue with a cop who hit a cyclist while attempting, and failing, to pass a small group of riders; oddly, a woman feels the need to jump in and defend the scofflaw cop against the big bad bike riders.

New York residents lash out against proposed “deadly” bike share stations, even though there hasn’t been a single fatality in roughly 18 million rides.

Once again, the NYPD does its best to discourage people from riding their bikes.

The New York press blames the bike rider when a woman is seriously injured after apparently stepping in front of a cyclist riding in a bike lane. On the other hand, the jerk should have stopped, just like any driver would be required to under similar circumstances.

Good idea from Delaware, as proposed legislation would encourage transit-friendly, walkable and bikeable economic development.

North Carolina’s legislature goes the wrong way, voting to increase pollution while making it harder to conduct road diets and install bike lanes.

 

International

Cycling Weekly lists the top 10 road bike innovations. Although you’d think paved roads would be pretty high on that list, too.

A new Calgary bike lane is exceeding expectations.

A new British study shows women cyclists are twice as likely to be subject to harassment and dangerous driving than their male counterparts. Yet another answer to the eternal question of why more women don’t ride.

Fast Company offers yet another look at how Copenhagen became a cycling paradise, noting bikes usually win when the city calculates all the social costs involved with investing in roads or bike lanes. Maybe LA should give that a try some time.

Refugees ride through Macedonia on their way to a better life in the European Union. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Five lessons from the world’s biggest bicycling conference Down Under, including global cities are about people, not transport. Something LA clearly still needs to learn.

It takes a real jerk to steal the bike a 91-year old Aussie man has ridden for the last 68 years.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use a bike as a getaway vehicle, don’t lose half the loot as you ride away. Caught on video: In case you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to ride a BMX bike through an abandoned NFL stadium.

And He Who Must Not Be Named plans a possibly unwelcome return to France, as the celluloid Lance makes his way to the silver screen.

 

Weekend Links: Guilty in plea hit-and-run death of Anaheim mother, San Clemente rider 6th in Paris-Roubaix

A Buena Park man pleaded guilty to fleeing the scene after killing a bike-riding mother of eight in Anaheim last November.

That was after Junior Rigoberto Lopez received a promise from the judge that his sentence will not exceed three years. Because, evidently, leaving a mother to die in the street isn’t really that big a deal in the OC.

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Hats off to San Clemente resident Daniel Willett for his sixth-place finish in last weekend’s juniors’ Paris-Roubaix classic; he finished just 33 seconds off the winner’s time.

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My formerly sled-dog racing and now fat-tire riding brother sends word from the Great White North that biking and running the famed Iditarod Trail is no picnic, either. Especially this year.

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Local

Your new and improved Crenshaw Blvd could have protected bike lanes for a stretch before bikes are shunted off onto alternate streets, apparently to make more room for cars.

KCET looks at the Rio Hondo Confluence, one of the few places in the LA area where you have your choice of bike paths; a long promised park and bike rest stop is still in the works.

Over 50 SaMo businesses sign up to bike, carpool, walk or take transit in an alternative transportation challenge.

 

State

A former Intel exec broke his hip and dislocated his shoulder in a solo fall while descending at 32 mph east of San Diego; he and his teammates were just 700 miles into a planned 5,000 mile ride for heart disease and stroke awareness.

NIMBY-ism rears its ugly head in Rancho Mirage, as residents rise up against a planned 50-mile bike and pedestrian path because it might be bad for landscaping, and could make it harder for vehicles to turn on or off the highway. Seriously, where is a tiny violin when you need one?

A search for a solution to slippery olives falling on a Davis bike path turns into a successful olive oil business.

A Salinas truck driver walks away without charges in a fatal bike collision despite right-hooking the victim, because the rider was high on meth and riding brakeless. Neither of which had anything to do with the driver’s illegal turn, of course.

Santa Clara County officials reject a proposal for an LA-style cyclist anti-harassment ordinance because they’re worried about foul-mouthed bike riders harassing motorists in their multi-ton, hermetically sealed vehicles.

 

National

Fifty-one percent of all Americans never ride a bike; on the other hand, only three percent of Midwesterners don’t know how to ride one.

GQ says the new trend in travel is to ditch the rental car and have a bike-cation.

So much for 41-year old two-time Olympic champ Kristin Armstrong’s comeback, as she’s bounced from the US team for the Pan Am Championships just days after she was named to the roster.

Caught on video: A Portland school bus driver gets a summons from the cops after buzzing a bike rider, then slamming the bus door on the rider’s hand when he confronts him.

Seattle police seize 60 bicycles after busting a bike chop shop, while Washington cyclists no longer have to wait forever for a dead red light to change.

Both the newly reborn Chicago Streetsblog and a local columnist explain what’s really going on with a proposal to permanently remove the city’s first protected bike lane. But with radically different perspectives.

Not only was the driver in a fatal Vermont cycling collision arrested for being under the influence, his drunken passenger was, too; the driver was also charged with driving with a suspended license — for the fifth time.

Caught on video: A Buffalo NY cop double parked in a bike lane, apparently because he was having a pizza emergency. Meanwhile, a Massachusetts state trooper tells a cyclist his department really doesn’t care about enforcing the bike lanes on a Boston bridge.

A 16-year old South Carolina driver has been charged with attempted murder for trying to run members of a local bike club off the road not once, not twice, but on seven separate occasions, because he blamed them for the collision that killed two of his friends; police say the cyclists weren’t responsible for the earlier wreck. You’ve got to be a pretty crappy driver if you can hit a bunch of bike riders in seven tries.

 

International

Saskatchewan drivers need more training about bicycling. Just like drivers everywhere else.

Montreal’s mayor is spotted riding one of the city’s bike share bikes.

The Times of London sets the standard for how newspapers can bike the vote, while one of the city’s top architects says the construction industry has to stop killing cyclists.

The truck driver who killed South African Olympic mountain biker Burry Stander has been found guilty of culpable homicide and running a stop sign.

After a nine-year old Philippine boy’s bike is commandeered by a police commando fleeing rebels, the regional governor gets him a new one.

 

Finally…

A San Francisco man volunteers himself to referee a popular cycling route, complete with yellow flags; no word on whether his call can be overturned upon further review. An amateur cyclist plans to ride the entire Tour de France route on a 1970’s kid’s chopper bike; no wait, maybe he’s a pro.

And here’s a great series of videos produced by high school students to raise awareness of distracted driving. And don’t feel any obligation to vote for the one titled The Distraction Game, even though it was produced by my nephew and his partners.

No, seriously. It’s okay.

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I’ll see you all bright and early Sunday morning at Finish the Right to help end the epidemic of hit-and-run once and for all.

Right?

If you haven’t registered yet, there’s still time to save $10 with discount code FTR10.

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