Tag Archive for Morales Rodriguez

Morning Links: OC hit-and-run truck driver guilty; SGV bike rider found beaten to death; get ready for CicLAvia

Looks like the OC DA’s office is on a roll.

In their latest court victory, truck driver Filemon Reynaga was found guilty Thursday in the hit-and-run death of 19-year old Manuel Morales Rodriguez as he rode his bike to work in October, 2013.

Reynaga reportedly drove off after getting out of his truck to look at Rodriguez, leaving him lying unprotected in the street where he was hit by a second vehicle.

It was impossible to tell which one ultimately struck the fatal blow.

Clearly, the jury decided it didn’t matter, convicting Reynaga of felony hit and run causing death and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. It only took them 90 minutes to reach a verdict.

He now faces up to four well-deserved years in prison.

Thanks to Edward Rubinstein for the heads-up.

Filemon-Reynaga-conviction

 

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A man was found beaten to death next to a bicycle in an unincorporated part of the San Gabriel Valley near West Covina early Thursday morning.

According to KNBC-4, he was identified by his mother as 25-year old Ontario resident Victor Pacheco after she rushed to the scene. Witnesses saw him being chased on his bike by a blue pickup just hours before his body was found in a vacant lot.

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Before you go to CicLAvia this Sunday, take a moment to brush up on these safety tips. Most important, in my experience, is to remember it’s not a race and maintain a safe speed; it’s the differential between fast and slow riders that seems to cause most conflicts. And always look behind you before you change directions, even to just pass another rider.

Get discounts along the route. Oddly, Tito’s Tacos doesn’t seem to be on that list.

As if CicLAvia itself wasn’t reward enough, you can enter to win free prizes including a weekend in Culver City, a Tern foldie and Cirque du Soleil tickets. Or win CicLAvia swag by taking photos at their photo hunt stops.

As a personal aside, you’ll find some of the city’s best coffee at The Conservatory along the CicLAvia route on Washington Blvd in Culver City; tell ‘em I sent you. Not that they know who the hell I am. Update: Margaret reminds us that the Conservatory is closed on Sundays; hopefully, they’ll make an exception just this once.

And just in time for CicLAvia, Walk Bike Burbank is offering free bike tune-ups on Saturday.

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VeloNews provides a nice tongue-in-cheek examination of what it would look like if the NFL was run as badly as pro cycling. And 37-year old Ivan Basso will determine his future in the coming months after recovering from surgery for testicular cancer.

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Local

A Westside resident says there aren’t enough bicyclists on Westwood Blvd to justify bike lanes, and bus-only lanes could move more people through the corridor. Never mind that bike riders are allowed to use bus-only lanes, and there might be more bike riders on the boulevard if they had a safe place to ride.

West Hollywood now has a bike-through coffee and juice window.

Registration is now open for Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare system; a trial system will kick off for six weeks next Thursday, while the full system is expected to go into operation in November.

CiclaValley rides the Dominguez Channel bike path, calling it “another path that was constructed as an afterthought in an area that is particularly void of bike infrastructure.”

 

State

An Irvine company is modifying their single-lever brake system to work on children’s bikes; one lever applies the front and rear brakes simultaneously, eliminating the risk of a major endo.

Not even a decorative bike attached to a private Bakersfield community library is safe from the scourge of bike theft.

A San Francisco bicyclist puts his foot down at every stop sign, since the SFPD is now ticketing bike riders — without legal justification — if they don’t, and nearly got run over as a result. Meanwhile, the SF Gate calls the crackdown on scofflaw cyclists a waste of police resources that endangers San Franciscans and incentivizes bad behavior.

When a Tahoe tourist on a rental bike does something stupid, it does not reflect on every other cyclist. When I observe stupid driver tricks, I don’t think it makes every other driver look bad; they usually do that themselves.

 

National

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske examines three-foot passing laws, and the need for police to get with the program, already.

Bicycling looks at the 500-plus pound man who started bicycling cross-country to lose weight and get his wife back; the couple has reunited and she’s now riding along with him.

The Department of DIY strikes again, as a Portland bike rider paints a warning on a hazardous road grate after getting tired of complaining about it for the past eight years; needless to say, the state DOT is not pleased.

A road-raging Kansas cyclist is lucky to get off with just 59 months in prison for shooting a motorist during a dispute; the victim gets just $2,600 of the court-ordered $19,600 restitution, despite losing an eye.

After a high school student in my hometown has his bike stolen, police find it 775 miles away in Abilene TX. And he gets personal return service, as a detective just happened to be driving down with his daughter to visit a Texas university.

Nice story, as people pitch in to help a homeless man biking across the US who cares for every stray dog he finds; the former California resident towed 11 dogs 2,000 miles in his homemade bike trailer.

People are fuming in the Bronx over New Jersey getting New York’s latest bikeshare expansion before they do.

A Virginia cyclist wins a $300,000 settlement after she’s injured when a jogger turned in front of her with no warning.

A writer for Miami’s alt weekly gets tired of the constant wrangling over the rights of cyclists, and spells out what riders can and can’t do under Florida law.

 

International

Writing about Calgary, a columnist says the city’s car culture comes at a steep price. Substituting Los Angeles for Calgary wouldn’t change the story, or the conclusion, one bit.

A Toronto writer says it’s a mixed up world when pedestrians try to punch out bike riders, and suggests the solution is to ban cars from certain streets.

A London group fixes up old bikes to provide transportation to refugees, and teaches women to ride since many weren’t allowed to learn in their old country.

The number of London bike commuters has doubled in the past 10 years.

City Lab looks at how Cambridge became the UK’s model cycling city.

An Aussie cyclist says we need to future-proof our infrastructure to find a balance between cars, bicycles, pedestrians and public transport.

Variety reviews the Hong Kong cycling flick To the Fore, calling it blandly inspiring, but with propulsive, bone-crunching cycling action. Works for me.

 

Finally…

Nine signs you need to ride more. It’s hard enough riding the Pyrenees, Alps and Dolomites back to back; now imagine doing it with one leg.

And evidently, drunk bicycling is a bigger problem than we realize; a new bike lock with a built-in breathalyzer will keep you from unlocking your ride if you’re wasted. Now if they could only make something like that to keep drunk drivers off the road. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

 

Morning Links: OC truck driver goes on trial; Montebello hit-and-run reward; Metro bike workshops start tonight

The trial of truck driver Filemon Reynaga started on Monday in a Santa Ana courthouse.

And kicked off with one big revelation.

Reynaga is charged with felony hit-and-run and misdemeanor manslaughter for the 2013 death of 19-year old Manuel Morales Rodriguez.

According to the Orange County Register, Reynaga was shown on surveillance video pulling out of a store parking lot after an early morning delivery, and making a blind right turn without stopping. He ran directly into Rodriguez’ bike, dragging Rodriguez under his trailer as he made a second right onto Orangewood Ave.

A witness testified that Reynaga got out of his truck and walked back to look at Rodriguez, coming within five feet of his body. Then he got back in his truck and drove away, leaving his Rodriguez lying in the street, where he was struck again by another car moments later.

Why that doesn’t warrant a murder charge is beyond me, since he knowingly left his victim lying in harms way.

To make matters worse, his defense attorney argued that Reynaga isn’t at fault because Rodriguez might have been killed by the second driver, instead. Even though the other driver probably wouldn’t have hit him if Reynaga hadn’t left him there unprotected in the early morning darkness.

Then again, he also argued that Reynaga a) didn’t cause the collision, b) may not have even hit Rodriguez, and c) may not have known that he hit him if he did.

Let hope the jury will pick d) he’s guilty as hell.

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Montebello is offering a $10,000 reward for the hit-and-run death of fallen cyclist Steven Vasquez Garcia last month.

Montebello Reward

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Metro is hosting a series of Open House Workshops to develop a  strategic plan for active transportation — including bikes and pedestrians — starting tonight in San Gabriel.

We want to hear from you! Metro is developing an Active Transportation Strategic Plan to identify needs, resources and strategies to improve and increase walking, bicycling and transit use in LA County, and your input will help create a meaningful, effective plan.

The workshops will:

  1. Gather input on improving first and last mile access to transit and improvements to the regional network of walking and bicycling facilities, including shared-use paths and on-street bikeways
  2. Explore opportunities for supporting local and regional partners to get these projects and programs implemented

The workshops are designed for planners, engineers, traffic safety professionals, public health and injury prevention professionals, advocates, transit riders, transit operators, non-profit organizations, decision-makers, and other interested stakeholders. Each workshop will include information about the overall plan and information specific to the sub-region. We encourage you to attend the workshop specific to your sub-region; however, staff will be available to answer questions and gather input at all workshops.

Click here for dates and locations.

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The Tour of Utah brings big-time pro cycling to the Beehive State, with 10 riders to watch. However, two-time champ Tom Danielson won’t be one of them after failing a drug test; he could face a lifetime ban thanks to a previous six month suspension.

The best news in this year’s racing season is Taylor Phinney’s return to the peloton following last year’s horrific crash in the National Championships days after winning the time trial title. And better yet, he finished third in a breakaway in Monday’s stage.

Sunday’s competition in the Crested Butte Big Mountain Enduro race was cancelled after Will Olson was killed while competing in the off-road race on Saturday; competitors rode in his honor instead.

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Local

A new study shows bikeshare really is an effective form of transit; LA’s upcoming system could take that a step further by offering transfers to and from other forms of transit.

LA’s Mobility Plan comes up for a vote before a joint meeting of the city council’s Transportation and Planning and Land Use committees at 2:30 today at City Hall. At least two of the councilmembers who have been working to scuttle the plan sit on those committees, so we have our work cut out for us.

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee — the only official voice for bicyclists in our city government — holds their bi-monthly meeting tonight; the location has been changed to the Meeting Room at Pan Pacific Park.

 

State

Get your resume ready. Delaware-based Blue Bicycles is moving to Orange County by the end of the year; the company will release over 20 models for its 2016 line after being off the market for two years following an unsuccessful merger.

People in Santa Barbara support a well designed bike network, but question whether the one currently under consideration fits that description.

Cyclelicious says don’t bother uglifying your bike to deter thieves.

British bike scribe Carlton Reid says Davis set the standard for what a bike friendly American city could be, though it’s going to take work to return it to bike paradise it once was.

 

National

Bicycling looks at the 13 best bike rides in US national parks. And asks pro cyclists to tell us about their favorite places to ride.

People for Bikes says cities can’t prioritize vehicle speed and volume, just as turning up a hose too far causes more harm than good. It makes more sense when you read it.

An architecture website offers seven rules for safer cities.

A cyclist shares what he learned from riding across the country.

An Albuquerque thrift store sold a man’s $1,500, 1937 antique bike to another customer for $4.99 while he shopped. I’m going to have nightmares about that one.

An Iowa bike rider is grateful for the hit-and-run that broke his leg, mangled his arm and cost him his job; if he hadn’t been hurt, doctors might not have found the tumor that probably would have killed him.

A heartbreaking story, as a Minnesota man returns to the site of the hit-and-run that took his wife’s life and left him seriously injured as they returned home from a bike tour one year ago.

Not many 12-year old bike riders have sponsors. A Minnesota boy runs his own advertising service by selling ad space on his bicycle.

Vermont police conclude a cyclist was at fault in the collision that killed him, even though the driver blew a .123 alcohol level right after the wreck — well over the .08 legal limit — and had Xanax, Sertraline and Nortriptyline in her system. But it’s just a coincidence that the driver is married to a cop, right?

A Virginia bike rider is shot in an apparently random act of violence. And a VA hit-and-run victim wants to know what kind of person would slam into a bicyclist, then leave him sprawling in a ditch without stopping. I suspect we know the answer to that one.

A North Carolina driver tells a reporter he didn’t do it on purpose after killing a cyclist while driving under the influence. Oh, well okay, then.

 

International

A cyclist died after going 50 feet off a bridge at the site of the worst traffic fatality in British history. Maybe it’s time to fix the damn road, already.

A 15-year old boy from India takes gold twice in the Special Olympics time trial events, after just one month of training; he didn’t even have a racing bike when he qualified last year.

Is nowhere safe from bike thieves? A South African woman was bike-jacked while competing in a mountain bike race.

Bicycling rates are up in Western Australia, though the Aussie state faces the same gender gap everywhere else does.

Evidently, Japan isn’t quite up for Vision Zero yet, planning to cut traffic deaths by 50%. Maybe they call it Vision Less; thanks to an anonymous source for the heads-up.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride through floodwaters, make sure you know where the damn curb is. Maybe you find spandex too confining, but please wear something. Anything. Except unsightly calf-high bike socks.

Especially if you’re planning to use what’s basically an adult balance bike.

 

Weekend Links: OC hit-and-run driver to face trial; parking meter bike racks approved for Westwood, but not lanes

Apparently, justice delayed is not justice denied after all.

At least not in Orange County.

Nearly two years ago, 19-year old Manuel Morales Rodriguez was his riding bike on Missile Way in Anaheim when he was struck by a semi-truck driven by 49-year old Filemon Reynaga as he was pulling out of a driveway.

Reynaga dragged Morales Rodriguez and his bike under his truck onto Orangethorpe Ave, leaving him lying in the street where he was struck by another vehicle. There’s no way to tell which one struck the fatal blow, but Morales Rodriguez might have had a chance at survival if Reynaga has stopped as the law, and human decency, dictate.

Reynaga is scheduled to go on trial Monday, charged with felony hit and run causing death and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence. He faces up to four years if he’s convicted.

And the OC DA’s office has a good track record of getting convictions and serious jail time in traffic cases.

 

Filemon Reynaga trialThanks to OC cyclist and attorney Edward Rubinstein for the heads-up. That’s Rubinstein with an I, not an E, as I bone-headedly spelled it in an earlier post.

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Westwood Village points out that it’s technically illegal to lock a bike to a parking meter in Los Angeles, though the law is seldom enforced.

The reminder was made after the city council approved a motion to install bike racks on over 100 parking meters in the village, at the urging of Westside councilmember Paul Koretz. Never mind that they could have just changed the law to allow locking up to meters.

So evidently, Koretz supports bike parking in Westwood, just not safe ways to get there.

Be A Green Commuter looks at the needless controversy over bike lanes on Westwood Blvd through the eyes of UCLA students who have to ride it, dangerous or not. And describes the dispute as “a handful of anachronistic curmudgeons and an LA City Councilmember pitted against transportation experts, UCLA and many Westwood businesses.”

Meanwhile, Joel Epstein calls out Koretz for caving into the demands of “a handful of NIMBYs who haven’t gone out without their car since LA hosted the Olympics.”

And since he broached the subject, Forbes examines just how much NIMBYism costs us.

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On a related subject, the LA Mobility Plan is scheduled to come up before a joint session of the city council’s Transportation and Planning and Land Use Management committees on Tuesday.

Some of the bikeways, such as Westwood and North Figueroa, are under attack in an unprecedented attempt to remove them from the bike plan, which was already unanimously approved by the city council and incorporated into the Mobility Plan.

If approved bikeway plans that were developed as part of an extensive public process are allowed to be removed at the whim of individual councilmembers and others who failed to participate in the process, the whole thing becomes meaningless.

As a result, a coalition of advocacy groups have designated this Monday as Mobility Monday, urging you to contact your councilmembers to urge them to approve the plan as written.

You’ll find email addresses and a sample email at the link above.

And if you’re free on Tuesday afternoon, drop by City Hall to let them know how you really feel.

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Great news from the BMC racing team, as Taylor Phinney and Peter Stetina, both badly injured in horrific bike racing wrecks, will make their comebacks in next week’s Tour of Utah.

Maybe they’re onto something in the UK. Just a week after British rider Chris Froome won the Tour de France, a pair of Brit road riders take gold in the Special Olympics.

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Local

LADOT Bike Blog says corridors and plazas are the malls of the future. Like this car-free plaza that just opened in Pacoima, for instance.

CicLAvia presents a neighborhood guide to the Culver City Meets Venice open streets event coming up a just a week from Sunday. Hopefully, we’ll have the Militant Angeleno’s guide by then, too.

CiclaValley says LA’s first bike park could be coming to the Valley.

The LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday ride takes a family friendly roll through Lakewood this Sunday, led by board president Steve Boyd.

 

State

San Diego’s new bikeshare program may be off to a bumpy start.

The chair of the San Diego Bicycle Advisory Committee explains how improving bicycling conditions will benefit the city and its residents.

The local paper suggests that giving 60 Coachella Valley kids refurbished bikes abandoned on the local bus system could lead to culture change.

Cyclelicious discusses public safety and bike commuting after an Antioch cyclist is mugged while riding home from work.

The San Francisco Police Department has officially revised their deadly driving campaign to target people walking and biking who, unlike dangerous drivers, pose little risk to others around them. Meanwhile, the SF Weekly looks at what happens when bike riders follow the letter of the law.

 

National

USA Today names the nation’s top 10 beachfront bike rides; our own Marvin Braude trail, stretching 22 miles from Palos Verdes to Pacific Palisades, tops the list.

A Portland paper offers advice for riding in a heat wave as Pacific Northwest cyclists face temperatures in the 100s.

Oddly, a bike helmet didn’t keep a Spokane cyclist from suffering a serious spinal injury in a solo fall; a GoFundMe page has been set up to help with medical expenses.

Bicycle Colorado says three is the magic number when it comes to traffic lanes and road diets.

Minnesota Public Radio asks what will it take to get you to put your damn phone down while driving, while Georgia cops pose as construction workers to nab texting drivers. Maybe the LAPD, LASD, and CHP et al could take a page from the Georgia playbook; thanks to F3nugr33k for the heads-up.

Bike commuting is up a whopping 400% in Pittsburgh, despite the usual arguments over bike lanes versus parking. Nice way to bury the lede, though.

Philly’s bikeshare system may take a back seat to His Holiness, even though the pope is a bike rider himself.

It looks like some of New York’s bike lanes are being allowed to fade to black.

 

International

People for Bikes says Canada is leaving the US in the dust when it comes to protected bike lanes; separated lanes helped Vancouver reach its goal of half of all trips being made by bike, foot or transit.

News is just coming out of a horrifying case of vigilante murder in Hamilton, Ontario, as a driver deliberately stalked and ran down a bike rider in the mistaken belief he was a pedophile; police still haven’t solved the case despite keeping a lid on it for two years.

Caught on video: A road raging British driver chases a bike rider after being called out for a close pass, and takes a tumble in the street.

Bicycling is going upscale in the UK as part of a luxury lifestyle. Try telling that to the people who rely on a bike for transportation instead of an expensive fashion accessory.

A Brit rider is fined the equivalent of nearly $1300 for riding off after plowing into a toddler. And deservedly so.

A government minister for the Isle of Man calls for the equivalent of a nearly five-foot passing law after a driver walks away with a suspended sentence for killing a cyclist.

More on Munich’s plans for a series of radschnellverbindungen, the equivalent of bike autobahns spreading across the city like a spider. No, really, look at the map.

A study from an Australian university identifies the most dangerous intersections for cyclists in Perth. No one knows the most dangerous intersections for bike riders in LA, because the city has never bothered to find out.

 

Finally…

A cyclist admits what so many drivers already think — we’re just here to fuck with them. A Chicago gas station owner would probably agree, as the bike-riding residents of the Wicker Park neighborhood force him out of business.

And maybe drones could be used to make sure you straighten up and ride right on your next group ride.

 

Another bike victim In San Bernardino; cyclist seriously injured in Chula Vista; and charges in October OC hit-and-run

Let’s hope bad news just comes in twos this time.

Less than 24 hours after news broke that a bike rider had lost his life at the hands of a drunk driver in Huntington Beach Wednesday night, news is coming in that another rider died earlier that evening, this time in San Bernardino.

According to the Press-Enterprise, the 43-year old cyclist, who has not been publicly identified, was riding west on the 1200 block of West Kendall Drive around 6:40 pm when she swerved across the roadway. While riding against traffic in the number 1 (left) lane of the roadway, she was apparently hit head-on by an eastbound Mustang driven by a 20-year old woman.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

No word on why she suddenly started riding against traffic. But let this serve as a reminder to never ride salmon — let alone in the middle of the roadway — and always be aware of other traffic on the roadway before making any sudden moves.

This is the 15th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Bernardino County.

My prayers and sympathy for the victim and all her loved ones.

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More bad news comes from San Diego County, where a bike rider suffered life threatening injuries in a collision with a truck in Chula Vista.

According to San Diego’s 10News, the victim was apparently crossing the offramp to the southbound I-805 at Bonita Road when he was hit by a truck exiting the freeway around 10 pm Wednesday.

Google’s satellite view shows what appears to be a bike lane leading up to the offramp.

Police say the driver stayed at the scene and did not appear to be under the influence.

The station reports initial evidence suggests the rider was at fault. However, traffic exiting the freeway is required to yield to through traffic; unless the victim was riding against traffic or failed to observe a traffic signal, it’s hard to imagine how he could have been at fault.

If police are saying he did go through a red light, the question is whether there are any independent witnesses other than the truck driver to attest to that, and if the signalization provided enough time to get across the intersection.

Either way, it sounds like prayers or good wishes are in order once again.

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Jeffrey Fylling forwards word that Orange County prosecutors have filed charges against the truck driver who killed 19-year old cyclist Manuel Morales Rodriguez last October.

Forty-eight year old Filemon Reynaga was to be arraigned on Friday on one count of felony hit-and-run causing death and a misdemeanor charge of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence.

Reynaga is accused of hitting Rodriguez as he pulled his semi truck out of an Anaheim driveway, then dragging the victim and his bike under his truck for up to 150 feet before fleeing the scene without stopping. Rodriguez was then hit by a second vehicle, which remained at the scene, and died as a result of inures suffered in the two collisions.

If convicted, Reynaga faces up to five years in state prison. He’s currently free on a ridiculously low $50,000 bail.

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Finally, while we’re on the subject, I received this email from a rider troubled by all the recent bicycling deaths in Orange County, following the death of Matthew Liechty on Edwards Street in Huntington Beach on Wednesday. (Note: I added the links.)

But take fair warning. It’s a difficult read. And the last line hits like a punch in the gut.

Edwards became an alternate commute route for me after Roger Lippmann’s slaughter… until I realized that swinging over to PCH took me right past Becki Lee James’ house, which creeps me out. And now I’m disinclined take Goldenwest (whose “vicious hills” had become “gentle rollers” pretty quick after I abandoned the flat PCH commute) because I’ll picture the crunched-up Camry in the Ralph’s parking lot.

Have I ever passed this Matt Liechty on my commute? Was he the guy with the really, really bright headlamp? Were the distant sirens I heard last night responding to this incident?

What. the. holy. serious. fuck. Can’t I have a single fucking street on my commute where somebody hasn’t been slaughtered? Is that too much to ask?

And that piece you linked to recently about ghosts… I see those ghosts everywhere, sometimes in visual incarnations. New flowers on Lippmann’s memorial, a year and a half later? I hit the brakes and looked out at the sunshine sparkling on the water and wanted to apologize to him at the top of my lungs because he got a death sentence and his killer only got six years. Every time I pass 9th Street in Sunset Beach, every time, I still see the sea breeze blowing the ashes left behind by the flares set down for the investigation of Kenneth Prevatte’s death: gray ashes, grey asphalt, gray clouds. At 43rd & Wadsworth, where nobody from Perry’s office which announced it could be bothered to show up for a joke of a so-called press conference, I nearly caused a pile-up on RWNN last summer when I recognized the intersection as we entered it and idiotically froze, because I was seeing the ghost that no one else on that ride saw.

I see these ghosts because if I forget then I’ve left a rider behind and I can’t leave a rider behind.

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