Riverside cyclist killed by train; more on the new bike plan and press conference

Somehow I missed this one while I was tied up with the bike plan this week.

According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, a 26-year old Riverside man was killed on Tuesday when he was hit by a train.

The cyclist, who has not been publicly identified pending notification of next of kin, was riding with his girlfriend on Adams Street east of Highway 91 while they waited for a train to pass. After the train had gone by, he rode around the crossing arm barriers and directly into the path of a second train coming in the opposite direction.

He died in a local hospital several hours later, after suffering head injuries and broken bones; according to the Press-Enterprise, it was the 3rd similar incident in the last two years.

Evidently, some people think that’s funny.

Update: The victim was identified as 26-year old Roberto Garcia.

.………

A few photos from today’s press conference and rally to celebrate the City Council’s unanimous passage of the new bike plan.

LACBC board member Scott Moore poses with a very happy 4th District Councilmember Tom LaBonge.

There was a great turnout of cyclists, as well as the press.

Cyclists of every description were in attendance.

This is what the bike plan is really about — so kids like Sammy Newton will enjoy a much safer and more livable L.A. than the one we know today.

.………

More on yesterday’s passage of the new bike plan, and Wednesday’s rally to celebrate it.

CD 11 Councilmember Bill Rosendahl offers a letter of thanks to the bicycling community for their work on the bike plan, while KCET talks with him about making it a reality.

LADOT Bike Blog provides a great recap of Wednesday’s rally and press conference, as does LACBC. KABC-7 reports on Wednesday’s rally, and has the exceptional good taste to lead off by talking with yours truly, while Streetsblog offers a photoblog of the day’s highlights. Josef Bray-Ali offers a look at the City Council session — including video — as well as the BPIT (Bike Plan Implementation Plan) meeting that followed, and offers some great photographs. Highland Park Patch gets Josef’s take on the plan, while Mar Vista Patch says it’s designed to wean us off our dependency on cars, while calling for more of those “bike friendly logos.”

Richard Risemberg says the door zone matters. GOOD provides an in-depth examination of what the new plan means. City Maven says doubts remain about the city’s ability to fund the plan; then again,  there’s also some question whether the city’s deficit-reduced staff has the manpower to pull it off. The Daily Bruin looks at how it will affect the UCLA area. KPCC’s Larry Mantle talks with LADOT’s Michelle Mowery and LACBC’s Jen Klausner in advance of Tuesday’s Council vote.

And Bikeside astutely notes that the plan has to be about more than bike lanes.

.………

CicLAvia is looking for volunteers and working with neighborhood councils to ensure success, while Lance Armstrong tweets his plans to join in on the next one April 10th.

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What’s your vision for reinventing Highland Park’s York Blvd? Thursday Twitter chat #bikeschool interviews L.A.’s own car-free Joe Anthony, aka @ohaijoe. CD4 candidate Stephen Box is hosting a series of campaign bike rides on Sunday in advance of Tuesday’s vote. Glendale’s new bike count offers a chance to improve safety. Burbank is planning a bike tour of the Magnolia Park area on April 2nd. Long Beach meets Thursday for another workshop on that city’s new bike plan. Felony hit-and-run charges have been filed against a Patterson woman who killed a 27-year old Northridge native, who initially claimed she had hit a dog. Bike lanes are planned for a dangerous intersection where cyclist Lauren Ward was killed last November.

Tucson Velo goes car light. A cyclist prepares to shatter records for the Iditarod Trail Invitational bike race — 350 miles through the Alaskan wilderness in the dead of winter. Trial begins for the Colorado driver accused of attacking two cyclists with a baseball bat. Chicago’s newly completed bike count could help make the city friendlier to bike riders. A Memphis police officer plans to create an indoor bike park. Removing traffic capacity can actually improve traffic flow — unless drivers act selfishly. Why North American driver seem to sympathize with road rage. How to light yourself up for nighttime riding. Panasonic offers a new e-bike to help keep your kids fat and out of shape.

Finally, it turns out that New York’s infamous War On Cars is a myth, and that cyclists won’t have to worry about their proposed bike license plate law after all.

And your word for the day: bikelash.

5 comments

  1. Jared says:

    I didn’t really see anyone making fun of the guy getting hit by the train. The first sentence just seems like a, “Jesus people!” type of thing. Which I share. Whenever I hear about people getting hit by a Blue Line train, for instance, my first thought is, “How the hell can you not know it’s coming?”

    But seriously, it’s definitely not anything to do with the train system. You learn from the time you’re a little kid not to cross when the arms are down and flashing. What else could they do? It’d be quite a job to grade separate all the freight tracks just to avoid people ignoring the signals.

  2. Joseph E says:

    In other places, there are “Second train coming” signs that light up when there are two trains passing.

    Many, many fatal accidents at grade crossings are the result of this problem: one train passes, driver / cyclist / pedestrian starts crossing, gets hit by train going the other way, which was obscured by the first train.

    Another thing that helps is leaving 10 or 20 feet or more between tracks going the opposite direction, so you have a chance to see that second train before it gets you. But obviously that must be planned before tracks are laid.

  3. The crossing gate was down. When that is the case, you do not proceed. That’s all there is to it. Shall we fence off the ocean because people drown?

    Impatience is not a virtue, even on a bicycle. It’s really what causes most road wrecks too.

    Trains move goods using 1/4 the oil that trucks require, and take up a hell of a lot less land than trucks on highways do. One typical freight train replaces over 250 trucks. Would you rather see all those trucks on the road you ride?

    A freight train can’t leave the tracks; it’s nearly twenty feet tall, and the front end is covered with multiple steady and blinking lamps; it is required to blow its horn in a specific and easily-recognizable pattern as it approaches the crossing (long-long-short-long). In urban areas it goes less than 40 mph. You really have to work hard at it to get hit by a train.

    He went around the freakin’ crossing gate while the barrier arms were down, the lights were blinking, and the bells were ringing!

  4. Joe says:

    It seems to me that there’s an opportunity for human-interaction design here.

    As they are currently implemented, what do the bells/lights/gates mean? The answer, “A train is approaching”, is wrong. As implemented, the bells/lights/gates mean that a train is approaching, or is currently crossing, or has recently passed: the gates don’t rise until well after the train has passed, and people know this, so they feel comfortable ducking under the gates as long as they have seen a train finish passing.

    If the gates (and lights, etc) would normally raise immediately after the train passed, then in the rare occasions when they don’t raise, people would notice that something is amiss, and would not feel comfortable crossing.

  5. darren traylor says:

    I miss you Bobby.

    Love your cousin Darren

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