Bike rider killed in Oxnard collision; third SoCal cycling death in three days

More bad news, following the death of two young riders over the past weekend.

According to the Ventura County Star, 45-year old Oxnard resident Daniel Martinez Meza was killed when he was hit by a car attempting to enter Highway 101 in Oxnard this morning.

Meza was riding north on Rose Avenue approaching the 101 overpass around 8 am Monday when 20-year old Pablo Tellez Chavez attempted to change lanes to access the freeway onramp, striking Meza, who died at the scene.

It looks like bad road design may be at least partially responsible for this one. A satellite view shows a bike lane over the overpass, but no markings of any kind to guide drivers or cyclists leading up to it, creating an inevitable conflict zones as riders move left to enter the bike lane and drivers drift right to access the onramp.

The paper notes that Meza was not wearing a helmet. Whether that is relevant depends entirely on whether he died as a result of a head injury, and whether the collision was even survivable, based on the speed of the car that hit him and exactly how the collision unfolded.

This is the 72nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, compared to 65 this time last year. It’s also the 6th in Ventura County — twice the total for all of last year — and the second in Oxnard since the first of this year.

My sympathy and prayers go out to Daniel Meza and all his family and loved ones. 

Thanks to Machiko Yusada for the heads-up.

Update: A comment from Colleen provides some further clarity in this case.

This is indeed a bad road design. I drove past this accident this morning. A white sheet on the pavement in front of a car brings you to tears. The bicyclist was actually 1/3 the way over the overpass, not approaching the on ramp. Cars that wish to enter the North bound 101 fwy have about 10-20 feet to enter the far right lane before they are prohibited to do so by the solid white line which is also part if the bicycle lane. Drivers INTENTIONALLY speed pass the long line of law abiding drivers, cross over the bicycle lane and solid white line, and force their way into the fwy on ramp lane. Every day on my way home from work I witness one of these drivers nearly causing an accident by illegally cutting in front me or someone ahead if me, many time with a bicyclist in the bike lane. The plastic orange reflective posts should be installed along each side of the bike lane that crosses the overpass so the drivers will be discouraged from cutting in front of others and killing people. Until then, I would be happy to see a motorcycle cop posted there giving tickets.

14 comments

  1. Colleen says:

    This is indeed a bad road design. I drove past this accident this morning. A white sheet on the pavement in front of a car brings you to tears. The bicyclist was actually 1/3 the way over the overpass, not approaching the on ramp. Cars that wish to enter the North bound 101 fwy have about 10-20 feet to enter the far right lane before they are prohibited to do so by the solid white line which is also part if the bicycle lane. Drivers INTENTIONALLY speed pass the long line of law abiding drivers, cross over the bicycle lane and solid white line, and force their way into the fwy on ramp lane. Every day on my way home from work I witness one of these drivers nearly causing an accident by illegally cutting in front me or someone ahead if me, many time with a bicyclist in the bike lane. The plastic orange reflective posts should be installed along each side of the bike lane that crosses the overpass so the drivers will be discouraged from cutting in front of others and killing people. Until then, I would be happy to see a motorcycle cop posted there giving tickets.

  2. Colleen says:

    The great idea of fluorescent orange reboundable lane dividers belongs to my co-worker and friend Melanie. She also drives this same route and drove past moments after the incident happened. I hope her idea is acted upon. It could save lives.

  3. JD says:

    Our prayers go up for the family and friends of Mr. Meza.

  4. Biking in Burbank says:

    Thoughts with Mr. Meza and his family.

    Did anyone hear more about this:
    https://twitter.com/myBurbankNEWS/statuses/392066917466255360

    The rider ended up not being trapped under the vehicle but I am not sure what exactly happened

    • bikinginla says:

      I don’t find anything about it online, which is usually good news. Unfortunately, collisions with cyclists are so common that they rarely make the news unless there are significant injuries.

  5. Karl says:

    The ability for us to use such painted zones even absent the need to cross our path for cars turning both raises life insurance etc. premium’s and the question of whether the private relationship between insurer and insured could allow for carveout of coverage requiring us to illegally or not use the sidewalk if we expect payment.

    Those who only travel in car’s obtain a warped perspective of what life is like in such area’s. The obscene amount of parking separating retailer’s is obnoxious even on a bicycle in ‘mall’s.

    I explored this ‘overpass’ and noted the poles that do prevent ‘cutting’ in front of the car’s properly entering the single veering off path single file.

    I suppose there is the possibility that despite the speed reduction the anticipated volume of car’s, the frequency, was not funded to create a delay exiting especially given that’s it’s a on ramp.

    If so that means that allowing the highway so many car’s is actually the problem. Once a certain number are on it then the on ramp’s must close, like a ball room reaching it’s occupancy limit.. To allow the speed to drop and more and more car’s to plug entrances killed Daniel Martinez Meza beyond it has been proven creating similar violence in the extinction of species dependent on icy real-estate the gass/energy guzling that high congestion/ low speed highways melts away.

    Our highways are not designed for as many car’s as we are putting on them. The most fuel efficient speed is 45 mph. Slower speeds pollute and cost more. High occupancy lanes if they slow down other lanes require that those other lanes not allow too many car’s to use them. It should not be merely you’ll take longer if traveling alone- reservations must be required and they should be auctioned off. The car’s shown in the map are able to kill without paying any fee beyond the extra gas required, and I am glad that it’s us instead of more Polar Bear’s faster that are being sacrificed by the present design. The problem is that we are not enforcing the design parameter’s upon user’s so as to create congestion that has those paying for election campaigns able to keep our appetite insatiable instead of carpool and spend our money exploring the planets etc. not what it’s like to bring back the art of expendable human’s and party sheet’s.

    The GPS system can already have car’s limited in what commands they will accept from us and this potential is already creating real hysteria which is supported by entities wanting to further widen and build more and more lanes. A car should not allow any trip plan on roads already brimming. If attempted it would just stop, and a wrecker would be summoned to confiscate it from it’s evil owner or if you prefer it would drive itself to the side of the road and await reassignment. Daniel Martinez Meza is no longer with us because we are free to waste time abusing way’s that have never been free and should not be ever more taking of life from our denial of there intent.

  6. JohnCarlo says:

    Hey Umm I saw the dude die on monday when I was going to school on the bus there were no siren coming to pick him up I wonder why there were no paramedics?

    • bikinginla says:

      I think you know the reason for that. Either you passed by before rescuers could get there, or they were told not to hurry because it was already too late.

  7. Erick says:

    We worked together for 7 yrs.. It was only me and him, i was already at work waitin for him when a coworker from another departement came and told me ran to the bridge and saw paramedics givin him cpr i yeld at him and i couldnt do anythig to help him he was dead.. He was a block away from work :( my dear friend i have no one to
    Talk to at work now so quiet days drag never will b the same for me at work

  8. Roy Morris says:

    The Oxnard Police along with the Mayor don’t care. Here is my attempt at trying to get Oxnard PD to clean up a very dangerous bed of glass in the bike lane. The Oxnard PD claim they are not responsible for it and streets division is responsible for roadway obstructions like this. It is appalling how little they care about cyclists. For the record I almost got hit yesterday on the bridge going towards the dealerships.

    https://plus.google.com/104458259878166164248/posts/fCoU2ALkNSM

    https://plus.google.com/104458259878166164248/posts/9VeeUCdhy2p

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

11 + 9 =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

%d bloggers like this: