Bike rider killed in Riverside collision; eighth bicycling fatality in Riverside County this year

More bad news for Bike Week.

According to the Press-Enterprise, a forty-year old bike rider was attempting to cross Van Buren Ave Blvd at Doolittle Ave in Riverside around 10:15 pm Wednesday when he was hit by a late-model Ford traveling north in the center lane.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified pending notification of next of kin, was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead at 11:30 pm.

The Riverside County coroner lists the victim’s age as 32, and places the location as 1600 feet north of Arlington Ave.

While the article makes no mention of which way the victim was riding, Doolittle does not cross Van Buren, so he could only have been riding east. No explanation is given for why he was attempting to cross the road; however, he may have been trying to reach the bike lane on the northbound side and wasn’t able to get across the the six-lane boulevard in time.

A street view shows a 55 mph speed limit north of Arlington. Whether the driver may have been speeding or the victim simply misjudged his ability to cross before oncoming traffic caught up to is yet to be determined.

This is the 39th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth already this year in Riverside County, compared to just two this time last year.

My prayers and deepest sympathy for the victim and his loved ones.

8 comments

  1. James says:

    Even at the speed limit a driver is probably driving well past the speed at which one could identify and react to anything. 55mph is totally inappropriate for an urban road. This road is another example of criminal negligence on the part of traffic engineers who apparently cannot make a distinction between highway, rural highway and urban road. As always there is a deadly combination of highway (or even freeway) speeds, the architecture of an over-sized rural highway, a low level of ambiguity and correspondingly low level of driver attentiveness with all the features of an urban environment – all of which deserve a very different kind of road. This road should not feature any intersections, adjacent developments, bike lanes, crosswalks left hand turns lanes etc. Why? Because it is a fucking freeway. It should have been devoted to high speed inter-city travel and nothing else. Everything that is one or near the road should be served by a very different type of road designed with a different set of priorities. One of the greatest tragedies of the post-war American city has been the urbanization of highways and highway-ization of urban roads.

  2. William says:

    I get flamed each time I post. The roads are not safe. We have more and more examples (in posts) of people saying “oh the speed limits should be lower, etc.” Even when they are lower, bikers still get hit and die. It seems many on this site are so passionate about biking the logic eludes them. No law, no white lines, no signage, none of this will prevent errant motorists from injuring and killing bicycle riders. Ive ridden and lobbied for decades on this issue. The roads are not longer a plausible place to ride a bike. If you need to ride, ride on a river trail, or mountain trail or trail otherwise without motor vehicles. Go ahead, flame me again. I don’t ride on the roads anymore, I am still alive. I would suggest instead of flaming this simple logic that some more of you consider it. If you can build dedicated isolated bike lanes next to the roads that might be better, but until the traffic is totally separated, this will just get worse. Cell phone use and texting is the main culprit, but now we have magnitudes more people on presription drugs, driving essentially unaware. Their little mistakes mean cyclist lives, not their own. Greater masses generally win here, but I expect this post will get flamed. I choose to live, so should you.

    • bikinginla says:

      William, there is a difference between getting flamed and having someone disagree with you. Simply put, you are wrong, and sending a message that only serves to needlessly scare people off their bikes. If you are too frightened to ride anymore, that is your choice.

      But as you have pointed out yourself, this is a forum where everyone is allowed to express their opinions, as long as they show respect for others.

      If you can’t handle that, the problem is yours.

    • Bicyclist fatality rates seem to be rising because of how fast bad news travels on the internet, but the numbers have actually dropped from around 800 per year in the US 10-20 years ago to about 600 per year today.

      If texting and all these other factors were so significant, we’d see it in the numbers. We don’t. The data is simply not there to back up all the hysteria.

      In the mean time, as safe as cycling is, the effectiveness of full lane use in terms of improving conspicuousness, vantage and safety is finally beginning to spread. Bicyclists Belong in the Traffic Lane!!!

      In addition, 18,000 are killed per year while at home due to accidental injuries.

      With only a little statistical hand-waving, that suggests you’re 30 times more likely to die if you stay at home than if you go ride your bike in traffic.

      Your choice.

    • billdsd says:

      @William: The statistics are not on your side. Your fear is not based in reality.

      Some of us have been riding on the road for decades, and we’re still alive too.

    • It’s nice that you are able to choose to commute by single occupant vehicle to work. There are many in our city and county that do not have that option, whether it be due to income, ability, or age. To say that these people do not deserve the right to commute safely to destinations because they are in a situation where they are not afforded the same choice, or that one has to ‘earn’ the right to a safe commute is uncaring, unfair, and close-minded.

      As Ted points out, the facts are not on your side. Simply throwing one’s hands up in despair is the opposite of a solution. Ted’s blog brings attention to tragedies of poor roadway design to help inform motorists and people on bikes alike, as well as municipalities looking to improve the safety of their streets. People commuting by bike aren’t going to go away, and arguing they shouldn’t be there in the first place doesn’t serve anyone.

      Kind regards,
      Michael

  3. There is no crossing here that gives cyclists or pedestrians the right of way. Pedestrians include cyclists acting as pedestrians have to wait until it’s clear to cross.

    Sorry, but this seems no different than crossing train tracks in front of a train.

  4. Alesia says:

    I was a resident at the Stonegate Apartments on Doolittle and Doolittle is just the turn off into the apartments, Morris is the actual street you turn out onto before only making a right onto Van Buren, you can not make a left here due to a divider in the street and in the divider in the middle of the street there is a crossing dip made into it, which is my belief where the biker was crossing. I have seen many times vehicles bust a quick left through this dip made into the divider to avoid making a U turn up ahead because your legally not supposed to make a left through this dip made into the divider to get onto Morris and then into Doolittle (where the apartments are located) but people would do it all the time because it was built that way. In my opinion the city should fix this dip in the divider to prevent others from crossing easy and also unsafely.

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