Update: Cyclist killed riding wrong way in Lincoln Heights collision

Once again, riding on the wrong side of the road has claimed the life of a Los Angeles bike rider.

The Eastsider reports a bike rider identified only as a Latino man in his early thirties was hit and killed in Lincoln Heights early this morning.

The victim was riding south on Humboldt Street on the wrong side of the road when he was struck by a driver traveling north on Avenue 26 at 1:30 am. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

No other information is available at this time. The site notes the investigation is ongoing.

A street view shows an intersection with four lanes on 26th, with an offset crossing at Humboldt controlled by a stop sign.

While some people believe riding against traffic is safer because they can see cars coming, it’s actually one of the most dangerous things you can do. According to the LAPD, riding salmon is leading cause of serious bicycling collisions in many parts of Los Angeles.

In this case, the victim would have been hidden from view by the upholstery shop on the right side of the street, as well as any cars parked on the lot until the last moment — particularly if the vehicle was traveling at speed, which is likely given the hour. And the vehicle would have been hidden from his sight, as well.

This is the 36th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the third in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: The Eastsider has updated its story to identify the victim as 22-year old Los Angeles resident Giovanni Cali.

He was riding with a companion who saw the car and was able to avoid it; unfortunately, Cali did not see it in time. The driver remained at the scene, and was not under the influence.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Giovanni Cali and his loved ones.

Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the heads-up.

13 comments

  1. JD says:

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

  2. hippierunner says:

    My condolences to the family, I’m so sorry for their tragic loss.

    This is a terrifying and dangerous intersection, even in broad daylight, even if one is obeying all traffic laws. It’s a problematic corridor in its current state, one with heavy ped and bike traffic as it links Northeast LA & DTLA. In 2008, data from numerous community groups/members was collected in efforts to figure out where pedestrian & bike facilities could be added/improved in this neighborhood, with many noting this area as being in dire need of change. Here is a sample of community input from this survey:

    •Improve crossing at Ave 26 and Humboldt. Urgent! It’s a basic safety issue.
    • Add traffic light at Humboldt and Ave 26
    •Add flashing red lights as well on Ave 26 (urgent need)
    •Get these (crosswalk striping at Ave 26 and Humboldt) stripes down

    http://libraryarchives.metro.net/DPGTL/eirs/gold_line/2008_making_connections_bicycle_pedestrian_chinatown_lincoln_cypress.pdf

    Unfortunately, this intersection lies within the boundaries of Council District #1-in-traffic-fatalities, so I don’t think we can expect change anytime soon.

  3. Melanie Freeland says:

    My deepest condolences to the family of the victim.

    Humboldt Street is a heavily traveled bike and pedestrian route and I agree it desperately is in need of safety improvements. The street is a common detour to avoid the Pasadena/Daly/26th intersection and allows you to link up with the bike path on Ave 19.

  4. Megan graham says:

    Wow! Victim blaming as usual. Maybe the face that there are no safe spaces on the streets are to blame!? Cyclists wouldn’t have to make crazy decisions to try to make their own safety. There is NO decent way to get from Chinatown into cypress park and I deal with this every day. Due the the never ending construction of that over pass where fig meets riverside — it’s been years!! You can’t ride there without being stuck between the barriers and a car. There is broken glass and big trash all over the sidewalk. Ave 20 which should connect now dead ends into the 110. What a preventable tragedy. And seriously bad reporting on this issue to blame the victim.

    • bikinginla says:

      Thanks Megan, you just made my day. I am often accused of blaming the drivers, as I always try to see things from the rider’s side, but this is one of the few times I’ve ever been accused of blaming the victim.

      However you’re off base here. It is not victim blaming to point out the inherent dangers of riding against traffic, or point out how that would have contributed to a lack of visibility on both sides.

      Does that mean the cyclist was 100% a fault? Of course not. As I noted, given the hour, it’s entirely possible the driver was exceeding the speed limit, and the collision might have been avoidable otherwise. Just as it might have been avoidable if the victim had been on the right side of the road.

      I agree completely that more has to be done to improve safety for bike riders and everyone else in the area. Unfortunately, as noted in another comment, Councilmember Gil Cedillo has needlessly opposed virtually all bike safety improvements in his district. I would suggest contacting his office and demanding safe bicycling routes in and through the area.

      • China says:

        Look gio (the rider) after he got hit his body flew up in yhe air fliped around n landed about 100 ft from impact his bike was about 45 feet further than where his body had landed.. He had a whole in his skull from the front window of the car . i would like for you to make sure you get as much correct info from people who saw and forsure NOT from the LAPD

  5. Lori says:

    The security guard said he was crossing humbolt and to the other side of humbolt the driver was driving faster then other cars then he turned the other way and he heard screeching of breaks there was another woman that seen the car speeding the security said that the woman seen the car speeding Steve his friend told the cops they stopped at the stop sign and the cops said he didn’t stop

    • bikinginla says:

      Unfortunately, that’s not usual. Unless there are independent witnesses who actually saw the victim stop at the stop sign, police will almost always take the word of a driver over a bike rider, due to the inherent windshield bias; all cops drive, but relatively few ride a bike, as well.

      I’ve run into the same thing myself. I was hit by a car while stopped at a stop sign, but the driver claimed I ran the stop. The cops investigating said they believed her, “because all you bike riders run stop signs.”

      Hopefully there was a security camera at the upholstery shop or one of the other businesses in the area that can show what really happened — if the police bother to ask for it, which they don’t always do.

      • Kathy says:

        Your right we have found the woman that seen the speeding car and a friend is meeting with her and were asking the gym and the cooking school tomorrow hopefully they have cameras he was a happy caring guy and if the driver was driving normal speed his bike would not had been dismantled in half and he hit the windshield and thrown he had a large hole in his for head and the front of the car was all banged up he is guilty of wrongful death if not man slaughter and there has been a lot of accident s on 26 I live on 26 & Baranca and had to call police do to speeding car crashing into a person coming out of the animal hospital’s drive way.
        The parent are getting a lawyer mean while we his friend she search for evidence for his family. I thank God that a least someone from the press posted his story. May God bless you.

        • bikinginla says:

          Bless you too, Kathy. I’m very sorry for your loss. Let me know if his family needs help finding a lawyer. There are several listed on the Resources page that specialize in bicycle collisions.

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