Tag Archive for University Park

Bike rider killed in collision with Expo Line train in South LA; another critically injured

Sad news from South LA, where a bike rider has died following a collision with the Expo Line.

KTLA-5 initially reported last night that two pedestrians were struck by a train in University Park east of USC, around 9 pm Tuesday. The story was later amended to say one of the victims had a bicycle.

Now LA West Media has reported that one victim has died after being transported to a hospital, while the other victim is in critical condition.

Neither has been publicly identified at this time.

According to the report, three males were riding their bikes on Jefferson Blvd near Flower Street, when they attempted to cross the Expo Line tracks despite an approaching train.

The first rider made it. The other two were hit by the empty Expo train, which was on a test run.

This is one more heartbreaking reminder to never attempt to cross train tracks after the warning alarms sound or the gates close.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD at 323/421-2500.

This is the sixth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Los Angeles County. The other LA County death occurred in South LA, as well.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones. And prayers and best wishes for the recovery of the second victim. 

 

Breaking News: Los Angeles selected as part of new PeopleForBikes initiative to boost bike ridership

News has just come in that Los Angeles has been selected as one of ten cities to participate in the Big Jump Project.

The new initiative from PeopleForBikes is aimed at doubling or tripling bike ridership in specific neighborhoods by improving bike infrastructure.

As part of the Big Jump Project, Los Angeles will focus on improving bike infrastructure in downtown LA and University Park, the city’s business core. As a participant in the program, Los Angeles will annually receive the equivalent of $200,000 in technical support from PeopleForBikes, as well as an additional $50,000 in matching funds or financial commitments from local organizations….

Over the course of the next three years, the Big Jump Project cities will be laboratories for innovation, ultimately illustrating the ways in which U.S. cities and towns can tap into bicycles to radically improve the health and vitality of their communities.

The project is part of PeopleForBikes’ new PlacesForBikes program, a three-part plan including an easy-to-understand, data-driven system for rating bike-friendly cities; how-to resources for communities and businesses; and an annual conference for city and business leaders.

Los Angeles was selected along with New York City, Baltimore MD, Portland OR, Memphis TN, Providence RI, New Orleans LA,  Austin TX, Tucson AZ and my hometown of Fort Collins, CO.

While it’s great that Los Angeles has been selected as one of the initial cities, it’s unfortunate that it is limited to the Downtown area, which has already seen a jump in ridership, and the area north of USC, which could definitely use the help.

It would have been nice to see infrastructure-starved areas like South LA, Highland Park and Hollywood included in the program, as well as other often ignored regions of the city.

However, as always, the problem in Los Angeles is political will, and the courage of local councilmembers to stand up to the inevitable NIMBY anti-bike backlash.

Or more precisely, the lack thereof.

Hopefully, when people see what can be done to make our streets safer and more inviting for everyone, they’ll demand improvements in their own neighborhoods, as well. And elect representatives who will respond to that demand.

The other concern is whether LA will finally provide adequate staffing and funding for LADOT to meet the requirements of our streets, so this doesn’t result in ignoring the urgent needs of other areas while attention is focused on just two neighborhoods.

As former NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan stresses in her book Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution, cities must be able to respond quickly to needs and opportunities on the streets, rather than taking years to design — and redesign in response to local opposition and lack of leadership backbone — before even thinking about implementation.

Something Los Angeles sadly lacks, and seems unlikely to change.

Maybe this will be the kick in the ass the city so desperately needs.

You can see the full press release here.

 

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