News is just coming in that a bike rider was killed early this afternoon while riding on the campus of Cal Poly Pomona.
According to the San Bernardino County Sun, the 21-year old student was riding north on Kellogg Drive near South Campus Drive around 1 pm when he was struck by a southbound motorist; the victim has not been publicly identified pending notification of next of kin. The driver is also a student at the university.
The victim was transferred to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
No other details are available at this time.
However, judging by the photograph that accompanies the article, it looks as though the victim may have been riding against traffic, as the skid marks and debris appear to be confined to the southbound lane.
This is the sixth bike rider killed in Southern California this year, and the third in Los Angeles County. That compares with 10 deaths in SoCal this time last year.
My sympathy and prayers for the victim and his family.
Update: The Cal Poly Pomona student newspaper has identified the victim as 21-year old communications student and Pomona resident Ivan Arturo Aguilar, putting the time of the collision at 12:45 pm.
“I think the whole campus is in mourning,” said Director of Public Affairs Uyen Mai. “Ivan was only 21 years old and was full of potential. It certainly feels like a tragic loss of life and we imagine his family and friends are going through an excruciating time. We want to share our deepest sympathies with his family and friends during this time.”
Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.
Counseling is available for witnesses, as well as any other faculty, students or staff disturbed by the collision. The Polycentric website lists times for Friday.
Meanwhile, CPP professor and bike blogger Boyonabike foresaw something like this, writing just last week about the very same street where today’s collision occurred. He calls for bike lanes, as well as road diets and stop signs — and greater enforcement — on the campus’ three main access roads.
In addition to bike lanes, other traffic calming strategies should be employed, insofar as many drivers reach speeds upwards of 45 mph on these roads (the posted speed limits are lower, but there is little traffic speed enforcement on these roads, and the wide lanes and lack of stop signs implicitly encourage speeding). Near collisions are a regular occurrence, as I witnessed one recent weekday when a car traveling an estimated 40-plus mph nearly missed another car making a left turn in its path (see photo below). The high speeds understandably deter people from bicycling on these roads, despite the fact that they are the most convenient routes to the main campus.
The full post is worth reading — especially by campus administrators, who could have done something to prevent this tragedy.
Unfortunately, his warning came too late for Aguilar.
Maybe now they’ll listen, and do something to improve safety for everyone on campus before it happens again.
We can hope, anyway.
CLR Effect notes that a memorial ride and ghost bike installation has been scheduled for next Thursday, March 7th — one week from the day and time Aguilar was killed — starting at 11:30 am.
Update 3: The Daily News remembers Aguilar as a role model who lit up a room when entered.
Update 4: I’ve added a notation above that Ivan Aguilar was a resident of Pomona; I’m told his family is from Azuza. KNBC-4 reports on the grief felt by his friends and fellow students.