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.