Update: Woman killed riding bike in Carlsbad when she reportedly veered out of bike lane

The deadly beat goes on, as a woman was killed riding her bike in Carlsbad this morning.

According to multiple sources, the 59-year old woman was riding south on the 4600 block of Carlsbad Blvd when a witness reports she drifted out of the bike lane in front of high-speed traffic, and was hit by a car sometime after 10 am.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

A photograph from the scene show an aqua beach cruiser lying between the number one and two lanes, while another shows her tarped body resting on the bike lane marker itself. Which raises the question of just how far she strayed out of the bike lane, if at all.

Lining up a street view with the photos places the collision site somewhere along here, with a door zone-buffered bike lane next to two lanes of traffic.

The left turn lane suggests she may have been attempting to make a U-turn or turn left into the power plant. Or she may have swerved to avoid an obstacle or a vehicle pulling out from the curb.

There’s a 35 mph speed limit on the street; however, the straight, uninterrupted traffic lanes are likely to encourage speeding through that section.

This is the 27th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and remarkably, the sixth in San Diego County. That compares with ten in SoCal this time last year, and three in the county.

Correction: I originally located the collision site further north away from the turn lane; thanks to Skip Pile for the correction.

Update: The victim has been identified as 59-year old Joyce Smith of Carlsbad.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Joyce Smith and her loved ones.

6 comments

  1. gneiss says:

    The photographic view is looking north on the south bound lanes. Actually, right after this view, going south, there is a left turn lane, which suggests that the person was attempting to move in to the left lane to make a turn here. Here’s a link to a southbound view:

    https://www.google.com/maps/@33.1383428,-117.3389377,3a,75y,159.44h,67.68t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1stpdtXeDpgOwUlWbEUts95Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

  2. John Lloyd says:

    So tragic. I’ve ridden there numerous times. Hardly any motorist obeys the 35MPH speed limit along that stretch of the highway and motorists frequently pull out part way into the bike lane to check oncoming traffic before merging into the travel lane. Some joggers also tend to use that bike lane, which may force a cyclist out to avoid them.

  3. JD says:

    We lift up the family and friends of the victim in prayer.

  4. This is practically a classic SWSS. The only break with the classic SWSS narrative is there was someplace the cyclist might need to get to on the left.

  5. The Editors says:

    Another thing to consider is that the “cruiser bike” involved in this accident appears to be a Pedego electric powered bike. For those not accustomed to these bikes (say, someone who has rented one) they allow people to travel at much higher speeds than most cyclists are used to traveling without even being aware of it. A sad story all around.

  6. Richard Fox says:

    So very sad. Sincere condolences to her family. I wish there were more details regarding exactly what happened and if she was wearing a helmet. I love this ultra scenic and fun ride (I usually ride southbound from Oceanside various distances and take the Coaster train back). However, since there are so many cyclists in close proximity to fast moving traffic, I recommended it “for experienced cyclists only” in enCYCLEpedia and it is not one of the top-rated rides for the casual cyclist for that reason. I’ve noticed many casual cyclists on beach cruisers along here without helmets, many not riding very safely, as well as fast moving experienced road cyclists weaving around the casual cyclists or obstacles into the path of traffic. Ride safe!

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