Sad news from Tujunga.
And for a change, there wasn’t a driver involved.
According to a press release from the LAPD, a man was killed while riding along westbound Foothill Blvd east of Commerce Ave in Tujunga at 10:50 Thursday morning.
The victim, who hasn’t been publicly named, was riding downhill on the sidewalk when he collided a sign and a tree.
He was pronounced dead at the scene, and identified only as white man in his 30s.
This is at least the 21st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the fifth in the City of Los Angeles.
And it’s another reminder that riding on the sidewalk is more dangerous than it seems.
Update: There will be a ghost bike placed for the victim this Sunday at 7:30 pm.
Update 2: Family members have identified the victim as Steve Jensen.
I’m told Jensen was actually riding downhill in the street, and swerved to avoid a car stopped in the lane. He crashed into a sign for a smog test center that was in the street illegally, and hit a tree on the sidewalk.
The badly dented sign is still there, visible inside the fence for the smog test center.
The question is whether they’ve learned anything, or if the sign will go back out in the street in the morning.
Update 3: Apparently bad bike infrastructure played a significant roll in this crash, as well. LA’s typical disappearing bike lane design at intersections may have helped cost Jensen his life, forcing him into the traffic lane after gaining speed on his descent.
I now have a ghost bike in my neighborhood. I ride this section of Foothill often. Westbound is full of dangers. The hill his steep. Speed gathers quickly going down, and just then the road narrows, the bike lane vanishes, and your out 'in the lane' like it or not. https://t.co/ebkNl1uvfd
— Doug Moore (@mooremediaone) April 29, 2019
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Steve Jensen and all his loved ones.
Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.