Update: Man dies in solo sidewalk crash on Foothill Blvd in Tujunga

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. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Steve Jensen and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up. 

 

23 comments

  1. There is a bike line for many miles on Foothill Blvd, but it ends 3 blocks east of Commerce Avenue.

  2. JJD says:

    We lift up the family and friends of the victim in our prayers.

  3. Berington Van Campen says:

    We drove past this terrible scene yesterday. Ambulances and fire all around; it had happened only a short time earlier. We saw the bike and what was obviously a covered body. Shocking to see… tremendously sad.

    Reading this article made me realize, though, the seemingly incredible lack of bicycle-riding education. I don’t know if this is just around L.A., where it sometimes seems that drivers are aiming at you, or everywhere. But ALL THE TIME, I see sheer stupidity on bicyclists’ parts. Riding AT NIGHT with no lights or even reflectors, or driving the wrong way against traffic on streets, or as in this case, on sidewalks, where they put many others at risk beyond themselves.

    Are there not public and private programs in place to teach bike riders the basic “rules of the road?” Especially in the spring and summer… “riding seasons…” there should be frequent TV PSAs and any number of other means used to reach the bike riding public, OUTSIDE of bike stores, etc. They need to see this vital, life-saving info “accidentally,” at home, work, wherever.

    I’m about to buy a bike myself; I haven’t had one in years and I’d love the exercise. But I guarantee, if I ever ride at night I’m going to look like a rolling emergency beacon! Drivers will see me from a long way off… I want them AFRAID to get too close!

    • Goner says:

      So, you’re here to call the dead man stupid and blame him? What is the matter with you, sir!?

      Did you read the part of the article where a sign in the street necessitated his swerve to the sidewalk?

    • BILL STULL says:

      The owner of that sign should be fined big time and never allowed again to put another sign out again and put in jail he caused a death.Commerce Bill….Ps..the sign caused his death the person should go to jail and be fined if I was that guy I turn myself in after causing a death Hello

  4. Very sad, RIP.
    I’m not fond of the statement “And it’s another reminder that riding on the sidewalk is more dangerous than it seems.” Reckless riding on sidewalks is dangerous, but careful riding on many sidewalks is much safer than being on the road with all the distracted, belligerent, or drunk drivers. No two sidewalks are the same, some are terrible to ride on, and others, like many I recommend riding in the Coachella Valley are similar to fabulous bike paths. In general those who ride >15 mph shouldn’t ride on most sidewalks; it’s not safe for cyclists because of obstacles or for pedestrians. Extra caution needs to be exerted at every place a car may cross your path. Neighborhoods where kids ride on sidewalks across numerous driveways is much more dangerous than areas where you can ride for a half mile or longer without tussling with a vehicle. And, I recommend a helmet even when riding on sidewalks or bike paths, you can fall and hit your head just as easily as on the road.

  5. Jorge T Rodriguez says:

    It’s ironic how the guy who died on the bike has a son and his son is named is also Zachary

  6. Bob Yost says:

    @Berington Van Campen
    I just found out the identity of the rider that was killed in this accident. He was a good friend of mine for over 20 years. I am devastated.

  7. Susan says:

    Hello there, I am the man’s ex wife. I’d really like more details if anyone has them for his son.

  8. Perry O. Dontista says:

    A life cut short. Family devastated.
    Isn’t riding a bicycle on a sidewalk illegal?
    Isn’t having a sidewalk sign for a business illegal?
    That awful combination proved deadly.

    • There is no state law prohibiting riding your bike on the sidewalk. Depending on the city, it may be illegal to ride your bike on the sidewalk. It is not illegal to ride your bike on the sidewalk in Los Angeles, for example.

    • bikinginla says:

      It’s legal to ride on the sidewalk in Los Angeles, though not in many other cities. And while it is legal to place a small sign on the sidewalk, it has to be in the front “street furniture” zone, where bus benches, utility poles and street signs go.

  9. Tim Trotter says:

    Rest in Paradise Steve. We all loved you.

  10. Pat cisneroz says:

    I just heard about Steve a couple of days ago he’s in a better place now RIP I have some pictures of him I’ll put on Facebook for people to see my deepest condolences to his family his exwife Susan and his son Zack

  11. Tim Trotter says:

    Will there be any services beyond last Sunday’s Ghost Bike Placement ?

  12. Leon Panepinto says:

    Hey Susan.Real sorry to hear about Steve’s passing. Have not seen him or heard from him in years. Had many good times with him in my life.God Bless his soul. May he rest in peace. Prayers to you and Zachary.So sorry to hear about this.

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