Freeway ramps are among the deadliest places to ride a bike.
That was driven home once again early Friday morning, when a man was killed trying to ride across an Anaheim onramp.
According to the Orange County Register, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding south on Lakeview Ave at the onramp to the westbound 91 Freeway around 4:50 am Friday.
Before he could reach the pedestrian crossing, he was struck by a car attempting to enter the freeway, driven by a 67-year old Anaheim woman.
No word on whether he died at the scene, or passed away after being taken for treatment.
The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators.
A CHP spokesman was quick to absolve the driver of responsibility, instead blaming the victim’s dark clothing, and poor visibility due to rainy conditions and the early morning darkness.
However, no mention is made of whether the victim had lights or reflectors on his bike, or whether the onramp itself was lighted.
There’s also no mention of how the design of the onramp may have contributed to the crash. Dual slip lanes that begin at the intersection with East Riverdale Ave could enable drivers to accelerate to highway speeds before ever entering the freeway, especially at that hour.
But it’s much easier to blame the victim’s clothing than to confront road conditions that not only made a collision more likely, but less survivable.
It’s also yet another tragic reminder to avoid freeway ramps whenever possible, which are seldom designed for the safety of anyone not encased in a couple tons of glass and steel.
This is at least the tenth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Orange County.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.