Tag Archive for train collision

Wait a year to ride with the walk signal, bike rider critically injured in A Line crash, and new LA council committee announced

Let’s start with a quick correction to something we mentioned yesterday.

There have been a number of stories from a cross the state reporting that bike riders can now start off from a red light with the walk signal by taking advantage of the leading pedestrian interval, rather than waiting for the light to turn green.

While that head start can provide a significant safety upgrade for people on bicycles and other micromobility devices, the new law doesn’t actually take effect until January 1st of next year, as Andrew Goldstein and Bryan J. Blumberg pointed out to me.

Personally, I’d do it anyway if I thought the situation calls for it, and try to argue my case with the cop if I got caught.

But that’s just me.

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels.

………

Speaking of yesterday’s post, I inadvertently left out the news that a man riding a bicycle was critically injured in a collision with a Metro train in Long Beach last weekend.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was crossing the A Line, formerly Blue Line, tracks on East Spring Street near Del Mar Avenue when he was struck by the train around 11:16 Saturday morning, after allegedly riding around the crossing gates.

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been an update since the initial reports, which means we’re unlikely to ever learn what happened to him.

So let’s just hope and pray he makes a full and fast recovery.

And let this be a reminder to never ride or walk around railroad crossing gates, regardless of whether you think you can make it.

Because chances are, you just might.

Until you don’t.

………

Committee assignments were announced for the upcoming city council session yesterday, which David Zahniser of the LA Times posted on Twitter.

The all-important Transportation Committee — at least for our purposes — will be helmed by interim CD10 Councilmember Heather Hutt, with newly elected CD11 Councilmember Traci Park servicing as vice chair.

New members Eunisses Hernandez (CD1) and Katy Yaroslavsky (CD5) fill out the roster, along with CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman.

We’ll have to wait to see what this will mean for active transportation in the City of Angels, but there’s reason for hope with the three progressive at large members onboard.

It’s also worth noting that the all-female committee roster comes just a few short years after the council raised countless red flags when no women were elected to the board.

Here’s the full list of committee assignments, courtesy of Zahniser.

………

Zahniser also reports that just two candidates have qualified for the special election to replace for Council President Nury Martinez in CD6.

Martinez resigned in the wake of the recording in which she was heard making racist and otherwise offensive comments, along with two other Latino councilmembers and a labor leader, who also resigned his post.

One of the councilmembers, CD1’s “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo left the council at the end of his term after losing to Eunisses Hernandez, while CD14’s Kevin de León still refuses to do the right thing and resign.

Meanwhile, de León continues to pat himself on the back for securing a $47.5 million state active transportation grant for DTLA’s Skid Row, as if that makes up for his role in the offensive recording.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

Mother Jones rates cars parked in bike lanes as one of the monsters of the past year, noting that drivers aren’t gods, they just own a Toyota.

No bias here. Over 5,000 motorists have signed a petition calling for the removal of new Maryland bike lanes “without delay,” claiming they make the road more dangerous, even though two bike riders were killed there in recent years; a petition supporting the changes has drawn nearly 900 signatures.

No bias here, either. After a motorcyclist ran into a retired British pedestrian, Twitter users naturally pile on to blame bicycle riders.

A right-wing UK academic and media personality comes out firmly against livable communities, if it means he can’t go zoom, zoom in his car wherever he wants.

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Breitbart piles on with the many other conservative media sources accusing a “self-righteous” San Francisco bike rider of becoming unhinged because she complained about an ambulance needlessly blocking a bike lane, when they could have stopped in the buffer just to the left.

A Tulsa OK man faces charges after trying, and failing, to outrun the cops on the bike he just stole; police found multiple illegal drugs and paraphernalia on him, as well.

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Local 

Streetsblog recommends the Schabarum Trail Peak, part of the nearly 30-mile Schabarum-Skyline Trail running from San Dimas to unincorporated Whittier, offering sweeping views of the San Gabriel Valley.

 

State

Planetizen argues that San Diego needs to improve its bike infrastructure if it wants to have any chance of meeting its climate goals. Oddly, the city seems to take such things seriously, rather than calling their goals merely “aspirational” like their larger neighbor to the north.

San Francisco Streetsblog argues that drivers can park their vehicles on the street, so ebike buyers should be able to, as well.

Police in Concord continue to search for the pickup driver who fled the scene after running down a 57-year old man riding a bicycle last month, sending the victim to the hospital.

 

National

Travel & Leisure makes their picks for the best bike lock. And not surprisingly, chooses a Kryptonite as their overall favorite.

Road.cc looks at the best bicycling gadgets at this year’s CES Consumer Electronics Show, including airless metal bike tires and an all-in-one rear light, brake light and anti-theft alarm.

Intelligent Living offers three reasons to ride your bike to work. But fails to mention how much faster it can be than driving congested streets, and how much more fun you’ll have.

Cory Mortensen’s book The Buddha and the Bee, which recounts his unplanned and unsupported bike ride from Chaska, Minnesota to Truckee, California, won the 2022 Best Indie Book Award for non-fiction.

Portland’s bicycle and pedestrian advisory committees are raising red flags over a freeway widening and capping project that would compromise one of the city’s most heavily used bikeways, as well as increasing emissions and greenhouse gasses.

This is how it’s supposed to be done. Seattle is using orange cones to mark out temporary protected bike lanes on two streets, after one of two bridges with bike infrastructure was forced to close due to storm damage, requiring riders to use “hostile and deadly” streets to get to the other one.

A Colorado Springs CO paper profiles a carfree retired couple who use their three-wheeled ‘bents as their sole form of transportation.

Colorado’s governor is calling for a $120 million tax credit to encourage residents to buy electric cars and lawnmowers, as well as ebikes; the proposed program would offer a $500 tax rebate for ebike purchasers, rising to $1,000 for low income residents. Although the state could save a lot of money, and do more to improve air quality and fight climate change, if they designed the program to simply replace cars with ebikes, instead.

Massachusetts approved a new four-foot passing law, as well as a requirement to track collisions involving vulnerable road users.

She gets it. A Connecticut writer says the lack of Hoboken, New Jersey traffic deaths over the last four years shows that traffic violence isn’t inevitable.

A Virginia man is looking for a new lawyer after police arrested him with 327 pieces of allegedly stolen merchandise, including power tools and tens of thousands of dollars worth of stolen bikes.

Atlanta is the latest city to consider offering rebates for ebike purchasers. Meanwhile, Los Angeles remains firmly among the vast majority of cities that haven’t even discussed an ebike rebate program, while potential California buyer continue to wait with baited breath for the state’s long-delayed ebike rebate program to finally roll out.

 

International

Bike advocates in Toronto are accusing the city of falling short on its promise to build 20 miles of bike lanes each year by opening just 8.1 miles last year, while failing to build “critical bikeways,” as well.

A website accuses European countries of misusing the equivalent of $2.12 billion in funding appropriated by the EU for bicycle infrastructure.

They get it. A Glasgow nonprofit says it’s never too late to learn to ride a bicycle.

Sad news from the UK, where the man who designed the iconic 1970’s Raleigh Chopper bicycle has died; 96-year old Tom Karen also designed the two-seat, three-wheeled Bond Bug car, and the popular Marble Run game.

More sad news, this time from Spain, where former Spanish and world master’s champ Agustín “Guti” Navarro was found dead on New Years Eve, apparently from natural causes; he was just 44.

 

Competitive Cycling

Nineteen-year-old pro Madis Mihkels suffered a deep cut to his back when he was run down by a driver while training near his Estonian hometown.

 

Finally…

No, bike paths aren’t car lanes, even if they’re frozen. The iconic Hollywood Sign is being moved — the one in Ireland, that is.

And seriously, who doesn’t jump rope while riding their bike in a Culver City protected bike lane?

That tweet translates to “You know you have good bike infrastructure when…”

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Update: 32-year old bike rider killed in collision with Amtrak Surfliner in Oxnard; 6th SoCal bicycling death in less than 2 weeks

Another day, another ghost bike.

But at least this time there wasn’t a motorist involved.

Ventura talk radio station KVTA reports a man was killed when he was run down from behind by an Amtrak train while riding on the tracks in Oxnard Tuesday morning.

The victim, publicly identified only as a 32-year old Oxnard man, was reportedly riding north on the railroad tracks roughly 100 yards from the Oxnard Transportation Center when he was struck by a northbound train just after 11 am.

The Ventura County Star places the collision at 11:09 am, on the tracks at Fourth and Meta streets.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to Oxnard Police Commander Luis McArthur, the engineer of Pacific Surfliner Train 763 sounded his horn several times and tried to stop, but couldn’t bring the train to a halt in time, despite witness statements that it was traveling at just 20-30 mph before the crash.

The victim made no effort to get out of the way as he rode with a hoody pulled over his head; however, there’s no evidence that he was wearing headphones or earbuds.

Which raises the question of why he wasn’t aware of the massive train bearing down on him. Let alone what he was doing on the tracks in the first place.

This is at least the 33rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Ventura County, which exceeds the total for all of last year.

It’s also the sixth Southern California bike death that’s come to our attention in less than two weeks.

Update: The victim has been identified as 31-year old Oxnard resident Esau C. Castaneda.

Investigators have ruled out suicide as a cause of death, but still have no explanation why he didn’t hear the train approaching.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Esau C. Castaneda and his loved ones.

 

Update: Man killed in Carlsbad train collision in what may be first San Diego County bike death this year

The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that a 24-year old man was killed when he was struck by an Amtrak train while crossing the tracks in Carlsbad Thursday night.

According to the paper, the victim, who has not been publicly named, was riding east on the sidewalk near Grand Ave and Washington Street when he rode onto the tracks, and somehow struck the side of the train around 7:30 pm.

He was taken to an Oceanside medical center, where he died.

Sadly, he was on his way to meet friends in Carlsbad Village, the Times of San Diego reports.

A street view shows the railroad crossing is controlled by warning lights and crossing arms. However, the arms don’t extend to the sidewalk where the victim was riding. No explanation is given for why he apparently either didn’t notice the train, or was unable to stop in time to avoid it.

Anyone who witnessed the crash is urged to call the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department at 858/565-5200.

This is at least the 53rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year; remarkably, it appears to be the first in San Diego County.

As we’ve noted many times before, a train crash is the easiest kind of collision to prevent because you know exactly where it will go, and get a clear warning of when it’s coming; it’s also the most difficult to survive.

So never ride through or around crossing arms or warning signals, and never stop on the tracks.

Update: The San Diego Union-Tribune reports the victim has been identified as 37-year old San Diego County resident Jason Lynn Holsinger, despite initial reports that the victim was 24.

The San Diego medical examiner confirms that Holsinger rode around the crossing gates and into the side of the train.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jason Lynn Holsinger and all his loved ones.

 

Update: Anaheim bike rider killed in train collision Monday afternoon

This is not the news we wanted to end the holiday weekend with.

According to the Orange County Register, a man in his 40s was struck and killed by a train in Anaheim Monday afternoon.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, rode up to the railroad crossing on Sycamore Street just west of Vine Street around 2:40 pm after the crossing arms had been lowered. For some reason, he went around the barricades, and was struck by a southbound train.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

This is a tragic reminder to never, ever go around crossing barriers on a railroad track, even if there doesn’t appear to be a train coming, or cross unprotected tracks after the light turns red.

This is the 41st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth in Orange County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 42-year old Jorge Leyva of Anaheim.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jorge Leyva and his loved ones.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson and Bill Sellin for the heads-up.

Update: San Diego cyclist killed in pre-dawn trolley collision

More bad news today.

Multiple sources are reporting that a San Diego bike rider was killed by a trolley in the city’s Barrio Logan neighborhood.

The victim, identified only as a 27-year old man, reportedly stopped at the trolley crossing alongside Harbor Drive near Sampson Street around 5:45 this morning.

After a southbound trolley passed, he rode around the crossing bars, and was immediately struck by a second trolley headed in the opposite direction. Emergency personnel tried to revive him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Witnesses said that he was wearing earbuds, and may not have heard the second trolley approaching.

San Diego’s KUSI TV reports employees of both Naval Base San Diego and cyber-defense company BAE Systems, located nearby, rushed to the scene, concerned the victim may have been one of their co-workers.

This is a tragic reminder to always wait until the crossing arms are raised before walking or riding across any railroad tracks.

This is the 25th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in San Diego County; it’s also the third bike-related death in San Diego since the first of the year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 27-year old Robert Jamil-Hanna Warren, possibly of National City.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

Breaking news: Covina bike rider killed in collision with Metrolink train

A Covina cyclist has been killed in train collision.

According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was struck by a Metrolink train at 1:38 this afternoon on Azusa Avenue near Northview High School.

Baldwin Park Patch places the collision Azusa and Front Street. Tracks are visible on a satellite view just north of Front, while crossing arms can be seen on the street.

No word on why the victim was on the tracks at the time of the collision.

Train collisions are the easiest type of wreck to avoid, since their route is predictable and both audible and visual warnings are given before they pass.

This is the 20th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in LA County; this is also the second time a SoCal cyclist has been killed in a collision with a train this year.

My deepest sympathy for the victim and his or her loved ones.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

Man walking bike killed by train in Placentia Monday night

Somehow, this one went under the radar earlier this week.

According to the Orange County Register, 51-year old Rafael Romo was walking his bike north on Richfield Road when he ducked under the railroad crossing barrier on Orangethorpe Ave around 8:15 pm Monday.

He was standing on the south tracks waiting for an eastbound train to pass on the other tracks when he was hit by a train headed west at 48 mph. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The paper notes that it’s unsure if his death was an accident or may have been suicide. However, the latter seems unlikely if he brought the bike with him, rather than leaving it behind when he stepped under the barrier.

This serves as yet another warning to never go under or around railroad crossing guards, even if it seems safe at the time.

This is the 49th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in Orange County. Romo is also the 19th SoCal bike rider to be killed by a train since 2011, which is the easiest type of collision to avoid.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Rafael Romo and all his loved ones.

Update: 31-year old bike rider killed by train in Riverside

Always wait for the barriers to lift at a railroad crossing.

A Riverside bike rider didn’t, and sadly, paid the price.

According to the Press-Enterprise, the woman was riding her bike east on Mission Inn Ave in downtown Riverside when she stopped to wait for a southbound train around 11:10 this morning.

As soon as the train passed, she continued across the tracks while the crossing arms were reportedly still down and the warning lights flashing. She was then hit and killed by a train traveling north on the tracks, whose approach would have been hidden from sight by the other train.

The victim is identified only as an apparent transient in her 30s.

This is the 20th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in Riverside County. That compares to 41 in SoCal this time last year, and six in the county.

She is also the first bike rider to be killed in a collision with a train anywhere in Southern California since August of last year.

Update: The Press-Enterprise has identified the victim as 31-year old Virginia Gadberry of Riverside.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Virginia Gadberry and her loved ones.

Bike rider killed in Vista train collision; popular randonneur killed Saturday in Santa Maria

Sometimes, all it takes is a single tragic error in judgement.

That was the case last night, as a bike rider lost his life apparently trying to beat a train in North San Diego County.

According to multiple sources, a 48-year old man, who has not been publicly identified, was hit by a Sprinter light-rail train in an unincorporated area of Vista. The collision occurred at a railroad crossing at the intersection of Woodland Drive and South Santa Fe Avenue at 8:07 pm Monday.

According to witnesses, the warning gates had been down for more than 40 seconds, with the lights and bells activated, when the victim rode around the gates and onto the track. He was struck by oncoming the train, which had been sounding its horn as it approached the intersection.

The victim was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

No explanation was given for why he attempted to cross the tracks despite multiple visual and audible warnings.

He was the third person killed by a train in the county in the last five days.

This is the 58th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in San Diego County. He is also the third bike rider to be killed by a train in the seven-county SoCal region since the first of the year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Rick Risemberg for the heads-up. 

……..

I don’t normally report on bicycling fatalities that occur outside the SoCal region.

However, I’ve gotten multiple reports of a cyclist killed on Foxen Canyon Road in the Santa Maria area over the weekend.

According to the Santa Maria Times, the victim was a 33-year old Chula Vista resident, who was hit by a 16-year old driver in a truck pulling a horse trailer.

Now word is coming in that victim was Matthew O’Neil, a popular randonneur well known in SoCal riding circles. I’m told that a group of riders participating in the ultra-distance event came upon the scene shortly after the collision, and recognized the victim by his unique Bacchetta recumbent bike.

Meanwhile, rumors are swirling that the driver is the son of a woman involved in another fatal wreck on the same road in 2012.

Hopefully, we’ll have more information later.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Matthew O’Neil and all his family and friends. 

Thanks to Mike T for the link

 

Downey bike rider killed in collision with Metro Blue Line

Word broke late Saturday night that a cyclist may have killed in a collision with a Metro Blue Line train in the Florence neighborhood of Los Angeles.

KABC-7 tweeted that a bike rider had been killed crossing the tracks at East Gage and Holmes Avenues, citing a report from the CHP. However, while the Highway Patrol dispatch confirmed a fatality, it did not identify the victim as a bike rider.

Any question was resolved Sunday evening when KCBS-2 confirmed that a 51-year old Downey resident was killed when he rode his bike in front of the train, which was traveling at 50 mph at the time. At that speed, such a collision is unlikely to be survivable; he was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:01 pm.

The victim was not publicly identified pending notification of next of kin.

No word on why he did not see or hear the train approaching, or whether the crossing arms were working properly.

This is the 47th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 20th in Los Angeles County. It’s also the sixth cycling death in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

 

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