It is with such a heavy heart that this article is shared – having heard about this woman cyclist death early today I reached out to Ted Rogers (bikingInLA). The information he shared about how this tragedy could have been avoided make this tragic loss of life even harder to take.
as a 30-year old woman has been killed riding on PCH at the border between Santa Monica and Los Angeles.
And this one hits far too close to home.
According to numerous sources, the woman, who has not been publicly identified, was riding south on PCH just below Entrada Drive sometime around 11 – 11:30 pm last night when she was hit from behind by a white pickup.
She died at the scene; according to KCBS-2, the impact was so severe that police had to search the area to find her body.
The driver sped away without stopping, disappearing into traffic on eastbound I-10.
Authorities are looking for what is only described as a white pickup or possibly an SUV with significant front-end damage. Anyone with information is urged to call Santa Monica police at 310/458-8491.
Tragically, there’s a good chance this death could have been avoided.
Early in 2011, George Wolfberg, president of the Santa Monica Canyon Civic Association, bike advocate Eric Bruins and I met with officials from L.A.’s Department of Public Works, along with the construction company working on the Coastal Intercepter Relief Sewer project on southbound PCH.
To their credit, they were very open to our suggestions on how to keep cyclists safer during the approximately 18 month construction project.
But one thing we asked for didn’t make the final cut.
The city’s plan was to encourage cyclists to leave PCH and take the beachfront bike path at Will Rogers State Beach to avoid the obstacles and congestion created by the construction work.
A reasonable plan, at least during daylight hours.
However, many riders, particularly women, would be uncomfortable riding on the pathway at night, largely out of sight from drivers on PCH and hidden in the shadows — especially given the large number of homeless people and others who congregate in that area during daylight hours, let alone after dark.
As a result, riders who would gladly take the bike path during the day might feel safer riding on PCH, despite the risks posed by construction and heavy, high-speed traffic.
As one woman once told me, there are worse things than getting hit by a car.
So we asked that temporary lighting be installed along the bike path, at least through the construction zone, so bicyclists would feel safe riding there until they could return to PCH or turn off onto other routes.
While they agreed to consider it, they also said it was unlikely to be approved because there just wasn’t enough money in the $10 million budget. And clearly it wasn’t, as no lights ever appeared on the bike path, other than those required to light the construction site itself.
Now a woman is dead because she chose to ride on PCH instead of diverting onto the darkness of the bike path.
For more please read his article.
Even with improved infrastructure – Until motorist are held accountable and we enforce and prosecute current laws as well as have stiffer laws that are prosecuted to the full extent possible that protect ALL road users I can’t see this improving enough to make a difference. What happened to the Life BEFORE License campaign.
Our hearts break for the family friends and loved ones of this victim and all victims of this kind of senseless loss of life.
Update: The Santa Monica Daily Press reports the victim, who still has not been publicly identified, lived in the area and was biking home from work after taking the bus part way. Witnesses say she was riding in the right lane before swerving into the middle lane, where she was hit and killed.
The paper reports that the truck dragged her bike about a half-mile from the crash site as it sped away.
Police report that the suspect vehicle is a full-size GM pickup; they’re examining crash debris to determine the exact year and model.
Police are asking anyone with information to contact the watch commander at (310) 458-8495.
Those who wish to remain anonymous can call the WeTip hotline at (800) 78-CRIME (27463) or submit the tip online at www.wetip.com. Callers can also contact Crime Stoppers by either calling (800) 222-TIPS, texting or by visitingwww.lacrimestoppers.org. Those who provide information that leads to an arrest or conviction may be eligible for a reward, up to $1,000.